November 26, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 38°F

Life & Culture

Club partners with local fair-trade store for holiday sale

Fuschia, turquoise and lime-colored scarves lie on a table, and next to them, a plethora of homemade jewelry is organized by size, all for sale. Students stop by between the rush of classes to browse the handmade items on display.

These items, which have been transported from around the globe, are from One World Market, a fairtrade corporation located on The Commons. The store aims to give appropriate payment for the craftspersons’ time and skills.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4 to 6, the Ithaca College Circle K International, a local chapter of the community service organization, collaborated with One World Market for its sixth annual fundraiser in the North Foyer of Campus Center. Circle K will use the holiday sale to fund its on-campus service projects.

Senior Stephanie Greenidge, the vice president of IC Circle K, said that in the past, the club has done projects for Ithaca Rescue Mission, an emergency homeless shelter; Planned Parenthood, a public health center; and Beechtree, a local rehabilitation center. Greenridge said the group is currently assisting Cayuga Medical Center.

Sophomore Madeline Strauch, secretary of IC Circle K, said the group frequently donates food items to the Rescue Mission like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and trail mix. The club donates Beachtree nonslip socks that its members decorate at meetings to the residents there, she said. When the club worked with Planned Parenthood in Spring 2018, it put together postabortion care packages, she said.

“For Cayuga Medical Center, we make blankets and donate [to] them,” she said. “It’s a very fun club. … And also it benefits the community.”

Kurt Bayer, manager at One World Market, said his company has partnered with groups on campus for holiday sales for over 10 years.

“We enjoy spreading a good message so students know about fair trade and so they know we’re the only fair trade store on The Commons,” Bayer said. “So coming up to campus gives them the opportunity to check out a local business.”

Fairtrade corporations operate around the world, often collaborating with larger companies. Fairtrade companies provide producers, often from thirdworld countries, with a fair income in an effort to sustain farmers and workers.

The Fair Trade Certified website says certified organizations function based on the principle that the products they buy and sell are connected to the livelihood of others.

Junior Rachel Hamlin, president of IC Circle K, said Circle K is the largest student-run service organization in the world, and there are different branches of the organization at colleges across the United States. She said the group does a lot of service projects on-campus and in the Ithaca community, mainly partnering with nonprofit organizations.

Hamlin said she thinks the annual winter fundraiser is beneficial because it can be used as a tool to educate college students.

“It informs the public about what fair trade is and about what One World Market does so more people can become aware of it and so more people can hopefully shop fair trade,” Hamlin said.

Greenidge said this time of the year is busy for students, so the club wanted to make it convenient for students to shop, while also using the event as a fundraiser.

“We’re just trying to make people’s lives a little better by bringing them onto campus, and people could stop by and get a little homemade gift for their family,” Greenidge said.

The fundraiser benefits One World Market and Circle K as profits were split between the two organizations. Bayer said the store and the club are still in the process of determining the total amount of money raised.

Senior Jared Fink, who was searching for a holiday gift on the final day of the sale, said he has previously bought products from the collaborative sale between One World Market and IC Circle K. Fink said that bringing attention to diverse cultures is inspiring.

“I think that having such beautiful products made by people from such authentic cultures is one surefire way to get people to pay attention,” Fink said. “The craftsmanship is just unbelievable.”

Hamlin said that because One World Market operates as a fairtrade business, it is a no-brainer that IC Circle K has continued to partner with the local shop.

“We also really enjoy what they kind of stand for just like the fairtrade aspect of it,” she said. “So it’s really cool getting to partner with them and bring them on campus.”

The attention to detail is what draws customers like Fink back to the sale every year, he said.

“You hardly see things like that, where there’s such a concentration on the culture as opposed to making products to sell,” Fink said. “It’s very clear that a lot of care and compassion goes into the craft.”

IC Circle K meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in Williams 221.