In the fashion industry, one of the most significant things you can do is make someone feel seen. Fashion gives everyone the opportunity to represent themselves while looking their absolute best. There’s great power in representation, it makes you feel free to be your true self. While we enjoy the luxuries of freedom many brands have decided to give back to those in bondage. The fashion community has always been a catalyst for the change we’d like to see in the world.
Sadly, there’s still a fight for basic human rights that is, unfortunately, a struggle for millions of people. Every year there is an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are sold into sex trafficking. There are non-government and international institutions with numbers that are much higher according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Now the question we all must ask ourselves is what can we do to help? Most people who truly understand the impact of fashion will tell you that it saves lives. No words have ever been truer than they are in today's social climate.
Organizations such as Seladesigns, Tradesofhope, Rethreaded, Girlsetfree are all dedicated to the destruction of the sex trafficking trade. Findlay Co. made its name by ethically creating leather goods in Los Angeles, California. Their materials are not only responsibly sourced, but sustainable, and 100 percent biodegradable as well. A percentage of their sales are donated to serving victims of human trafficking and raising awareness on behalf of victims and survivors. MULXIPLY keeps heritage handicrafts alive by providing dignified jobs for those with little or no education who are at risk of being trafficked to other countries or enslaved in migrant worker schemes abroad. FREELEAF provides employment and holistic care to at-risk, exploited, and abused women in Asia. SutiSana offers dignified employment to women who are leaving prostitution and trafficking, including health insurance and a retirement plan.
KitePride makes ethical shopping easy. Every bag is created from up-cycled, one-of-a-kind materials. Kitesurfing kites, wetsuits, sails, and parachute materials that were saved from becoming waste are reused for each collection. KitePride is known for its durable wallet, laptop sleeves, and shopping bags. The proceeds from each purchase go to a program that provides safe rehabilitation employment for survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking.
Dressember is one of if not the biggest organizations known to the fashion industry that fights back against human trafficking. Every year in the month of December the creators and supporters of Dressember wear a dress or tie every day to show their solidarity to end sex trafficking. Designers get involved seasonally to create a collection in which the proceeds are donated to the cause. This year, incomparable designers Wayman & Micah, Rebecca Minkoff, and Jennifer Morrison teamed up with Dressember to make a difference. Shopping their collection is quite easy you can visit Dressember’s website to access each designer's line of clothing and accessories, come this December.
If you want to act now there are also other ways to get involved and show your support. You can donate to help pay for the survivor's trauma therapy, trial fees, and awareness training. There’s even an opportunity to help pay for aftercare and rescue operations. Every action is a powerful step forward to ending the sex trafficking trade and saving the lives of the many men, women, and children that were captured. Everyone deserves freedom and the opportunity to live a happy and safe life.