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One Seed to launch fair-trade school uniforms at Fair@Square

Carene Chong

Thu Nov 07 2013

One Seed Shelley Morris

Australia’s biggest ethical and fair trade festival Fair@Square is making a return this year. First-time exhibitor One Seed is all ready to get its name and cause out there for all to know. Carene Chong writes.

One Seed school uniform

One Seed aims to change the life of poverty stricken Cambodians, one school uniform at a time. Photo: Shelley Morris

A trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia almost ten years ago changed North Melburnian Craig Mawdsley’s purpose in life once and for all.

During his travels, he discovered the distressing state of poverty engulfing the majority of Cambodia’s population. From then on, he set his sights on making a change. In 2004, with his tax return of $500, he started a not-for-profit organisation called ‘One Seed’ to help poverty-stricken Cambodians get back on their feet.

The initial idea behind One Seed was to provide the Cambodian community with a sustainable income making clothes for the fashion retail market. But in 2011, the organisation shifted its focus to wholesale school uniforms in order to bring about a more sustainable change.

RMIT Public Relations final year student Clarissa Nagarajah, along with two other RMIT students from One Seed’s PR team, has helped spread the word about the organisation’s school uniform line to a number of local Victorian schools.

Amongst them, Footscray Primary and Alamanda College in Melbourne’s west have expressed interest in One Seed’s uniforms.

“We believe One Seed’s fair trade school uniforms sets it apart from other organisations,” says Clarissa.

“There are currently no fair trade school uniforms being sold in Australia and with over 4 million students, we have the market to make a difference,” she says.

One Seed will be launching its school uniforms at this year’s Fair@Square festival, the premier annual fair-trade and ethical festival to take place at Federation Square from November 30 to December 1.

Clarissa says while One Seed hopes to raise awareness about its objectives and hopefully sell some uniforms at Fair@Square, the organisation is more focused on starting positive conversations with the public about making a difference.

“At the end of the day – we want to make a global impact – but before we can change the world we need to make a change in our community,” she says.

Fair@Square is Australia’s largest annual event celebrating ethical, sustainable and morally responsible consumption and lifestyles.

Last year, the event attracted over 80,000 visitors with its wide array of products on display and activities for attendees to engage in.

Fair@Square promises another fun-filled event this year with activities for the whole family, from live cooking demonstrations, fashion shows, music, children activities and creative displays.

On top of One Seed, other exhibitors at the event include Five:am yoghurt, Griffiths coffee and Naturally Gifted eco gifts.

Just in time for the holidays, Fair@Square presents an opportunity for the public to shop for Christmas gifts at the event and at the same time, help make a difference in the world.

The event is also calling for volunteers – so if you are passionate about eco-sustainability and making the world a better place for everyone to live in, register with Moral Fairground to be part of its Fair@Square team.

Fair@Square will be held at Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square and will run from November 30 to December 1, 11am-6pm. For more information, visit the event’s website.