“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” –Anna Lappe
The human heart is created with the desire to be loved and to love others. The lack of connection between the desire to make a difference and actually doing something is often difficult to overcome in our modern world with its competing voices, packed schedules and a general feeling of overwhelm. How do we make it easy to fight trafficking for the average person who isn’t able to spend her day campaigning for change or traveling to difficult places to minister to women?
As a busy mom, I have often felt that it’s difficult to get involved in the fight against trafficking — caught up in life’s commitments, taking care of my children, working and grocery shopping. It took me a long time to realize that there is so much we can do to be a part of the movement, even from home, and that it begins with our purchases.
There is a rise in sustainable, organic and ethical products for sale, but even beyond this, there is a growth in social enterprises today. This type of business has as one of its primary goals to help alleviate a social ill. What does this mean for us? We can make the purchase of something lovely, like a handcrafted handbag, and in addition to receiving something for ourselves, it makes a difference in the life of the woman who made the bag. She can receive dignified employment, holistic care, and a fair wage for her work.
In 2013 I founded an ethical boutique based on this very premise. Women are going to buy fashionable accessories and home decor anyway, so why not have every purchase support an amazing cause at the same time? So Redemption Market was born. In our growth as a curated shop, we’ve been able to form partnerships with amazing brands who have freedom as the very heart behind what they do.
Check out these brands committed to setting the captives free:
Restore hope to exploited women through the purchase of jewelry made by women in their rehabilitation program.
2. Sak Saum
Unique purses, wallets, and accessories made in Cambodia by men and women rescued from modern-day slavery.
Spread the message of hope and freedom through tote bags and pouches that benefit women in India, as well as at-risk girls in the U.S.
“Carry the Cause” with purses and wallets that fund anti-trafficking efforts and offer jobs to those who need them most.
There are also a number of organizations that address the root causes of trafficking. These groups deal with poverty, lack of healthcare and education, and the inability to find dignified work in rural areas. By offering jobs that pay fair wages and provide holistic care, young men and women can be kept off the road that leads to trafficking. Here are two of our favorite brands doing just that:
5. JOYN India
Incredible hand-woven block printed handbags and wallets, made in a holistic program offering education and healthcare to some of the most marginalized citizens.
6. Pebble Toys
Adorable organic cotton baby rattles, blankets, and stuffed animals made in Bangladesh, allowing women in rural areas to stay home with their families rather than move to the city in search of employment.
How can you get involved? Support these organizations through your purchases, and share them with friends. Start your own little shop, or host a home trunk show. Follow ethical bloggers online to hear about the latest companies and products.
Every small change helps, and every purchase is a vote for the world we want, where everyone enjoys freedom!
Click here for an ethical shopping guide!