Music, art and fashion help raise global-trade awareness
The Boulder Co-op Market hosted a day of music, art and fashion Saturday to celebrate fair-trade month and raise awareness of global-trade issues. The event was put on by the Change Project, a local organization seeking to promote companies that engage in socially and environmentally responsible practices.
“We want to promote the concept of transformative purchasing, which is shaping the world around you by supporting or boycotting companies based on the kind of world they create,” said Fox Hildie Henderson, the founder and director of the Change Project.
The events began at 1 p.m. with two speeches about fair trade followed by a series of musical acts that lasted well into the evening.
Theo Horesh, who co-founded the Change Project and helped organize the event, hoped the festivities would help raise people’s awareness of the fair-trade movement.
“We wanted to inspire a sense of joy and celebration around this incredible movement to do good,” Horesh said.
The Change Project began in the spring of 2006, with the intention of highlighting the “best of the best” – companies that follow strict ethical standards with regards to trade. The organization aims to create a program where health stores put a company summary next to each product so consumers can determine whether they want to support that company. Henderson and Horesh hope to take that program to health food stores across the nation.
“By highlighting the best companies, we’re giving incentive for other companies to do better,” Horesh said. “We use the market to inspire competition to become better – leveling up instead of leveling down.”
Another Boulder organization, Working Internationally to Sustain Humanity (WISH), also participated in the event. The group, located in the Boulder Co-op, sells ethically sound goods from all over the world.
The festivities culminated in a recycled fashion show by designer Andrea Pliner. The show featured outrageous outfits made from a variety of different recycled materials – blankets, pillowcases, men’s shirts and bunny slippers.
“I think the world should look cooler,” Pliner said. “I think when you walk down the street, your head should turn, not because of how short someone’s skirt is or how much lip gloss they’re wearing, but because they look crazy.”
The models in the fashion show were members of the Battle Kandy Zombie Tribe, a local art collective. Each model strutted her stuff to overwhelming applause from the crowd.
While the event was light hearted and fun, the central message was very serious.
“By creating all of this energy around the most socially and environmentally responsible companies, we hope to inspire other companies to meet the same ethical standards,” Horesh said.
After the fashion show, Henderson offered some words to the crowd.
“Live beauty and live your values,” he said.
On Sunday, the Boulder Co-op will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a series of talks on cooperatives. The event lasts from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. For more information visit www.bouldercoop.org.
For information on volunteering with the Change Project, email Fox@visionaryvalues.com.