Fashion Friday: Ethical Accessories to Pair with your Dress

As I plan my outfits out for Dressember (it is never too early), I also think about the accessories I plan to wear and how they were made. If I am going to participate in a campaign that stands for the dignity of all people, it must be through more than just a dress. This all-encompassing mindset will help you and I engage in new and exciting ways because while not everyone will want to wear a dress, everyone can choose to buy products that are fair trade.

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Meet Maddie Hilgers

Maddie Hilgers is an Austin native studying Social Work at the University of Texas, and she, like many of her peers, splits her time among academics, extracurriculars, and volunteering. However, she is not your average college student. Recently, I enjoyed chatting with Maddie to learn how this 20-year-old gal with just 2 dresses was able to raise over $7,000.

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Slavery still exists in America

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men 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.”

The birthright of all Americans, as written into the founding documents of this country, is freedom. It is the solution that is found after adding up life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We were created to be a people who sought these things, taught them to our children, continuously passing them down.

But as these unalienable rights were being written, they were already being taken away. Slavery had already rooted itself in the foundations of this “so-called” free country. The reality of America did not coincide with the reality that was spoken of in the Declaration of Independence. Our birthright was taken from us before we could even take our first steps.

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Real men don't buy girls

"Real men don't buy girls." A Google search will yield this motto written on posters held by Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler and other celebrities. Some would argue that this is a dangerous slogan placing unfair pressure on men to conform to a single standard of manhood. However, the men who refuse to see the women and children in this world as goods to be bartered and sold have the potential to put an end to the existence of modern-day slavery.

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How to stay optimistic in a hurting world

We know that our goal--justice for all--is a tall order with no easy solution. It’s quite normal, in fact, to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all: the estimated tens of millions of people enslaved, the cross-continental trafficking, and the simple education many people lack.

To combat this, we need to stay optimistic through the hurting. Yes, we absolutely should grieve with and for those in hard situations, but here are a few encouragements we all need to be reminded of sometimes:

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Fashion Friday: Interview with Kestrel Jenkins of Conscious Chatter

Kestrel Jenkins, founder and host of the Conscious Chatter Podcast, is a firm believer that what we wear really matters. As a gifted storyteller, Kestrel uses her creativity and knowledge of the fashion industry to ignite meaningful conversations on sustainability and ethical fashion. The deep connection Kestrel makes between the clothing she owns and the stories she wants her style to convey are both inspiring and has the listener anticipating each episode. With her own style once compared to a Hybrid Ferrari, today’s conversation will leave you eager to visit your local consignment shop or peruse your grandmother’s vintage treasures. Here is our interview with style expert and creative soul, Kestrel Jenkins.

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Meet the Intern: Alissa Shepardson

Here at Dressember, we love to highlight our interns! Our intern network spans across the United States and their collaborative hard work behind the scenes makes the dream work. Today we're introducing Alissa Shepardson, one of our Community Engagement interns spreading the word in her local community about Dressember. 

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Meet Lisa Blackmore: An Advocate, Photographer, Mother & Foster Parent

When Lisa Blackmore, of the Pacific Northwest, first heard of human trafficking due to a documentary called “Honor Code,” her mindset changed entirely.

“It really impacted me and I took it personally,” Blackmore said. “I knew about it a little bit before, but it just really made me angry and I think that had to do with the fact that I have a daughter. I just thought if she were trafficked or oppressed, ‘Who would stand up for her?’”

After watching the documentary, Blackmore soon learned about Dressember. She advocated on her own for a year or two before starting a team with her best friend Jessica, called “Beauty and Dignity.”

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the generation that will end slavery

Twelve high school girls sat solemnly in a circle, fiddling with tiny green envelopes in their hands. They opened and closed the flap, reaching inside as if to sense what was written on the card without actually looking. All week at summer camp, they had been scarfing candy, singing loudly and laughing over inside jokes, leaving glitter hair spray in their wake as they ran from activity to activity. Now, on the last day, they stared at the ground and waited for my instructions, feeling the weight of responsibility settle on their sunburned shoulders.

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