Human trafficking is an overwhelming and complicated issue.
(Actually the root causes of human trafficking are complex. But there’s nothing complicated about treating people like people, not property).
Yet, how can those with little time to volunteer or a burgeoning desire to make some kind of difference do so?
Support socially responsible businesses! Here are five groups dedicated to helping sell the products of at-risk women and girls, as well as trafficking survivors—supplying them with work and the means to provide for their families.
Engage in smarter buying—invest in women, in their work, and in their futures.
- The Nomi Network: “Buy bags, not her body.”
Mission: “To create economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk of trafficking by providing training, product development, and marketing support.”
Products: bags, clothes, iPad cases
- Releveé: “To rise up.”
Mission: With 100% of the proceeds supporting the charity Made by Survivors, Releveé gives “survivors of human rights abuses a safe and loving place to heal and rebuild their lives with shelter, education, job training, and employment programs.”
Products: jewelry, accessories, mosaics
- Threads: “Inspired looks - inspired lives.”
Mission: “Threads empowers women worldwide to create sustainable income allowing for a life of dignity, and not one of survival…By providing women consistent means to support their families and communities, they grow out of poverty and are able to innovate and contribute to our world.”
Products: belts, jewelry, wallets and bags, scarves and accessories
- Global Girlfriend: “Start small. Dream big. Change lives.”
Mission: “We believe passionately that economic opportunity for women holds the promise for real change in the world; because when women have an income, they reinvest in themselves and in their children's health, education and nutrition, building stronger families and communities over time.”
Products: jewelry and accessories, bags, baskets, journals and stationery, bath and body, clothing and scarves
- Imagine Goods: “Empowerment. Employment.”
Mission: “We partner with vulnerable and marginalized people around the world to make products that, in many cases, give them the first fair wages they've ever received.” All of their products, from safety pins to buttons, are made either by artisans (survivors of human trafficking) or vulnerable people at risk of trafficking.
Products: Retro clothing for men, women, and children including aprons, t-shirts, and “Seconds,” pieces worked on by apprentice tailors and sold at discount prices.
Lani Prunés is an Editorial Assistant for Sojourners magazine.