Winning the War on Slavery and Poverty

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Millions of people live in poverty and slavery every day. CAUSEGEAR is a social enterprise using accessories and apparel to change that — by giving women in poverty sustainable job opportunities to build full, stable and self-sustaining lives.


Today, 750 million people are living at poverty level with an income of $1.90/day or less. Additionally, global slavery is at an all-time high of over 40 million and human trafficking accounts for more than 32 billion dollars in illegal profits every year. That profit is more than Nike, Google and Starbucks combined.


The CAUSEGEAR mission is to transform the lives of one million people trapped in unfathomable poverty & injustice, and to help them become self-sustaining. Their starting point is India. In India alone, there are 300 million people living in poverty, and 40% of slavery takes place in the country. That’s more than any other country. When it comes to women, these harsh statistics worsen. Out of those enslaved, 70 percent are women. For those that have jobs, like those in the garment industry, they often make less than $3/day.


Handouts of food, clothing, and water may help today, but don’t necessarily change the circumstances for tomorrow. To win the war on slavery, we need lasting change at the core.


CASUGEAR’s MADE BY FREE WOMEN line (shop it here) came to life to put an end to the epidemic of human trafficking, poverty and slavery. Their model is to provide sustainable social impact by addressing the root cause of these epidemics — lack of access to sustainable and empowering employment. CAUSEGEAR believes that when women and men are given self sufficient job opportunities, they “are freed from the vulnerability of being tricked, trafficked, sold, or forced into slavery.” They are able to provide life’s essentials for themselves and those they care for without the ongoing dependence of charitable aid.

Some of CAUSEGEAR’s crafters live in a culture where forced marriage is common place. If they are not providing “value” to the family by the time they reach 18, they are often forced to marry. However, if they have a job, they are seen as a benefit to the family; and if they work until they are at least 21, they are free to marry whomever they choose. A job for 3 years can change the entire trajectory of their lives. “It literally means the difference between being a slave or being free.”


Every purchase means joining the fight and offering hope and dignity across the world.


The MADE BY FREE WOMEN line carries a variety of items, like journals, leather bracelets, clothing, tote bags and aprons. Each purchase supports the freedom of the women who made the product. Through this line, the social enterprise intends to make apparel and accessories for the conscious consumer and ethical company. These items give the people and organizations that want to make a sustainable difference for women in the world a way to pitch in, through the power of their spending. 


Consumers, businesses, non-profits, and institutions now have an opportunity to change history for millions of people through a simple purchasing shift of apparel and accessories.

From CAUSEGEAR: We have been members of the [Social Enterprise Alliance] for the past several years and are grateful for the mission and vision of SEA! We know that if we want to create lasting change, we must work together with other like-minded organizations moving in the same direction. Collaboration is key to building awareness, growing this movement of companies and organizations that are doing good in the world, and helping consumers understand how much their purchasing power really can make a difference.


To learn more about MADE FREE, check out their member directory profile.

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