Shopping is one of the easiest ways to get involved with fighting human trafficking.
Increasingly more businesses are stepping up to the fight, and supporting them means your money goes farther than the item you purchase—it goes toward the cause of freedom. For your convenience, I’ve listed ten businesses that either donate to anti-trafficking causes, sell survivor-made products, use ethically-sourced materials, or create jobs for those at risk of exploitation. Peruse to your heart’s content!
1. Thrift Stores
Shopping secondhand means you can be confident that you’re not supporting the fast fashion industry, child labor, or sweatshops, where employees often work in hazardous environments and are paid little—if at all. See my previous post to learn about the fast fashion industry and how it contributes to labor trafficking. If you need ideas, some of my favorite thrift shops include Style Encore, Regenerate, Changing Thymes, and Goodwill.
2. Adored Boutique
If you’re local to Grand Rapids, Michigan, this is a lovely shop to visit. They sell high quality apparel and accessories made by artisans who are transparent about their production, wages, and safety standards. The owner, Emily, is very sweet and eager to help. She donates 15% of her profits to organizations working to prevent, rescue, and restore victims of human trafficking, so your purchase always goes toward a good cause.
3. WAR Chest Boutique
This boutique is an arm of the organization Women at Risk, International, which provides safe places to heal from abuse, trafficking, exploitation, and more. This shop is also located in Grand Rapids, and they sell beautiful handcrafted items made by at-risk and rescued men and women from around the world. When you’ve finished shopping, you can relax in their Tea Trade Café with a hot beverage and a pastry.
4. Starfish Project
Starfish Project is a high-quality, on-trend jewelry business whose purpose is to help exploited women and girls experience freedom, establish independence, and develop careers. Every week, a team visits brothels in Asia and reaches out to those trapped in the sex industry. Those who dare to leave are provided with holistic care, life skills and vocational training, and are offered employment in creating the beautiful jewelry you can purchase at their online store.
5. Crowned Free
Another Grand Rapids-based shop! Crowned Free’s mission is to end human trafficking through ethical fashion and gifts. 15% of their profits go toward organizations that restore, rescue, and rehabilitate survivors, and over half of their products are made by rescued girls.
6. Fight Coffee
Are you a coffee drinker? When you purchase your favorite drink from Fight Coffee, 100% of profits go toward anti-trafficking organizations.
7. Serrv International
This fair trade non-profit organization empowers small-scale artisans and farmers around the world who live in poverty. Serrv has a wide variety of handmade home goods, jewelry, chocolate, spices, and even birdhouses!
Bytavi is a clothing line produced under fair trade trade principles by a team of talented seamstresses in Cambodia where poverty is widespread. They believe in quality over quantity, and handmade over mass-produced.
9. Soltera Leather
Single motherhood is a crisis in the villages of rural Guatemala, and women who are desperate to provide for their families often fall victim to modern slavery. Soltera trains single moms in rural Guatemala to craft high-quality leather goods, which enables them to earn a living wage in a place of safe and purposeful employment. You can purchase their beautiful leather totes, messenger bags, journal covers, and more.
Nepal is a hotbed for human trafficking, and this company aims to change that. Elegantees creates jobs for Nepali survivors and those at risk. You’ll find dresses, cardigans, and other women’s apparel here.
There’s still more!
I recently updated my resources page, where you can find additional shops—both local and online. Shop with a purpose, and let those dollars serve the needs of others as well as your own.