Posts in EDITORIAL
What if nobody asks me about my dress or tie?

So, you’re halfway through the month of December and you’re feeling a little bit discouraged because people aren’t noticing the fact that you’re wearing a dress or a tie. I’ve been there and I feel your pain, friend. Going into my fourth year of being a Dressember advocate, this is one of the biggest obstacles and insecurities to overcome. So, let’s chat about it!

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"A Responsibility To History:” Amanda's Why

I am an advocate because I grew up reading and learning about men and women who did not turn their backs when the world proved to be a dark place. They saw the barbarity and nefarious actions of their fellow countrymen and took a stand. Humble but steadfast, they fought for their ideals - knowing full well that they may never see them in their lifetime, but discerning that fighting for anything less would be to lose the battle from the beginning. To compromise even in the slightest when it came to the matter of human souls would be to concede the crusade altogether.

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“I will raise my voice:” Katherina’s why

I advocate because there are so many people who don’t realize that this injustice is happening right in their cities and neighbourhoods. I speak from personal experience, because for a long time I was completely unaware of human trafficking. And even once I had heard about it, I didn’t think too much about it because there was no way that it was happening in Calgary, my hometown. As I continued through school, my youth group went on several inner-city missions trips, and it was there that I came face-to-face with the stark reality that human trafficking and prostitution do, in fact, happen in my hometown.

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Passion Lilie: Fashion that Empowers

The sight of women working full-time hours, yet not earning a living wage was profoundly disturbing to Katie, who was realizing first-hand the benefits of a fair trade system. Troubled by this injustice and touched by her encounters with the artisans, Katie wanted to spring to action. When she asked the workshop owner if it would be appropriate to give an artisan money, he answered, “No, they don’t want charity. They want jobs.” These words ultimately inspired the beginning of Passion Lilie in January of 2013.

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Heather Leith: Advocating All Year Long

It was 2012 when Biola University junior, Heather Leith, decided to participate in Dressember for the first time. Because her sister, Shannon, is close friends with Dressember’s founder, Blythe Hill, she’s heard about it since the very beginning. As that year’s campaign came to an end, she found herself discouraged that she hadn’t met her goal. She questioned whether her meager amount would make any impact in the lives of trafficking victims.

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Dressember FAQ: DO I need to buy more dresses or ties to participate?

A question that gets asked a lot when Dressember rolls around is, “Do I have to go out and buy a whole bunch of dresses or ties?” It can be tempting to want to stock up on these pieces so that you never have to worry about having nothing to wear. But I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t let the thought of not having enough dresses or ties make you reach for your wallet or stop you from participating in Dressember, because what you already have in your closet is all you need!

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Jewelry with Impact: A Spotlight on Bird + Stone

Bird + Stone is committed to ethically made products that support organizations building a more equal world. They believe in creating a community of change-makers and leveraging their collective purchasing power to fight for equality for all. Besides admiring their beautiful products and their achievements, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and chat with Caitlin Kawaguchi, the Director of Marketing & Partnerships for Bird + Stone, and learn about all the amazing things they’ve done and continue to do to build a more equal world.

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Six Fair Trade Chocolate Alternatives

Every time I get groceries, I’m tempted to get a cheap chocolate bar at the checkout stand, AKA the guilt lane. Unfortunately, my personal health concerns aren't the only reason to feel guilty about buying chocolate. Around 2 million children in West Africa are forced into 80-hour work weeks with little pay—or no pay at all—to make most of these chocolate products. Earlier this year, Sarah Beech wrote an article for Dressember about the connection between slavery and chocolate.

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Trove: A Fashion Brand that Delights in Dignity

As a conscious consumer of Fair Trade goods, Jaclyn Dowdle, like many of us, found herself frustrated with how difficult it was to find clothing “that was responsibly made, affordable, and stylish”. She began longing for a way to help “consumers buy better and smarter”, and also provide fair employment for workers within the apparel industry. Out of this desire, Dowdle founded Trove, “a fashion brand that delights in dignity”, a brand designed “to clothe us in the dignity that we personally desired, but also to create dignity in an industry that is infamous for suppressing it”.

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Spotlight on Dressember Advocate: Hannah Britton

Hannah Britton was more than just the average college student during her time at Huntington University. Her passion for activism and steadfast resolve allowed her to spread a growing interest in fighting against human trafficking across the Indiana community. Becoming a Dressember advocate during her time at Huntington University provided her an outlet through which she could channel this passion and enlighten others about the plight of those still enslaved around the world. However, Hannah’s commitment to ending slavery involved more than just putting on a dress for the entire month of December. It involved fearless activism and striving towards unfathomable, remarkable goals.

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Introducing our 2018/2019 Grant Partner: olive crest

But the sad reality is that 60% of those children – 60,000 children – who were recovered in FBI raids can be traced back to foster care and group homes. They were the hurt, the lonely, and the seemingly forgotten children and youth of society. According to Olive Crest Executive Director, Jaime Zavala, “children and young adults who have been a part of the foster care system are some of the kids at greatest risk of being engaged in human trafficking.”

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Introducing our 2018/2019 Grant Partner: Love146

With offices in Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines, Love146 is working to end child trafficking and exploitation around the world. Their programs address the biological, psychological, social, financial, and spiritual impacts of victimization, and help youth develop strategies to stay safe. In the United States, Love146 also conducts one-time interventions called “Rapid Responses” that provide at-risk youth with information, safety planning, and referral services related to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The organization’s Prevention Education program is designed to reach children before traffickers do. Through its “Not a Number” curriculum and other tools, Love146 has impacted thousands of children in classroom and community settings, equipping them to recognize vulnerabilities and protect themselves and their peers from exploitation.

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