Photo by Alexandra Sandu
The sad truth is that human trafficking is all around us. It’s on the internet. In in our cities. And it’s even in our clothes, accessories, and home goods.
How can it be that people are daily being exploited to provide us with the things we use regularly? More importantly, how can we ensure we are making purchases that avoid contributing to this?
The following are brands who go beyond ethical trade into the restoration and prevention of human trafficking. Shopping with these, and others like them, will make you part of the solution.
01 | Purpose JewelryThe brand created by International Sanctuary started as a means of creating positive employment for the women they help to rescue out of sex trafficking. These brave artisans receive holistic care and it is through Purpose Jewelry that they have an option for a dignified labor. They create stunning jewelry that allows the wearer to give a voice to the survivors.
02 | Dear SurvivorChristine Longoria began Dear Survivor, a brand of jewelry and flawless fine leather bags, as a result of her years living across the street from a brothel in San Francisco. Using her gifts, she decided to donate 10% of every dollar to GenerateHope. This organization works to empower and restore women in San Diego and Dear Survivor has become a partner to contribute to the work they do.
03 | Starfish ProjectHaving employed more than 130 women, Starfish Project is a jewelry brand that seeks to enable their employees beyond making jewelry. They work with exploited women in Asia to achieve their goals of growth, building authentic relationships, celebrating people, and striving for excellence.
04 | EleganteesFor girls in Nepal, Elegantees has been a true life-changer. Often viewed as a commodity, and sold by their own families, Nepalese girls who have been trafficked are often rejected if they try to return home for shame in the work they have done. But by becoming seamstresses who create comfortable, fashionable clothing, they are able to go above and beyond in providing for their families and creating a change in their community. Additionally, Elegantees works with the Dressember Collection to create dresses that contribute to an end of modern day slavery.
05 | The Tote ProjectThe Tote Project was started by two friends who chose to use their unique gifts to make a difference in the lives of former trafficking victims. Choosing to use beautiful artwork on canvas bags, they are empowering women to see beyond their trauma and into their potential as capable and worthwhile human beings.
06 | Arise BoxA subscription box with a difference, Arise Box works specifically to curate goods right to your door from brands that serve a purpose. Each Arise Box comes with a card written by a survivor of human trafficking. Beyond that, they partner with safe homes around the US to provide basic necessities.
07 | Sari BariCreating beautiful blankets from old Indian Sari’s, Sari Bari gives formerly exploited women a chance for support through a series of programs. Including educational, health, and developmental opportunities, Sari Bari funds transformation in the lives of women who formerly lived at risk.
08 | Beza ThreadsPartnered with Hope for Children in Ethiopia, Beza Threads sells exquisite scarves made in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Addis is home to thousands of enslaved people, mostly young, in both the garment industry and in forced prostitution. Beza Threads was started by college students from Iowa who saw the plight firsthand in 2008 and decided to do something about it.
Of course there are dozens of other brands working toward this end and this list is hardly exhaustive. But if you are looking for somewhere to start, these are just a few that can help you get there.
FROM THE EDITOR
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