Written By: Stephanie Barber, H&H Intern – August 3, 2016
When you walk through the handbag or jewelry section of your local department store, you will likely see some pretty cool and on-trend things, your eyes might even sparkle with excitement. But did you know that the apparel and accessories industry is one of the biggest culprits of unethical employment practices and pollution? And there is a way to buy beautiful accessories while helping to support women across the globe who are in need!
Learn more about why you should buy local in from our May 31 blog post.
OK, let me introduce you to five companies that help support, teach, love, and rehabilitate women who have fallen victim of one of the most heinous acts of slavery – human trafficking. These companies teach ladies how to be self-sufficient while making fine handcrafted clothes, jewelry, and accessories. These organizations have come to the rescue, paying competitive wages while teaching life skills for these women brave and independent again.
- Sudara – A clothing company that is based out of India. India is one of the highest estimated countries with human trafficking and Sudara is helping to put an end to that. This company makes a product called PUNJAMMIES®. PUNJAMMIES® are trendy lounge wear pants that can be worn every day in relaxed situations at home or with friends. It doesn’t stop there, Sudra also has a small inventory of other wearable items like shirts, robes, and shorts. They make products for men and kids too. A great way to get quality fun clothing while supporting women in a life changing way.
- Good Paper – A handmade card company. Is there is a special occasion in your future – birthday, new baby, graduation? Look at the amazing selection of hand curated, personally signed by its creator, cards to give just a little bit more meaning to the act of card giving. Good Paper helps women in the Philippines and Rwanda who have been rescued from the foul act of human trafficking and famine. Helping two people feel special with just one order!
- Prema Touch – An all-natural soap company that helps girls who are trafficked in India, often sold for less than $600 by husbands and families. Typically coming from Nepal, they have been rescued and taught new skills to better their lives by making all natural soaps. Many of these women cannot read or write and were trafficked at a young age and know nothing else. This site has a great list of stories about how they are fighting this awful injustice.
- Purpose Jewelry – An organization created by International Sanctuary with facilities in Orange County, California and Mumbai, India helping to rehabilitate girls and woman who were victims of sex trafficking. International Sanctuary creates safe environments where woman can live, learn and create a new beginning for themselves. Stories of women’s lives that they have changed can be found on their website.
- Starfish Project – A wonderful organization that takes girls away from sex trafficking and prostitution and brings them into a warm loving environment. Starfish is a jewelry company that is a fair-trade company, bringing young ladies into this new world of hope. Starfish teaches the women how to read and write, teaches them English, shows them skills for running a business, and sends them to vocational schools so they can pursue their dreams. Women here earn enough money to provide for their families and themselves while making them independent and confident in who they are.
These companies are to be commended, they are helping women and children become human again while handcrafting goods to earn a living. Every year 1.2 million children are trafficked, most times sent to other countries that are far from where they were purchased so they cannot run away. Human trafficking is the second largest illegal income in the world next to drug trafficking. There are men, women and children affected daily in countries across the world that need help and support from being a modern day slave. These companies we applaud for their efforts and support what they do to bring peace to the world. For more information on human trafficking and how you can help, visit StopTheTraffiking.org.
When looking for that next amazing leather wallet, birthday card, organic soap, travel accessory, or lounge wear check out one of these five companies to help support ethical and sustainable fashion and get a fantastic handmade product with an amazing story.