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?
This is where The Tote Project enters into the picture and the fashion world. Founded by best friends and modern abolitionists Fay Grant and Michelle Chavez, The Tote Project was created to provide hope and a future to those escaping the sex trade. Grant and Chavez have a shared passion for the empowerment, restoration, and freedom of those trapped in sexual slavery. They have committed to providing these women with not only a way of rebuilding their lives, but they also support them in the pursuit of their dreams.
Founded by best friends and modern abolitionists Fay Grant and Michelle Chavez, The Tote Project was created to provide hope and a future to those escaping the sex trade.
For Grant, the choice to become an abolitionist was fuelled by her own personal experiences of trauma. She said that despite the pain that she felt in those trials, she knew that there was a purpose for it all and that it was that hope of redeemed purposes that gave her the strength to bring light into the world. The Tote Project is not just a way to spread hope, but it is also a way to intimately connect with people who are hurting and to show them that they don’t have to be consumed by fear and shame. Instead, they can turn that pain into compassion and love for others.
Before Chavez joined forces with Grant to co-found The Tote Project, she was convicted and moved to join the abolitionist movement by a screening of a documentary about child brothels. Realising that she could make a difference in the fight to end modern-day slavery, Chavez was spurred to not only take action but to create a community that actively cares for and partners with women in existing sex trafficking. She views the inception of The Tote Project as a way for her and her best friends to pool their resources, talents, and mutual passions to imbue others with the same. She believes that by investing in the lives, futures, and dreams of survivors, you are investing in the strengthening and beautifying of humanity.
When you buy a tote bag or pouch from The Tote Project, you are purchasing something that is handcrafted from start to finish in India by women who have made the choice to journey out of the sex trade and into freedom. Not only are you investing in the lives of the artisans and survivors that are sewing the bags, but The Tote Project also donates 10% of their profits to Two Wings which helps survivors of trafficking in the United States learn life skills and work towards achieving their dreams, through mentorship and classes. Creating a life for themselves is no longer a distant dream for these survivors, but now they are actively pursuing and achieving it with every tote bag and pouch that they create.
When you buy a tote bag or pouch from The Tote Project, you are purchasing something that is handcrafted from start to finish in India by women who have made the choice to journey out of the sex trade and into freedom.
However, the empowerment of the survivors crafting the bags is not the only objective of The Tote Project. They also seek to educate the consumer about modern slavery and to inspire them to step out and make a difference in their communities. That is why included in every tote bag or pouch that you purchase is a card that teaches you not only how to identify victims of human trafficking but also what to do when you have suspicions of trafficking.
Through The Tote Project, Grant and Chavez have assembled an avenue for women to escape the cages that have held them for so long and have created a way to breathe hope back into their hearts. They challenge you and other consumers to consider how something as ordinary as your purse can have an extraordinary impact on the lives of survivors of human trafficking. At The Tote Project, they believe that we are not just here to live in comfort but that we are here for a purpose and finding out what that purpose is starts right now. Don’t let another moment pass you by when you could be breathing vitality and hope back into someone’s broken world, by doing something as simple as purchasing a tote bag.
Follow the logo below to shop The Tote Project's selection of totes and pouches!
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About the Author
Katherina Toews sees the world mostly from between the ears of a horse, and wouldn’t want it any other way. She believes that there is nothing that can’t be fixed by sharing tea, chocolate chip cookies, and a good black and white movie with friends. Katherina is currently working outdoors helping people realize their full potential with the assistance of horses.