This month has been crazy hectic with finals approaching and end of the year projects due, so I haven’t had time to do a lot of shopping. I still have not opened up the bags of clothes under my bed and I’m finding it a lot easier to pick out outfits for the day with a smaller selection. One thing I do want to make clear is that I never go to my college classes with the intention of looking cute. Fashion and I are definitely still getting to know each other, and I honestly don’t care what my classmates think about me wearing the same sweatpants twice a week. I use the gym in the morning so functionality is more important to me than looking like I tried. That being said, buying clothes second hand does not inhibit fashion creativity in the slightest! I do remember ONE time I got a bunch of compliments on an outfit of mine and when I looked down to check what I had on, I realized that everything I was wearing was either from a friend or from a thrift store. So, that’s what I would tell the people who complimented me. They would say things like, “really? It looks so new!” And to that I say, give thrift stores more credit! Buying second hand CAN make a positive difference in the world.
In April, I had the privilege of being a youth leader for a weekend conference in Duluth for the students in the youth group. At the conference, there were tons of merchandise tables where we could buy cool Christian hats, wristbands, shirts, and more. I stopped by a table that said Shrishti Creation and was able to talk to the women selling the bags, journals, jewelry and wallets there. She told me about how everything was made with fair wages and told me about the ministry. I ended up buying the wallet pictured below and it came with a card explaining a little bit more about the company.
This is what it said:
“Shrishti Creation currently partners in India and Thailand for development and marketing of beautiful quality products that bring new life and hope to women and families in vulnerable “source” communities. Small production rooms provide “safe places” for community based restoration and prevention of trafficking. Holistic health and income generation decreases vulnerability to trafficking. Every Shrishti worker earns fair wages with benefits and training in order to achieve goals of healthy living in relationship to God, self, family, community, and environment. The signature on a Shrishti Creation product reflects dignity and pride of the person who has invested time and skill in its production.”
I am so glad I was able to be a part of this movement, and now I have a nice new wallet! Sometimes it is challenging to say no to the super cute workout clothes I see in so many stores now, but I know that my money is going where it matters. I encourage you all to start taking steps to being conscious of your purchases. Even the little decisions make a difference.
Want to learn more about how to fight against labor trafficking? Ready to take a first step? Join us at #TheFairProject by choosing to buy ONE thing fair trade for ONE month, we will add you to our Storychangers group where you can learn more and meet like minded people! It takes everyone doing the small things to make a BIG difference!