I challenge you to be more cautious of where you're spending your money this holiday season. As the season of giving, I pray that you keep the hands of those creating your gifts in mind.
International Labour Organization says that "almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour - 11.4 million woman and girls and 9.5 million men and boys. Forced labour in the private economy generates US $150 billion in illegal profits per year."1
The biggest problems are the fast fashion products cheaply made. Be aware of these companies and brands: H&M, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Nike, the Limited Brand (Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, The Limited, Express).2
Rather than making purchases which support companies that have been in yours and your families closets for years, why not try a few new brands?
- Tecovas boots - These are the most comfortable cowboy boots I have ever owned, and they're both affordable and slave free. -- https://www.tecovasboots.com
- Slumlove Sweater Company - an Austin local business woman is working with woman in Haiti creating beautiful sweaters fair trade and trafficking free. -- http://www.slumlove.com
- Purses and clutch - Another Austin local brand making purses and clutches -- https://www.purseandclutch.com
- Agathos leisure - Ethical, fair-trade AND organic athletic gear. -- https://agathosathleisure.com
- NAJA - An undie company turning women from Columbia into micro-entrepreneurs. -- http://www.naja.co
- Teysha- Austin boot company that makes custom boots. They focus on quality over quantity, and social justice. -- http://www.teysha.is
- Toms shoes - Tom's Shoe's started the buy one, give one initiative. For ever item they sell, one is given to someone in need. -- http://www.toms.com
- Krochet kids - They empower women to rise above poverty and transform their lives for both themselves and their families. -- https://www.krochetkids.org
- Fossil - A beautiful watch company that strives to empower people and create community. -- https://www.fossil.com
- PACT - Extra soft, organic basics for the whole family. -- https://wearpact.com
- Everlane - Their goal is transparency and integrity with their brand and their factories. -- https://www.everlane.com
- Girlfriend collective - These leggings are trafficking free AND good for the environment. They are fair trade, ecofriendly and each pair is made out of 25 recycled water bottles. -- https://girlfriend.com
- Sseko designs - Bags, shoes and accessories made in east Africa. -- https://ssekodesigns.com
- Being apparel - ethically sourced and created athletic gear. -- https://www.beingapparel.com
- Frankie Jean - They have a beautiful collection of the best designers and creatives that are in Austin. They support local artists and sell everything from clothing to home goods and stationary. -- https://www.frankiejean.com
These are all brands with incredible products and amazing quality goods for yourself and your loved ones. I've had the honor and privilege of speaking with and working with some of these companies one on one, and I'm amazed by their hard work and determination to change the world. Your purchase will help them continue along in their mission to promote change and raise the standards for those in manufacturing and the facilities where they are working.
Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Slavery. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm
(Jan 1, 2014) 10 Companies That Use Slave Labor. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/cat1613/slavery-never-ended-it-grew-and-got-ignored-db1p
Published by Kristi Mann