Bangladesh Artisans

In only a few short weeks, university and college students will be packing their bags, hitting the road and saying (tearful – at least on the parents’ side) goodbyes before settling into campus life.

They’ll also be decorating their new dorm rooms.

Recently, dorm décor has become more posh. While some students are still decorating their rooms with anything they can haul off the curb (and, of course, you’ve got to love their reuse-and-recycle style) there’s a new trend toward shelling out for shiny, new and perfectly designed dorm decor.

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted in the U.S., college consumers planned to spend a whopping $6.23 billion on dorm furnishings, or an average of $114.21 per person in 2016. Big box stores have even been known to remain open well into the night to accommodate the surge of first year students trying to stock up on lamps, bedding, knick-knacks and toiletries. The trend is coming north too.

Luckily there’s a middle ground between curbside finds and blowing a budget at a big box store. By decorating with fair trade items, not only will students avoid big September crowds, they’ll avoid cookie-cutter décor, own pieces that are meant to last – and show new friends that they’re living their values.

Here are some buying tips and Ten Thousand Villages fair trade options to make any dorm room feel like home.

Bright Beds

Even the drabbest residence room can feel bright and cheerful with a colourful throw or duvet cover. Spread this cozy, reversible, kantha-stitched throw over the bed or use decorative pillows for the same effect.

Handy Baskets

Baskets are the workhorses of the dorm room. They keep rooms clutter-free (useful if your roommate is on the fastidious side) and are perfect for hauling laundry down the hall or simply acting as a hamper. Hand-woven with care, these are strong and resilient for big loads. They look great too. Be sure to choose baskets with handles for extra flexibility.

Cozy Rugs

Let’s face it. Some dorm rooms feel barren, even if they come with wall-to-wall carpeting. Give a room some under-the-foot warmth with inexpensive, handcrafted rugs created by our artisan partners that avoid using child labour.

A Piece of Home

Even with a packed school and social calendar, it’s not uncommon for some students to feel homesickness when the whirl of frosh week is over. Including a lovingly framed family photo in the next care package could be just the thing to beat the blues and help them feel closer to home.

Off To Shower

Whether they’re sharing a bathroom with roommates or even with the whole residence floor in a more communal layout, it’s important to have something easy to hoist toiletries and makeup between rooms. Keep a makeup bag or other waterproof container handy for these excusions.

Keep Calm and Study On

It’s no secret that post-secondary life can be stressful, so finding ways to stay calm and healthy is important right from the beginning. More students are practicing mindfulness to keep centered with props like singing bowls. Others are turning to body care.

Privacy Please

And if it’s the roommate causing tension? Maybe it’s time to hang a large tablecloth in the dorm room so everyone feels they’re getting a bit of privacy. (Hint: Block printed tablecloths look beautiful on both sides.) Hey, whatever works!

Remember: You can avoid driving long distances with a packed car by choosing what you want online and then visiting the Ten Thousand Villages store in your new city or town. Just call ahead to ensure they have what you’re looking for.

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