21st January 2005 at 00:00
Consumer goods popular with young people make a good starting point for discussion. By using trainers, teachers can explore workers' rights, economics, fair trade, the environmental impact of manufacture, the effects of consumerism, and consumer and producer relations and responsibilities.

KS 2-3

Ask pupils to list countries that their clothes or toys come from and to speculate about the people that made them. Research one product and its country (or countries) of origin. Encourage pupils to ask ethical questions about the product and summarise their discoveries.

KS 4-5

Challenge pupils with a project question such as "Should we refuse to buy fashionable trainers?" "What's the true cost of fashion?" "Are trainers the cause of more pain than comfort?" Guide them through research, debate, and conclusions. Search the internet for data, examples and arguments (for example, www.fairolympics.orgenreportolympicreporteng.pdf). Explore solutions, ideas and current practices and the inequalities they encounter (fair trade agreements, consumer choice).

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