Tufts, with its focus on international issues and social activism, is constantly teaching students about global problems and social injustices. But to make a difference, students need to go beyond this classroom involvement. This December, the OneWorld Global Crafts Bazaar will give students the opportunity to delve into the issues of fair trade and socially responsible consumerism while using their power as consumers to simultaneously support sustainable global development and purchase beautiful crafts.
The OneWorld Global Crafts Bazaar is about raising awareness of development solutions and showing students how their involvement can help fight global poverty. “This year, our theme is fair trade and socially responsible consumption,” said Marla Spivack, the president of One World. In collaboration with the Tufts Sustainability Collective, her group is sponsoring the bazaar to promote fair trade of global crafts. Mary Beech, a sophomore in charge of logistics and education at the bazaar explained, “We buy fair trade products from around the world and different student organizations sell them. The profits will go to a small charity organization with a mission of promoting sustainable development.”
For the members of OneWorld, the bazaar is not only about raising awareness for global issues but also about unifying a wide assortment of campus groups to educate students. “Another goal is to promote collaboration among groups that normally might not [work together]. We look for ways to include as many as possible,” said Spivack. Dahlia Norry, an executive member of One World, says the theme was meant to show that “the sum of our parts is greater than each of our parts alone.” This concept translates into being a responsible consumer. “We are trying to show Tufts students that voting with your dollar is one way of being a conscientious consumer.” Norry explained how sometimes, people don’t take the time to think about where their money is going. “By buying a cup of coffee that is a product of unfair labor practices, we’re sending a message to the people at the top that we don’t care how a product is made and that we will buy it regardless. I believe that Tufts students really do care about where their money is going; we just get caught up sometimes and forget to consume responsibly.”
In past years, the bazaar has had themes such as women’s empowerment and youth empowerment. “It gives voice to all the amazing opportunities going on at Tufts while unifying us under a common goal,” said Lauren Greenberg, a junior. This year’s theme comes at a crucial time for consumers around the world. “With every purchase, our money is impacting the global community. We have to do our best to make sure this impact is a positive one,” Norry said. With big businesses trying their hardest to cut back on spending, it is more important than ever to know where our products come from and make sure we buy responsibly.
Not only does the bazaar allow on-campus groups to showcase the goods of global crafts organizations, but local Bostonian vendors are also invited. “We…hope to foster connections between Tufts and the surrounding community,” Greenberg said.
So how will this year’s bazaar compare to last year’s? “This year we are having fewer groups selling crafts and focusing more of our attention on the educational components and how to better integrate our theme of socially responsible consumerism into all aspects of the bazaar,” Greenberg said. The organizers are focusing on quality and spreading the bazaar’s message.
If you come to the bazaar, you will likely leave with some truly unique gifts, and you will definitely leave with the knowledge that your spending can make the world just a bit better.