*Updated January 2019 to add more amazing brands*
This is the part of the Dressember campaign that usually drags. For me anyway, I find the beginning of the month to be packed with expectation and excitement. The end of the month is always a rush as the majority of the donations pour in and participants begin to see the true effect of their efforts. But the middle of the month? It's usually when I'm the most tempted to put on pants (I haven't, for the record), and Dressember's goal to end human trafficking somehow gets dumbed down by the drone of everyday life.
As silly as it is, I usually find myself needing an extra boost of motivation around this time. Something to tell me that our advocacy matters and that, in the face of tremendous injustice, my small voice really can make an impact.
So for today, I thought I'd introduce brands that are making the change that we're advocating for. These brands all have one goal: to fight human trafficking and help the victims reintegrate into society. I've had the chance of working with and getting to know a few of the owners behind the brands, and I can say with absolute certainty that the people behind these inspiring brands are committed to making real change. Some of them work directly with the victims they've helped to rescue, while others partner with established organizations that mentor women who have been rescued. Either way, supporting these brands means supporting their goal and making a real difference in a real life.
Sela Designs creates stunning jewelry handmade by a mom of 4 with a passion to use her talents to combat injustice. 100% of her proceeds are donated to fund organizations like IJM.
Sudara is an ethical and fair-trade apparel line whose products are all made by at-risk or rescued women in India. Read my interview with them for more.
Modern and gorgeous handmade jewelry restoring hope to women and men in Nepal.
Each of Elegantee's beautiful pieces of clothing are handmade by a survivor of human trafficking in Nepal.
Uncvrd donates 40% of their funds to their partner non-profit that helps "break the mental and emotional ties the women have to their pimps, giving them a greater chance of success as they work to begin a new chapter".
A simple and beautiful clothing line based in LA that donates a portion of their proceeds to organizations rescuing victims of trafficking.
Gorgeous leather bags on a mission to aid trafficking victims in LA, Findlay donates 10% of all of their proceeds to local organizations fighting trafficking in SoCal.
A MN based company that works to prevent the spread of human trafficking, raise awareness in their community, and fund organizations that provide aftercare to victims. Their bold and empowering statement tees are some of my favorites!
A women's clothing line that advocates and supports the freedom of women locally and globally.
A clothing and accessory brand providing a second chance for survivors of human trafficking in Jacksonville, Florida.
This brand creates unique accessories from upcycled kites, sails, and wetsuits, and employs victims of trafficking. Creative AND empowering!
The Tote Project sells beautifully designed totes and pouches, benefiting their partner, Two Wings — an organization that provides wholistic care and mentorship to victims of trafficking in the US.
Malia Designs works in Cambodia, employing at-risk women and allowing them to provide a dignified income to their families. Their products are made with materials that give-back to the community- like recycled cement bags and feed bags that would otherwise not be recycled. Read my interview with Malia Designs for more.
Beautiful jewelry and home goods made by women survivors of sex trafficking in China.
Natural skincare products donating 10% to human trafficking shelters in the US.
Freeset offers employment to women in Kolkata, making fair trade tees and handbags.
ADORABLY designed hand-made greeting cards made by women who have escaped trafficking in the Philippines and young adults orphaned in Rwanda.
Through their jewelry line, Purpose, iSanctuary employs and provides aftercare for survivors in California and Mumbai, India. Read my feature on Purpose for more.
Sari Bari makes handbags and home decor from secondhand saris. They provide employment for women who worked in the red light district in Kolkata.
A jewelry brand that does much more than design jewelry, The Starfish Project supports victims of exploitation in Asia with their holistic care programs designed to shelter, counsel, and educate the women they rescue.
The Brave Collection's jewelry is handmade by artisans in Cambodia — women who otherwise wouldn't have a fair wage, dignified job opportunity. In addition to providing job opportunities, The Brave Collection donates 10% of their funds to fight human trafficking in Cambodia.
This Nashville based community is dedicated to being a "sanctuary for healing for women survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking, and prostitution". They employ graduates of their program, creating job opportunities and ethically made products like bath and body supplies, accessories, children's goods, and running the Thistle Stop Cafe in Nashville.
Trades of Hope exists to give women the opportunity for a fair wage job in communities where there likely wouldn't have been other choices. They create jewelry made by artisans all over the world.