Here’s a question: Do you fund sweatshops? Another question: Do you own Nike or Apple products? Turns out that first question isn’t so simple after all.

Hope students and Phelps scholars Victoria Chavarria, Rebekah Loker and Brenda Torres will present their project, “Sweatshop: How can we change an industry that is so inherently intertwined with today's culture?” at this year’s Celebration for Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance (CURCP).

“All three of us are from Mexico or have Mexican roots, and Mexico has historically had a lot of sweatshops,” Rebekah said. “It hits close to home.”

The students learned that boycotting companies or not buying products doesn’t have much of an impact. Instead, being willing to pay more for products so the people who manufacture them can earn a living wage—and then communicating this preference to companies through petitions—can make a big difference. “Bigger than we expected,” Rebekah said.

See the students’ research at CURCP on Friday, April 10, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse. The event will feature 231 research projects conducted by 370 Hope students both independently and in collaboration with peers and faculty mentors.

>> Learn more about 2015 CURCP