The month of January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Per Polaris, a global leader in the fight to end modern-day slavery, human trafficking is “the business of stealing freedom for profit. In some cases, traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In others, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world”.
As non-profit organizations, governments and business around the world work to spread awareness and fight this hidden epidemic, we as consumers can use our purchasing power to make a difference and change lives. Per Jane Mosbacher Morris (Founder and CEO of To the Market, a social enterprise that connects business and consumers to ethically made products around the world), the retail market is a massive force in the U.S. economy – a $2.6 trillion industry – meaning retail purchases can be powerful tools for social change. Consumers now have the power to make a huge difference on such social issues as fighting poverty, climate change, human trafficking, and sending girls around the world to school. This was the inspiration behind Jane founding To The Market: To economically empower vulnerable communities around the world by hiring them to make the kinds of products people buy every day, harnessing the purchasing power of people and businesses to address social issues. (1)
In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness month, I have compiled a list of my favorite for-profit and non-profit companies working hard to fight human trafficking. A purchase from any of these organizations goes to help victims of human trafficking to not only find an escape but find a future.
To The Market
TO THE MARKET | Survivor-made Goods (TTM) combines the powers of commerce and storytelling to empower the world’s most courageous survivor populations, in the belief that resilience is more powerful than suffering. TTM showcases handmade goods made exclusively by proud and passionate artisans who have overcome the perils of abuse, conflict, and disease. By assisting local partners around the world in bringing these goods “to the market,” we take an active role in equipping the survivor’s they employ with economic independence, while raising awareness of the challenges that they face. www.tothemarket.com
Purpose is the brand under International Sanctuary, which is a nonprofit whose mission is to empower people escaping trafficking to embrace their true identity and worth. Purpose Jewelry provides freedom from slavery for young women around the world. Each piece of jewelry is beautifully crafted by young women rescued from human trafficking and by purchasing with Purpose, you are providing freedom, dignity and hope for these amazing artisans.
To raise awareness and combat human trafficking, Purpose Jewelry is offering two limited-edition Human Trafficking Awareness Month bracelets. 100% of the proceeds go to support survivors their artisans at International Sanctuary.
The Strength Bracelet
The exclusive Strength bracelet was created to commemorate Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January. This bracelet is made of lovely shades of marbled blue and faceted gold-tone beads finished with the PURPOSE logo. Layer with other PURPOSE pieces for a an upscale personalized style that tells every that you stand for freedom. Price $25.
When you purchase with PURPOSE, you buy a bit of hope. To purchase click here.
The Justice Bracelet
The exclusive Justice bracelet was created to commemorate Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January. This friendship bracelet is adjustable and features a blue string and a simple brass oval charm. Buy one for yourself or a few to share with friends so you can all spread awareness of this hidden epidemic. This item is part of the “Hope Line” which consists of introductory pieces made by our new artisan, and it tells a powerful story of fresh beginning. Price $15. To purchase click here.
Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of women survivors of prostitution and drug addiction that would provide an opportunity for a sustainable income and life for the women. Based in Tennessee, Thistle Farms houses a natural bath and body care company, Thistle Stop Café, a paper and seeing studio and a global marketplace called Shared Trade. Today, Thistle Farms employees more than 50 survivors and benefits over 700 women a year. Proceeds support Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene. The community provides housing, food, healthcare, therapy and education for two years, without charging residents or receiving taxpayer money. www.thistlefarms.org
Global Wonders is a part of SA Foundation (SAF) Canada, whose goal is to stop the sexual exploitation and trafficking of young women through implementing their unique recovery model. All Global Wonders Products are handmade in Nepal by women who’ve been rescued from Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. Each purchase helps to support another woman’s journey to freedom from a life of slavery. 100% of your Global Wonders purchase is re-invested back into supporting the recovery and training programs of the SA Foundation. Your purchase is rewriting her story from a life of slavery from one of freedom and purchase. www.beaglobalwonder.com.
Check out the latest collection of Global Wonders Products of Hope. Each piece was designed in Vancouver by women in our Skills Development program, volunteers who designed at our GW Design Night last year, and our in-house designers; and then carefully handcrafted just for you by women in our Nepal Skills Development Program.
SutiSana is a social enterprise that provides dignified employment and opportunities for abundant life for women leaving prostitution and trafficking in El Alto, Bolivia. In Aymara, Suti means name. In Spanish, Sana means healthy or healed. As women leave prostitution, they often leave behind a name they used there and find a new identity – a Healed Name. When a woman joins SutiSana, she receives all benefits, including health insurance. She and her children are supported through community, and she is given opportunities to continually grow – learning to design bags, work with new materials, and even coach other women as they leave prostitution. www.sutisana.com
Her Future Coalition
Her Future Coalition (formerly MadeBySurvivors) is an international nonprofit organization which employs and educates survivors of slavery and other human rights abuses, including many women and children living in extreme poverty. Products include jewelry, bags, gifts and cards and prices range. 100% of profits go back to the survivors who made them. www.herfuturecoalition.org
Just think the world of difference our purchases can make around the world!
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- Polaris Project
- “Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place”. Jane Mosbacher Morris. (Penguin Random House/ TarcherParigee January 2019).