Fair trade takes stand at De Anza bookstore1 min read


Jescelane Valencia

The De Anza Bookstore added a fair trade section and plan to expand throughout the store. Bookstore Director Kelly Swanson is working together with LEAD to eliminate any connections with sweat shops.

Jescelane Valencia, Staff Writer

The De Anza College bookstore is teaming up with a fair trade organization to set a new clothing policy eliminating connections to sweatshops.

Latina/o Empowerment at De Anza Community (LEAD) first discussed the importance of fair trade on campus after attending the LEAD Global Issues Conference last year.

“Our students asked De Anza President Brian Murphy to make sure and ask candidates for the position of Director of the Bookstore to commit to fair trade,” said Marc Coronado, the LEAD coordinator.

New bookstore director Kelly Swanson said she has always worked with fair trade and believes it should be a standard in stores. She plans to teach students about the difference between sweatshops and fair trade.

Swanson now has vendors sign an agreement guaranteeing they are sweatshop-free. If a vendor fails or lies on the agreement, De Anza will discontinue business, she said.

Although Swanson and others want the bookstore to sell only items from a fair trade vendor, items can be hard to find and are limited, Swanson said.

“It can never be 100 percent fair trade,” she said. “It is easy to find fair traded snacks like coffee or candy, but it is difficult with clothing.”

Fair trade products are typically higher priced and that may be an issue for students with a budget.

Swanson plans to expand the small section of fair trade in the bookstore.

“LEAD T-shirts are among the first fair trade items being sold,” Coronado said. “We hope that the athletic teams will soon join the fair trade cause.”