At the recent NUS Services Convention, its member students’ unions unanimously approved a resolution for NUS to become 100% Fairtrade for the cotton products it sells. This year, about 18% of the ~£4m of cotton clothing NUS sold to and through students’ unions was Fairtrade. The new target is that this will be 100% by the time NUS turns 100 years old in 2022.
NUS says that forced labour of students is a real issue in Uzbekistan, as is child labour in Pakistan, and it knows that much of the cotton in its non-Fairtrade products originates from Pakistan, with, possibly, some from Uzbekistan. It says that Fairtrade is the only guaranteed way to track cotton back to the exact the field in which it was grown, and that this also gives it certainty that people have not been exploited in the growing and harvesting of it.