In June 2013, the Global Social Issues & Marketing class at ILSC Sydney had the chance to be involved with a fair trade textiles organisation based in New Delhi known as House of Wandering Silk (HoWS). With the kind help of HoWS’ founder, Katherine Neumann, the students spent two weeks exploring the issues faced by workers in the clothing and textile industry, especially female workers, in developing countries around Asia. Armed with this knowledge, they then took on the challenge to promote and sell some of the amazing products made by the ladies at HoWS right here in Sydney. With lots of dedication and hard work, the students prepared and carried out a variety of promotional activities, culminating in an exclusive sales event for the students and staff at ILSC Sydney.
Jeonghyeon Yu – AKA Scott – writes about the GSI and Marketing class’ experience here:
What have you learned about fair trade?
We have learned how important it is to keep the business between manufacturer and distributor fair. With fair trade we can affect a worker’s wage, workplace conditions, and working hours more positively and also provide a wide variety of opportunities.
How do you feel about what House of Wandering Silk does?
We are sure that House of Wandering Silk, one of the exemplary companies, is leading to spread fair trade throughout the world. Moreover, they respect each and every employee and give support to the kids that are living in India so they can study.
What is your favourite thing about the HoWS products?
Our favourite things are that they are sustainable and upcycled, which means that they are environmentally friendly.
Firstly, we are very pleased to contribute to making ‘fair trade’. We also had an opportunity to be responsible for selling products as a member of the company. Through this project, we could develop a good relationship with each other and learn how to work well in each different part. Lastly, we have realised how many employees are working in bad working conditions.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
The price of the products was slightly too high for our customers – who were mostly students – to buy. However, before the sale day, we developed a marketing strategy to get attention from customers. We did things such as making advertisements, making presentations and planning a lot of promotion. Eventually we convinced customers to buy our products and we sold 16 items!
For more information about this project visit the ILSC Facebook page.
To learn more about House of Wandering Silk go to www.wanderingsilk.org.