When we go shopping for a new dress or pair of jeans, the last thing on our minds is the girl who picked the cotton in Uzbekistan, the underpaid woman in India who works long hours cutting threads, or the woman from Thailand trapped in a Los Angeles sweatshop.
The disturbing reality is that most of the fashion industry utilizes slave labor in their supply chain.
Granted, the fashion supply chain is quite complex, and it’s difficult to control every stage in production, but the facts remain. This topic deserves its own post (click here), but in the meantime, allow me to introduce you to Adored Boutique! In light of what I’ve been learning about the fashion industry, I know I need to change my shopping habits. My purchases have always been based on the price tag and not on the priceless lives behind our favorite brands. Shouldn’t I value human beings more than saving a few dollars? But where would I start?
Recently, my friend Marie introduced me to Adored Boutique. I had never heard of it, so I headed to their website to check them out.
I found that Adored is a women’s boutique that only carries ethically manufactured apparel, accessories, and home goods. They offer basic staples of a woman’s wardrobe as well as cute and trendy pieces. Immediately, I fell in love with their mission:
“To remind every woman that she is adored by her Heavenly Father.”
How often do you come across a store with that kind of beautiful mission? This broken world so needs the love of our Father, and we have the power to create spaces that remind others of this. What makes Adored Boutique so special is that they have committed to giving 15% of their profits towards organizations that fight human trafficking.
Plus, they’re right here in Grand Rapids. Who knew?! Last week I visited the boutique and got to meet Emily, the owner. She was so welcoming and ready to help with whatever I needed.
The beginnings of freedom…
In 2016, Emily Smith felt the Lord telling her to leave her career as a nurse and open a clothing store. She had no previous experience in retail, but that didn’t stop her. As she began to develop Adored Boutique, she discovered that up to 99% of fashion uses slave labor and sweatshops.
Instead of taking the easy route, Emily knew she had to create a place where women could feel good about their purchase and know that they contributed positively to the lives of others. This wouldn’t be just any clothing store. This would be a place where women could feel the love of their Heavenly Father. A place that would empower the exploited.
This is the defining factor that makes Adored different from other clothing stores.
Adored only purchases products from vendors who treat their employees with the worth and dignity they deserve. They work in safe conditions, receive a fair salary, and you can be certain that no sweatshop or slave was involved at any stage in production.
Some of her vendors include Starfish Jewelry and Sak Saum, both of which restore hope and give life-changing employment opportunities to men and women who have been exploited. Bytavi, a vendor that employs women in Cambodia, sells products that are signed by the talented seamstresses who make them. I love this personal touch–it reminds us to see the invisible. We forget that there are faces in the factories and souls behind the seams. Click here to learn more about the vendors that Adored partners with!
Since many people overseas live on less than $20 per month, your one purchase can quite literally pay someone’s monthly salary. So, the next time you have the itch to shop, stop by Adored Boutique and wield your dollars in a way that benefits someone’s life, future, and family.
“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.” Proverbs 31:24-25