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Organic Consumers Association

Clothes for a Change: How to Pass an Organic Cotton T-Shirt Purchasing Resolution

Clothes for a Change
Associated Students and city and county governments are legally able to pass resolutions requiring that they purchase organic cotton event t-shirts. This gives us a unique opportunity to use organic cotton clothes as a networking tool to build coalitions with others working on similar issues while we educate our community about organic cotton.
The Organic Consumers Association, The Sustainable Cotton Project, and campaign affiliates can support you in this process by providing the necessary materials and strategy suggestions.

The key benefits of introducing a purchasing resolution are to:

Each student/city/county council will have their own unique procedures for adopting resolutions, but the following steps will guide you through the process generally.

  1. Form a local coalition with as many diverse groups as possible. Before contacting your council, identify key activists and leaders in your community from labor unions, environmental groups, sustainable farmers, women's groups etc., and ask them to endorse the purchasing restriction.
  2. Identify sympathetic council members (or other decision makers) to introduce and promote the purchasing restriction. Once you have enlisted the support of one or two council members, they can familiarize you with the exact procedure and appropriate strategy for passing the resolution.
  3. Offer support to and lobby the Council Members. Using a concise cover letter and materials that identify the wide environmental, social justice and labor issues involved. Personally contact each council member and urge them to support the resolution. Share sample purchasing restrictions from other councils and provide necessary support in drafting the final language. Work with your coalition to develop these materials then hand deliver packets of organic cotton information to Council Members. Don't forget to follow up with phone calls.
  4. Keep the local press informed. Generating local press is great for building support for the purchasing restriction. At every stage of the process (introduction, debate and vote) send media advisories to local newsprint and radio. The more effort you put into this, the better the coverage will be!
  5. Attend all relevant council meetings. From the initial introduction to the final vote, make sure your coalition turns out supporters who can speak on behalf of the purchasing resolution.
  6. Forward all media clips to state and federal representatives! Send all local clips by fax or mail to your local state representatives, Congress members and Senators. This will make them aware that people in your community support thebeneficial impacts of clothes made with organic cotton .
  7. Organize a press conference or event. When your council successfully passes the resolution, organize a press conference with council members. Have a celebration when the first organic cotton event t-shirt is sold in your community .
Information provided by the Sustainable Cotton Project

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