We're heading to South Asia!

The Dressember team is off to South Asia! Why do we visit the field? We think it is important that you know that the grants you have created are making a real difference. We're observing, we're meeting, we're listening, and we're seeing. We aren't there to assert our influence or put in our two cents but to cheer on the people on the ground who work tirelessly to bring freedom. We're sharing YOUR stories with them & we're listening to the stories they're willing to share with us.

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The Tote Project: Hope You Can Hold

Handbags, clutches, satchels, oh my! As women, we carry our bags and purses with us everywhere we go, and consequently we carry a little bit of our lives with us everywhere as well. There are countless “what’s in your bag” features on the internet and social media today, and as a society, we appear to be obsessed with what our purse contents reveal about us. But what would happen if we cared just as much, if not more, about what the creation of our bags and purses said about us as we do their contents?


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Ten Years, 8000 miles and a Woman Who Does

This feature is the first of our "Women Who Do" Series. We are constantly seeking inspiration from the amazing women around us who are using their specific influence to break the mold, make a difference, or shake up their industries for the better. Over the next few months we will be sharing our interviews with a handful of amazing women. We hope that you will be as inspired by them as we are.

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A New Meaning To Independence Day

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” - United States Declaration of Independence

On this Independence Day, I’d like to take the time to reflect on the meaning of independence and why the fight for freedom didn’t quite stop in 1776.

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Let's Talk: Legislation

When we think about human trafficking, we often think about rescue aid and prosecution. The media emphasizes raising awareness, recognizing the indicators of trafficking, rescuing victims from slavery and ongoing violence, and locking up criminals. Though talking about legislation does not always seem very appealing, it is a crucial part of advocacy. The truth is, anti-trafficking legislation is a powerful channel for prevention and intervention. Local, national, and global legal instruments are used to address and ultimately combat human trafficking. If effective legislation pertaining to human trafficking is not put in place, public prosecutors have no basis to ensure that local police restrain trafficking criminals or that survivors are represented in court. Today we will be delving into legislation concerning human trafficking that is most pressing today.


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A Fight For Everyone

The right to human dignity is craved by every human being. It is a right, however, that is often mistakenly believed to be fought for by specific communities. Taking a quick look at some of the world’s leading anti-trafficking organizations, it can appear that the people on the front lines of fighting modern slavery are religious. In fact, a principal driver behind the civil rights movement in the U.S. has been deeply rooted in and supported by religious fervor, which champions the idea that we are all free and equal in God’s eye. The recognition of the church’s role in such movements can be daunting for someone who is not religious. In spite of this, it is important for us to recognize that the fight to end modern day slavery is a universal human issue; the fight for human rights is a matter that implicates everyone, not just those belonging to a particular demographic.


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Target's Mission Towards Responsible Sourcing & Supply Chain Sustainability

We’ve all seen those relatable memes on social media feeds that say things such as: “Target shopping mission: buy shampoo. Two hours later, spent $300.” As a Target consumer myself, who has been guilty of the above unintentional shopping spree too many times to count, I’m taking the challenge to learn more about ethical shopping and be more aware of ethical sourcing. As one of the largest retailers in the nation with 1,800 locations and 85% of Americans shopping at their stores, it has a large impact and influence on how products are sourced and how consumers shop.


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Meet Lauren!

If you combine a love for writing, Lord of the Rings, and adventure you get our Dressember intern Lauren Farris. Lauren grew up north of Seattle, Washington and has resided in the surrounding area her entire life. She attributes her love for the arts, social justice, and nature to her hometown and is deeply grateful for parents who have encouraged her to pursue, explore, and take risks.



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The End Modern Slavery Initiative act: A Global Fight to End Slavery

Over the past couple of years, numerous studies have forced us to recognize that the deplorable presence of modern day slavery is a gross reality for the world. Current estimates conclude that there are nearly 40 million people trapped in this horrible industry, which include those who are inflicted by either sex or labor trafficking. As we are confronted with such statistics, it is becoming harder for us to ignore a problem that is only exacerbated by apathy and indifference.


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Atlanta Redemption Ink: The Art of Removal & Restoration

What if the worst moments of your life were depicted in a single mark on your body, forever etched onto your skin? Perhaps you were able to escape the abuse you endured physically, however, the physical manifestation of it on your body prevents you from escaping its wrath psychologically. This predicament haunts those who have endured the branding and scarring that accompanies physical and sexual abuse, and more specifically, those who have endured sex trafficking. Traffickers and abusers often mark their victims with barcodes, initials, and other personalized forms of imagery that symbolize trafficker possession and ownership of their victims.


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An Honest Review of ThredUp

A great alternative to purchasing from stores that may be engaging in forced labor is to shop secondhand. With more aspects of our lives undergoing the shift from physical to virtual, locating worthwhile thrift stores - and finding the time to visit them - is becoming increasingly challenging, not to mention the process of digging through unorganized racks of clothing in search of your size can be a frustrating and ultimately fruitless endeavor. This is where web-based secondhand clothing stores have begun to gain their relevance and popularity. One of such stores is thredUP, an extensive virtual marketplace that has been providing shoppers with easy access to women’s and children’s clothing and accessories since 2009, subsequently earning the title of the world’s largest online thrift and consignment store.


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Meet Holly!

What happens when you combine wanderlust, a love of Mexican food, and creative talent all in one person? You get Holly Dunn of course. She’s a post-production specialist by day, and Dressember editorial intern by night. When she’s not hiking the local Santa Monica trails or painting with watercolours, she’s using her stellar writing skills to share stories and raise awareness about the weighty subject of human trafficking. After seeing her friend participate in a Dressember campaign two years ago, she looked into what Dressember stood for and quickly knew that she had to become a part of this amazing movement and organization.


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A Broken Immigration System: The Story of 1500 Lost Children

Thousands of undocumented children venture across the American border each year, seeking to escape the cartel violence, poverty, and political strife that plague their home countries. Arriving primarily from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, these children leave their parents and friends behind so they can taste the sweet joys of American freedom. These unaccompanied minors, however, are often deprived of the freedom they desire to find once they arrive in America. Upon arrival, these children are often cast aside by border patrol agents and handed over to sponsors who may be human traffickers.  


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A Canadian's Guide to Advocacy

I’m a proud Canadian. I know my country is not perfect, but I truly am thankful for this place I call home. I love Canada’s mountains, prairies, and beaches. I love that many Canadians speak English and French. I love how multicultural Canada is. I love how beautifully Canada wears all four seasons (okay, I’m not that big of a fan of the winter part). I love that we are known to be polite and welcoming people. I love our access to healthcare and education. I love our diversity, and the fact that most of our grandparents are from elsewhere- Canadians by choice. I love our music, festivals, maple syrup. I love that Canadians are free to express their political and social concerns without fear of reprisal.


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Join the Dres"summer" Book Club!

I’m RuthAnn, Dressember advocate since 2014 and enthusiastic bookworm! This summer, I’m excited to invite you to join me in reading about human trafficking and discussing together. Over the next couple of months, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss over social media and chat about the book in real time with Dressember founder, Blythe Hill and me!


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Branded Collective: Wear a Number to Restore a Name

The first thing I noticed about my email interaction with Lauren Carpenter of Branded Collective was that it was signed “Lauren Carpenter (#0100)”. Lauren, along with Emily Landham, co-founded one of Dressember’s newest brand partners, BRANDED Collective, an extraordinary company working to empower human trafficking survivors. After having the opportunity to chat with Lauren, her unusual email signature - and the weighty meaning of that number - not only became clear but profoundly inspiring as well.


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Meet Sarah!

Sarah Beech is a born and raised Texan. She loves to be outdoors and discover new places around her. Over a typical week you might see Sarah going on hike, listening to Austin Stone, or trying a new coffee shop. Sarah currently attends The University of Texas and is majoring in government and psychology. All of these things above make up a part of Sarah, but perhaps it could be argued that two of her biggest and most unique passions are her love for researching and teaching.


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Fight the New Drug

Alright fellow advocates, today we are pushing past social norms and speaking about the unspeakable: pornography. What you believed should never be talked about in polite conversation is about to become the main point of this post. Today we are highlighting Fight the New Drug (FTND), an organization that uses science, facts, and personal accounts to fully inform people about the effects of pornography. It then provides great resources to anybody who decides they would like help, or would like to help, with the fight against porn.


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How You Can Support Our Cause

#Itsbiggerthanadress and so too can your impact be. When you make the decision to support the Dressember Foundation, you are not only aiding the efforts of a steadfast community of advocates but making the decision to personally take action against the commercial sex trade and other forms of modern slavery. Each of our partners are committed to making a lasting difference and have made major efforts to help rescue, protect, and restore the lives of trafficking survivors around the globe. Funding for the Dressember Foundation supports the cultivation of survivor relief programs, whereby our partners can coordinate investigation and rescue initiatives with local law enforcement, work with legal authorities to incriminate sex traffickers, and provide individualized treatment (such as housing, counseling, and medical assistance) for victims.


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