Looking for ethically-sourced clothing to wear for the LBD.Project? There are certainly plenty of choices out there, but here are a few organizations who we're lucky enough to partner with this year. (New clothes not in the budget? We're also big fans of shopping second-hand, or holding local clothing-swaps with friends and churches.)
Elegantees started as a New York fashion brand with intent to give profits to fight human trafficking. We weren't planning to work in Nepal until we met a freedom-fighter with a vision to eliminate trafficking in Nepal through tackling poverty. Opening a sewing center is a way to give rescued women meaningful work with a fair wage. It was the missing piece to our brand - the restoration! We leaped into it with faith, overcame challenges working in an undeveloped nation, and today we have 17 women (and counting) sewing full time. Each time we hire another, an entire family is significantly more protected from the risk of being trafficked.
Are our sewers paid fairly? We wouldn't be doing this unless they were. Each sewer earns between 2-3x minimum wage in Nepal. This is a livable wage in Nepal. They work 6 days per week (this is normal in Nepal), and they each get paid time off.
ASH & ROSE
Ash & Rose is a boutique on a mission to make the world a little more beautiful, every day.It's a shop for women who love all things romantic, whimsical, pretty and practical - and care about the planet and the people who inhabit it.
1. SUSTAINABILITY. Every item in our collection is made with the planet in mind, through the use of organic and recycled materials, resource-conscious manufacturing practices, and minimal packaging.
2. FAIR LABOR. We'll always tell you the full story of where and how our products are made - check the "designer bio" tab on every product page for details. We guarantee that your purchase will never support forced or child labor. We're proud to offer a wide array of made-in-USA and fair trade artisan goods.
3. EMPOWERING WOMEN. As a women-owned business, we have a special interest in working with designers who employ at-risk women in areas where few opportunities exist.
In 2006, we partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for loungewear pants we had lovingly named Punjammies®. The previous year, our founder, Shannon Keith, had returned from a trip to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at a high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to, truly, have a choice.
She returned home from that trip and formed a small team of family and friends. Together, they looked for groups in India that were compelled to have a positive impact and help women looking for a way out of the Red Light Districts.
It's sometimes hard to believe that over 10 years have passed since we first began. In that time, we've made multiple sewing center partnerships and, with your support, hundreds of women have found freedom through living-wage employment.
The LBD.Project is run by passionate volunteers who use their own funds to pay for things like this website, the buttons we give out to participants, printed material, etc. If you'd like to help support our costs (and grab some cool gear at the same time), check out our Zazzle store. All proceeds we raise through this shop funnel back to support our efforts in supporting those on the front lines of this fight against human trafficking.
While the LBD.Project is not a 501(c)(3) organization at this time, we are entirely volunteer-run. This website, the buttons we give out, all the materials we produce to support the anti-trafficking organizations we raise funds for are all paid for out-of-pocket by our volunteers. If you'd like to help support us while we support those doing the most important work, please consider clicking on the button below which will direct you to our PayPal account. All funds raised will go back to supporting the LBD.Project this year, and in the years to come.