CXCThis month, Conscious Magazine and Colette Sol USA launch the “Walk To Stop Human Trafficking” campaign to bring awareness to this issue as January marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

The team at Colette Sol USA share our philosophy that the best way to begin inspiring change is to start by changing the conversation and to begin focusing on what really matters. Through Colette Sol USA’s hand-made footwear brand, they help raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking and improve the lives of women around the globe. Their hope is that each and every time you wear your CS USA shoes, the issue of human trafficking will become a part of your conversations.

Why are we talking about this? According to the International Labour Organization, there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. 5.5 million of those are children. 14.2 million of those are victims of labor exploitation. We’re also taking this moment to address this issue as a reminder that while this happens in many countries, cases of human trafficking are reported in all 50 U.S. States. This means for us, Conscious Magazine (NYC) and Colette Sol USA (San Francisco), this issue is real and hits close to home.

It is the closeness of this issue that brought Colette Sol USA into existence, as Kristen Seidle, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Colette Sol USA, explains:
Amanda Wengerd founded Colette Sol USA in 2014, after learning about the realities of modern day slavery during a trip to Bulgaria and Greece with her husband.  Compelled to help raise awareness, as well as funds, to fight human trafficking and improve the lives of women around the globe, Amanda realized that Colette Sol USA was the natural extension of an existing European Footwear brand also dedicated to helping women worldwide.  Colette Sol USA partners directly with organizations committed to fighting human trafficking, so that we can create the most amount of impact for those that we support through our donations.

Our hope is that each and every time you wear your CS USA shoes, conversations will be sparked and awareness will be raised about the issue of human trafficking.  You will definitely get attention in our shoes, and it’s our dream that each woman who wears them will become an ambassador and an advocate, not only for our brand, but also for other women worldwide, so that they too can feel beautiful, strong, glamorous, and free.

I joined Colette Sol USA in the Fall of 2014 to help launch the brand in the US market. After 15+ years in the fashion industry running wholesale businesses for brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, and Burberry, I wanted to contribute something greater to the world, while doing what I love. As an absolute shoe fanatic, personally, I love nothing more than beautifully made footwear and was immediately drawn to this brand.

The issue of human trafficking had been on my mind for some time, and as a woman who was raised to believe that we should all be free to pursue our passions, I just can’t accept that we still live in a world where others are not free to do the same. Critics of the fashion world like to say that women are enslaved by fashion, high heels, and making themselves beautiful for others, but I like setting that myth on it’s head by using it to literally do just the opposite.
ConsciousXColettePart2At Conscious, we know we are extremely lucky to be in a position to use fashion to share this message, but please know that our hearts are in the right place and that we know how real this issue is. Fashion itself does not fix the issue, but the sisters and brothers (supported by these types of fashion) are fighting firsthand against human trafficking, which does make a difference.

Colette Sol USA is dedicated to unique craftsmanship, style, and attention to detail with the hand-made shoes. They allocate 100% of the net proceeds from each sale directly to one or more of their anti-trafficking partners.

Colette Sol shoes are beautifully made using high-end leather and materials with surprising details and finishing touches. All of their shoes are hand-made by craftsmen working in their production facility in Turkey, and then shipped to customers around the globe. They take special care to ensure that all of their raw materials are sourced responsibly, and their employees operate in a safe and clean working environment. They do not use leather from endangered or rare animals. All of their leather is cow, but may be stamped or printed to give the appearance of other leather types.  Their shoes are made-to-order in small batches, and as a result, it may take more time than usual to get to customers!  While they understand you will want to get your new shoes on your feet as fast as possible, they appreciate your patience and will keep you up to date on delivery throughout the process.

Also, special thanks to Melanie Tir for modeling Colette Sol USA for this campaign. She was very excited for the opportunity to support this campaign.

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