CRAVEN primary schools have been discovering how by choosing Fairtrade is good for people and the planet.

The annual competition for schools was sponsored by Namaste Fair Trade, a Skipton company that specialises in fairly traded clothing and accessories, unusual gifts, furniture and home furnishings mostly from Nepal, India, Thailand and Indonesia.

Inspired by the use of re-purposed sari silk made in India for Namaste, children created new things often from pre-loved garments. At Lothersdale School, the sewing groups used medical scrubs, a cushion cover and unwanted clothing to make bunting and used it at their coffee morning in the village hall.

Christ Church, Skipton, and Long Preston schools carefully chose fabrics to bring the greeting ‘namaste’ alive. “We had lots of fun designing, choosing materials and creating the letters for the sign," said the school.Today amongst Hindi speakers throughout the world namaste is a simple greeting to say hello.

SELFA and the Bentham Primary School group worked incredibly hard with their amazing volunteer, Nicky, and made scrunchies, cushions and a hat and gloves. Other competition entries were from individuals – a beautiful quilt, a selection of bags and a cushion from a little brother’s 'Babygro'.

There was even an entry from a three year-old, who chose to use her metallic paints to paint over an existing cushion cover.

There were the usual events in Fairtrade Fortnight and activities to help children understand that Fairtrade is helping the farmers that grow the things we love to become more resilient in the climate emergency.

Coffee, banana, tea and cocoa farmers are facing increasingly unpredictable weather and their livelihoods are under threat, as are the crops they grow. The twice-yearly extra payment – the Fairtrade Premium provides training and opportunities to invest in the future. For example last year in 2022, Fairtrade producers across Latin America and the Caribbean planted more than 300,000 trees in six months.

At Settle Primary School, year-five and year-six children discovered for themselves how unfair trade is when they took part in a 'trading trainers' game organised by Liz Roodhouse from Craven Development Education Centre (DEC), based at St Andrews Church. No matter how hard they worked they still remained poor.

At Cononley School the younger children enjoyed following the journey of cocoa from bean to chocolate bar using a box of resources borrowed from Craven Development Education Centre. It involved role play and was a lot of fun.

For more information about Fairtrade contact Liz Roodhouse at: