Cincinnati, Ohio businesswoman, Emily Hill sells handcrafted goods created by escapees of modern day slavery. She hopes Stop Traffick Fashion, her online store, will raise awareness of human trafficking. The jewelry, handbags and other items she sells help generate income for the trafficking victims who create them. By selling their handcrafted goods, Stop Traffick Fashion is helping victims make a difference in their own lives.
Who are the Modern Day Slaves?
A video produced by Slave Free asks the question, “Do you own stuff that was produced by slaves?” According to the video, there are over 27 million slaves world wide. They are captive workers of diverse businesses. Americans who own cell phones or cotton clothing may be end consumers in a chain that begins with forced labor. An even more shocking component of modern day slavery is the sex trade that forces women and children into prostitution and pornography.
To stop the chain of slave-produced goods, the organization Call and Response asks consumers to commit to a small positive action. The site has a registry of chain stores with slave produced goods in their supply chain. They ask consumers to call these stores about their practices and post their responses on the website. That’s one small thing everyone can do to help slow the demand for modern day slaves.
Handcrafted Goods Support Global Social Consciousness
Emily decided to make hers a bigger commitment. When she created Stop Traffick Fashion as a socially conscious business, she focused on helping women affected by the sex trafficking industry. Poverty is a contributing factor to the growth of the sex trade as women and children are lured by the promise of jobs, then sold as sex slaves.
Emily does her part by purchasing inventory through Night Light International and Freeset Global, companies that sell goods handcrafted by sex trade escapees in Calcutta, India and Bangkok. Providing a Fair Trade outlet for their handcrafted goods is one way of helping these women and children break the poverty cycle that may have forced them into the hands of sex traffickers in the first place.
Handcrafted Goods Support American Sex Trafficking Victims
Sex trafficking is a big problem in America as well. The recent Ohio Trafficking in Persons Study ranks Toledo Ohio as number 4 in sex trafficking investigations and arrests and in rescues of minors from sex trafficking operations. The American sex trade demands attention as well; so while many of the handcrafted goods Emily sells in her online store help former sex slaves in Asian Nations, she also sells items created by victims of sex trafficking in America.
Stop Traffick Fashion sells soaps and lotions created by Thistle Farms and sold through Not For Sale, a group that supports modern day abolitionists with activism and income. Thistle Farms is a natural bath and body product line handcrafted by American survivors of violence, prostitution, and addiction. Selling Thistle Farms goods was a practical way for Emily Hill to help survivors of the sex trafficking trade.
In addition to an online store, Emily sells Stop Traffick Fashion items at local Cincinnati events and trunk shows. Recently she sponsored a tee shirt design contest and a benefit concert. Emily also keeps site visitors up to date with her blog.
Ohio Trafficking in Persons Study