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Beaver Bookstore Goes Global, Greener

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/6/14 11:00 PM
Topics: college store stories, social responsibility

American River College’s Beaver Bookstore tries to stay trendy without breaking the bank for themselves or their students.

That’s why partnering with Unique Batik seemed like an obvious choice, after bookstore representatives met the fair-trade apparel and accessory group at this year’s CAMEX in Dallas.

These bags and others like them are some of several fair-trade goods Beaver Bookstore sells. These bags and others like them are some of several fair-trade goods Beaver Bookstore sells.

Now, Beaver Bookstore shoppers can pick up headwear, scarves, tops, bottoms, bags and more, all produced by individuals and small groups in Guatemala, Ghana, Thailand and Pakistan.

“We try to be balance cost sensitivity with environmental trends that our students care about,” said Aaron Stanley, American River College buyer. “Unique Batik seemed like an obvious choice to be able to offer our students fair-trade and fashionable backpacks and bags.”

In addition to fair-trade apparel, Beaver Bookstore also carries vegan and gluten-free snack options and “Green Book” essay booklets, a recycled, eco-friendly take on the traditional Blue Book tests.

Stanley said Unique Batik’s styles have generated some buzz in the bookstore, which has moved a few items. He added he expects an even bigger reaction once the Fall semester starts, when the store will begin displaying them more prominently.

“As a buyer, I am always trying to find companies like Unique Batik that offer stylish, fair-traded and environmentally friendly products that our students will appreciate and connect with,” he said. “It's important on a socially conscious level as well as a business level.”

Stanley added that an environmentally-conscious marketing plan was “green” in more ways than one.

“The environmental and social benefits are self-evident — what college bookstores need to understand is that their clientele are becoming more and more sensitive to environmental and social issues,” he said. “So it behooves us, from a business perspective, to be cognizant of and follow these trends.”

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