End Slavery Now is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Our mission is to end slavery in our lifetime. We accept no donations. If you wish to give, please do so to one of the organizations listed. 100% of revenues earned for merchandise and services go toward ending slavery. Now.
It’s that time of the year again- the most wonderful season of giving! It can be tough to find a balance between our desire to give good gifts that our loved ones will enjoy and researching and purchasing items that are ethically produced or manufactured. What’s an activist to do to find the best of both worlds?
Here are several tips for you to make the most of your gift giving this season — slave free.
1.) Purchase Fair Trade-Certified Items. One of the largest networks of slave-free, ethical, and environmentally friendly produced goods, Fair Trade links the international marketplace to you in a life-respecting and dignifying manner. All laborers and producers are paid wages that do not undermine their skill sets and allow them to sustain themselves. Fair Trade partners on a local level worldwide to build relationships with the people they are assisting.
2.) Shop at retailers that have committed themselves to fair labor and trade practices. Recently, the community against human trafficking has mobilized as a whole to get retailers to examine their supply chains and the slavery that plagues them. Thankfully, many brand names have expressed their concern and concerted effort to fight slavery all over the world.
Free2Work offers information about companies that have been intentional in cleaning up their supply chains in all sorts of industries ranging from apparel to consumer electronics. Chain Store Reaction offers a similar list if you would like more options.
3.) Donate to an anti-slavery organization in the name of somebody you love. Make your gift recipient feel warm and fuzzy inside by donating to a non-profit organization that is working to end modern slavery. Your gift may just save a life! There are plenty of great groups you can make a contribution to — check out the Action on the Ground Map to see their projects around the world.
4.) Personally handcraft your gifts. In the spirit of Pinterest, why not try to make your own gifts? There are plenty of treasurables you can make on your own that are easy, simple, and beautiful. Not to mention the money you will save! Handmade gifts are often times more sentimental than anything you can purchase at a store anyway, so this season, try to make your loved ones feel extra loved by adding some of your own TLC to their present. You’ll know exactly who created and manufactured your gift, ensuring that no slaves were used in the process of producing your keepsake. There’s no limit to what you can create: picture frames, paper mache, delicious food, the list goes on! Get Pinspired and check our their Do-It-Yourself Crafts board!
5.) Buy local. If you’re short on time or simply don’t want to make your own gifts, try checking out a local artisans fair or bazaar to buy locally crafted goodies for friends and family. Chances are, you can actually meet the person who made your item and even converse with them. This guarantees that your product is slave-free, and helps bolster your local economy and the artistic community!
6.) Buy used. Another great way to avoid slave labor in supply chains is to buy used. Even if the items bought were originally manufactured under unfavorable conditions, remember that buying used cuts down the current demand for more slave-handled products. Buying used tells a manufacturer that you do not want to support slave-made goods any further and that you can make do with what you already have. Consider shopping at a local Good-Will or Salvation Army who work in conjunction with the local community to help those in need. And, it wouldn’t hurt to save a few bucks as well!
The holiday season can be a stressful time for all of us as the pressure to give great gifts accumulates faster than we can imagine. Lets’s not forget that in this season of love and family, that we as consumers have been blessed immeasurably. Let’s share these blessings by making direct and intentional steps to help those afflicted outside of our community and celebrating the most wonderful time of the year slave-free. ~Michelle Cho
How many slaves work for you? This atypical question would seem outside the realm of normal conversation and, in some cases, offensive. Shockingly enough, this query is relevant to every consumer. Products come from somewhere, and are produced and processed by someone or other entity; but as consumers, we seldom stop to contemplate these questions. The reality: 27 million people are enslaved with a majority forced into labor to contribute to products we buy. Due to lack of transparency, we are often unaware of such realities. Once we can understand how consumers contribute both willingly and unwillingly to slavery, we can begin to further fuel the abolitionist movement.
Slavery Footprint is an innovative matrix rating system that will answer the daunting, yet very real question: How many slaves do you own? Justin Dillon, a world-renowned abolitionist, has played a significant role in the development of the Slavery Footprint system.
Justin is a musician—as part of the band Tremolo—and director of Call + Response, a documentary that reveals the secrets behind the booming human trafficking industry. The film and movement aims to provide “opportunities to act and engage through mobile phones and online platforms,” according to the Call + Response website. With the help of well-known abolitionists, celebrities, and other musicians, Call + Response has turned its vision into a reality—stimulating the abolitionist movement with aspiration, value, and action.
Justin explains that Slavery Footprint “connects the dots” through helping consumers understand how they contribute to slavery. Through a comprehensive combination of synthesized reports that account for over 400 products and an algorithm that uses data separated by country, the amount of slaves it takes to produce a specific product can be estimated. Interested consumers take a short, online survey to reveal the amount of slaves it takes to maintain their lifestyle purchases. The results enable people to be a part of the solution, leveraging consumption to make a difference. With popular information and mobile technologies, this system will be easily accessible and usable.
The inception of this revolutionary tool was inspired by ideas generated from the U.S. Department of State. The State Department sought out assistance from Call + Response to create and implement the Slavery Footprint. Justin declares the State Department’s innovative and open effort, “A great mark of courage.” Since its inception, Call + Response has made the construction of this revolutionary tool a collaborative effort—bringing together nonprofits and abolitionist groups to strengthen the influence. On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued the first part of the Emancipation Proclamation. The release of Slavery Footprint on September 22, 2011 will further aid the fight against slavery, even centuries later.
Justin calls all consumers and activists to action. He reminds us of our two greatest assets: consumption and network. First, consumption can harness the strength of the market through directing purchases that support the abolitionist movement. Second, the power of one’s network can be accrued to influence others and spread truthful, understandable narratives. “Act often; act passionately,” Justin states. Often, we concentrate on problems and forget to celebrate. Justin challenges activist to “Celebrate every victory—that’s what will win the battle.” ~Kristin Steves