- 40 Million People.
- 1 in 4 Children.
- 71% Women and Girls.
- Over 100 Countries Impacted.
- A $150 Billion Industry.
These are only some of the many facts that I’ve learned since getting involved with the non-profit organization, Dressember. They encourage you to educate yourself on the effects of modern slavery across the globe, with a focus on the fashion and clothing manufacturing industry. As consumers buy more at a higher rate, the demand spikes and thus the drive for cheap labor.
Dressember provides all advocates with the tools to use to spread the word about what we can do to end this cycle. Modern Slavery goes beyond manufacturing and is also seen in hospitality, agriculture, and other areas in which there is a higher demand for labor.
We have the power to take control and fight back. Dressember partners with other organizations to provide care such as aftercare programs, rescues, prevention training, and educational programs.
A way that I’ve started to be more conscious about my choices is shopping from ethical manufacturers who practice fair trade. Places in which all workers are being treated and cared for; they aren’t overworked or underpaid. Materials themselves may be sustainable and promote a healthy environment.
Each December, advocates from around the world wear a dress each day to symbolize the fight against human trafficking. On their website, Dressember states “The dress is our uniform, the flag of our movement. Dressember is an opportunity to reclaim and re-appropriate the dress as a symbol of freedom and power; a flag for the inherent dignity of all people.”
While some participants have been wearing a dress every day in December for years, others are just starting out with the discovery of how powerful a movement can be. There’s a place for everyone here. When so many people come together, it’s inspiring the work that can be done.
Take a look at my ‘Dressember’ Instagram highlights @ajlthomas and share your own with me!
Looking for the Impact of various Donation Amounts?
The Dressember website breaks it down:
- $25 – Aftercare Kit: A package of basic, necessary essentials to make a survivor of trafficking feel loved and cared for after transitioning out of their exploitation.
- $40 – Medical Care: Send emergency nutrition and medical care to rescued survivors.
- $105 – Trial Fees: Many survivors don’t have the opportunity to be heard in court. $105 covers trial fees so a survivor can testify against their abuser and seek justice.
- $150 – Training: Training and education are two of the key factors protecting survivors from re-exploitation. $150 can provide vital training for caregivers and survivors to set them up for success in their new life of freedom.
- $320 – Aftercare Services: It can take years for a survivor of trafficking to overcome fear, anger, and shame after being violently abused. $320 could pay for 8 hours of therapy for one individual.
- $900 – Education: Education is powerful in preventing trafficking and in supporting survivors after leaving their exploitation. $900 could provide vocational training for a teen survivor.
- $3,000 – Case Management: Case managers play an important role in providing assistance and nurturing following traumatic experiences. $3,000 can cover a full year of case management for a survivor of trafficking.
- $6,719 – Full Rescue Operation: Operations are conducted with law enforcement to bring victims safely into freedom and to document key evidence against traffickers and pimps. $6,719 could cover the cost of a rescue operation—from initial investigations through immediate aftercare.