CAUSEGEAR is a human justice fashion brand that provides consumers with an opportunity to make a sustainable difference in the lives of enslaved people in India.
CAUSEGEAR was founded with a mission to transform the lives of one million people trapped in unfathomable poverty and injustice, and empower them to become self-sustaining. As an L3C (low-profit limited liability corporation), CAUSEGEAR believes in harnessing the power of the market to spur social change. They understand that, as consumers in a global economy, each purchase we make has a direct impact on another person’s life.
Current data estimates that there are 750 million people living in poverty in the world today (World Bank), 45.8 million of whom are trapped in slavery (Global Slavery Index). 40 percent of these modern day slaves live in India. Unfortunately, the fashion industry is a massive source of enslavement in India; the going rate is about two dollars a day for a 12-hour workday. The sex industry is equally as oppressive. In fact, Sonagachi in Kolkata, India is the largest red light district in Asia. There are an additional 10,000 women enslaved in sex trafficking in India’s West Bengal region. Throughout India, thousands of individuals are trapped in the injustice of unfair wages, inhumane treatment, disease and forced labor.
To begin to address this entrenched poverty, CAUSEGEAR employs men and women crafters in India to make high quality bags, backpacks, totes and fashion accessories, which are then sold in their online marketplace. They endeavor to create jobs that provide for life’s essentials and keep people out of slavery. At the heart of their work is the 5X JOBS Model, which was created by CAUSEGEAR’s President-CEO, Brad Jeffery. This model provides life-changing employment by paying crafters five times the average worker’s wage in that region. This dignified wage ensures that each crafter has an income that covers food, water, healthcare, clothing, housing and education. A 5X wage sustains the crafter and three dependents, who are also often trapped in a vicious cycle of generational poverty.
CAUSEGEAR values enterprise over charity, livable wages over handouts and the pursuit of human dignity over injustice. As a member of the Social Enterprise Alliance, they are grateful to participate in a unified movement of businesses addressing social issues. SEA is not only aligned with the CAUSEGEAR mission and values, but also provides a supportive network and valuable resources. CAUSEGEAR was created as a social enterprise to create an example for the for-profit business world. They desire to demonstrate the blend of profit and purpose, that one can operate a caused-based, compassionate business and facilitate social change.
Shahida, one of CAUSEGEAR’s talented crafters, faithfully stitches at a sewing machine each day. As she sews, she weaves not only works of art to share around the world, but the future of her children. Her work provides for her four children, and gives her hope that her daughters may be the first generation of young women in her family to attend college. Each piece of fabric she stitches continues to build hope within her.
To learn more about CAUSEGEAR L3C, check out their member directory profile.