Shannon Keith, January, 20, 2015
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Sex-trafficking. It’s a word that has come into the forefront of the news, part of the push for social justice in recent years. It is a scary, dark word, representing the horror of human beings treated as objects for sale. When confronted with this word it is easy to fall into helplessness or despair and one tends to ask, “The problem is so big, how can one person make a difference?”
The problem is indeed big. But, there is no need to despair, and there is actually a simple, easy way to help. And you can even start today, from the safety and comfort of your own home!
Social businesses and non-profits are stepping up all over the world, providing education, training and income for survivors of human trafficking, and for young women who are at high-risk for trafficking, stopping the cycle before it begins. Many of these organizations have high quality, stylish merchandise to sell.
So, making a difference can begin with simply choosing to shop differently. Need pajamas, a wallet, jewelry, maybe a gift or two? Don’t go to your big-box discount store or retailer known for throw-away fashion (We all know who I’m talking about here). Instead, stay home, grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine, go online and shop away! Buy them instead from one of the countless organizations offering all of the same things, but made by women learning to support themselves with dignity in India, Southeast Asia, or even right here in America.
Buying from these organizations means there are young ladies around the world who will go to bed safely tonight and wake in order to go and earn a living for themselves. These women who can now support themselves with a trade are less likely to become victims of trafficking. And survivors of human-trafficking now will be able to support themselves (and often, their children) with dignity.
So to get you started, here is a list of some of our favorite organizations who create and/or sell items made by girls who have either been rescued from prostitution or are at high risk of being brought into it if they aren’t given other options:
01 | PUNJAMMIES™: Cutest pajamas and loungewear ever, made by women in India who have been rescued from forced prostitution. Current, bright fabrics in a variety of styles!
02 | MULXIPLY: Modern and stylish bags and wallets made by at-risk women in Nepal. Fair Trade, eco-friendly and sourced with fabrics from the area in which they are made; what’s not to love!
03 | GOOD PAPER: - A fantastic fun and quippy card company who’s card makers are women who have escaped Sex trafficking in the Philippines.
04 | KWAGALA PROJECT: Colorful beaded jewelry created by women learning a trade in Uganda.
05 | SARI BARI: Beautiful blankets, bedding and throws sewn out of vintage sari material. Made by women either vulnerable to trafficking or rescued from it. Each item bears the name of the women who made it. Great for gifts or the quick bedroom update!
06 | MALIA DESIGNS: Fair-trade bags, wallets and purses made by disadvantaged people in Cambodia. Many are made out of repurposed cement bags. In addition, Malia donates to anti-human trafficking organizations in Southeast Asia.
07 | FREESET: Fair-trade, eco-friendly jute bags and organic t-shirts made by survivors in Kolkata, India.
08 | isanctuary: Hip, current jewelry made by trafficking survivors in Mumbai, India and processed and shipped by survivors in Orange County, California. We love that iSanctuary is working both locally and globally to provide income and dignity to survivors.