Freeset USA: Creating Freedom Fashion
Here at Dressember, we believe in the power of collaboration. Today we are highlighting one of our amazing brand partners: Freeset USA! Freeset USA is a fair trade clothing company in West Bengal, India, working hard to offer an empowering alternative to generational trafficking, breaking harmful cycles and bringing the light of freedom to survivors of trafficking.
Freeset USA is committed to employing women who have been trapped in slavery in West Bengal. In India, there are around 1,000,000 children in prostitution, with the median age of entry being 11 years old. Among these, around 90% of India’s sex workers’ daughters will fall into prostitution as well. This cycle is brought on by many factors, such as poverty, lack of access to education and few sustainable jobs that allow women to take care of their families. By offering jobs and a way out of prostitution, Freeset USA helps women make the free choice to support themselves and their families financially, doing work that speaks to the inherent value of all people. Currently, over 200 women have chosen the path of freedom!
Freeset USA doesn’t just stop at freedom, though that might be noble enough. They strive to offer a well-rounded answer to a complicated problem, fighting generational trafficking from all perspectives. They offer services to teach their employed women to read and write; provide counseling, child care, health care; and help with a retirement fund - on top of a sustainable income! Their profits are funding a better and fuller life for so many people. Breaking bondages of trafficking, as well as those of poverty, medical need, illiteracy, and family needs, helps women find their footing and move up in society, making decisions and creating more ripples of change.
The lies woven into this particular society teaches young girls that they have no agency or choice and aren’t able to earn a living any way other than selling their bodies. Many young women are taught this by the generational trafficking that victimizes mothers, their children, and so on. The bigger needs stemming from poverty allow girls to be sold or forced into trafficking out of a need to support their family. By not only providing a path to freedom but addressing the other specific problems that keep women in this vicious cycle, Freeset USA is quite literally changing the world--and the lives of over 200 women.
One woman, named Priyasha, tells the story of how her life changed once word of mouth brought her to Freeset USA. Her father died when she was 17, leaving her to provide for her mother and three siblings. When a trusted milkman in their town came to her with a job opportunity, she was excited to be able to work and send money to her family. He sold her into slavery for 5,000 rupees (around $1,000) where she continued to stay for many years afterward. It was only when she heard about Freeset USA and decided to quit the line that she started gaining important life skills, a sense of empowerment, and feel pride in being respected in her community. As she puts it, “Before Freeset, I was not confident to leave my house. Now I feel very independent.” Many women just like Priyasha are being ushered into a new life, thanks in part to customers filling their wardrobes with ethical pieces.
“Before Freeset, I was not confident to leave my house. Now I feel very independent.”
As important as the freedom, empowerment and sustenance of Bengali women are, Freeset USA continues to go above and beyond by incorporating care for the environment into their work. By using eco-friendly inks and 100% certified organic cotton in their products, they are battling degradation on all fronts. Their fair trade certified products hold a story from beginning to end and combine fashion, freedom and sustainability all into one.
By buying Freeset USA’s products, you are contributing to the liberation and empowerment of women in West Bengal. And you’re doing it while looking dang good! Their wide variety of clothes, accessories and bags are sure to bring a stylish pop to anyone’s wardrobe, all while being ethically responsible. Their products carry a theme of simple yet carefree, making the freedom lifestyle accessible, trendy and authentic. Our choices carry consequences, whether positive or negative. Whenever we shop, we contribute to one side of the spectrum, and brands like Freeset USA are so important to help provide options that not only stray away from harmful fast fashion trends but do good for their workers and communities.
Freeset USA is our go-to when it comes to creating custom products. Catch Freeset USA at our upcoming 5k in LA, and check out their line of custom and curated products below.
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About the Author
Mallory Mishler is a Michigander, studying Women’s and Gender Studies and Peace and Justice. She is passionate about using her voice to advocate for the freedom of all people, especially through creative mediums. When not writing, she can be found climbing mountains, caring for her plants, or painting on things that shouldn’t be painted.