Fundraising with California’s First Fair Trade Elementary School

Posted on: May 9th, 2016 by Lucia No Comments

We just wrapped up a fun and successful fundraising collaboration with St. Martin of Tours Academy in La Mesa, California. St. Martin’s is actually the first elementary school in California to receive the fair trade designation and they are fully committed to furthering fair trade as part of their curriculum. As part of the designation St. Martin’s uses fair trade products whenever possible and will exclusively use fair trade brands for all future fundraising efforts. The goal of this fundraiser was to raise money for students to attend sixth grade camp.

fair trade club meeting

Parents and students attend a planning meeting with Brand Director, Lucia Ruth

We were really thrilled to be chosen by St. Martin’s for their first fair trade accessory catalog fundraiser. It was so fun working with the parents and children to choose products that would be a good fit for families at the school and to share with them how purchasing fair trade positively impacts our Cambodian artisans and their families and helps forward our social mission to fight human trafficking. Once the products were decided upon, we created a custom catalog for St. Martin’s that featured the curated collection and also provided details about the our social mission and fair trade business practices.

fair trade elementary school

St. Martin parents and children help select products

While we have worked with many groups in the past for fundraising this was the first time that we have done a traditional catalog sale. It felt so great to provide a quality handmade product for the St. Martin fundraising efforts that provided an ethical and unique alternative to selling wrapping paper, magazines or other typical fundraiser-type products. We felt energized by the enthusiasm that the families showed for Malia Designs, and it was extremely satisfying to work with the next generation of fair trade advocates. Who knows? Some of them may start their own fair trade brands one day!

malia designs fundraiser

Principal, Toni Dimuzio modeling her new Malia Designs bag alongside an array of products sold during the fundraiser

If you are interested in partnering with Malia Designs for your fundraising efforts, please email If you would like to learn more about how to become a fair trade school or how to incorporate fair trade into your school’s curriculum, please visit

Leave a Reply