Our friends at Dressember recently featured us in their blog! Read the article below!
A DRESS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The rice has long since been thrown, the pictures have been hung, and the thank you cards have been sent. Your wedding day couldn’t have been more perfect.
Now, your big white dress hangs in your closet, wrapped in plastic and shoved behind that sweater you never wear but can’t seem to get rid of. You don’t think anyone would buy it, but you love it too much to trash it. So what are your options?
What if you could use your dress to make a difference?
For the last forty years, research has shown that investing in women and girls has ripple effects throughout a community. This is the heart behind Brides for a Cause, a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting and reselling wedding dresses to raise money for several local and national women-focused charities. In 2019 alone, they donated $350,000!
When you donate to or purchase from Brides for a Cause, you provide relief for single moms, abused women, and women who are disabled. You support women in the military and provide opportunities for women’s education and women in the workforce. You also play a role in the fight to end human trafficking.
The fashion industry, including the manufacturing of wedding dresses, is rife with human trafficking. As a matter of fact, Human Rights First reports that labor trafficking accounts for around 81% of all human trafficking cases. Brides for a Cause envisions a future where women in the workforce are compensated fairly for their work and treated with dignity by their employers. Ensuring women around the country are afforded meaningful employment is one of the reasons Brides for a Cause donates a portion of their sales to support Dressember.
Not only that, but by purchasing a pre-loved dress from Brides for a Cause, you directly hurt the demand for sweat shop environments and labor trafficking. Purchasing pre-loved items helps avoid exploitation in the fashion industry because instead of buying a garment that wasn’t ethically made, you’re using what’s already created.
Shopping second-hand is an ethical alternative to shopping from bridal boutiques that can’t guarantee the ethics of their supply chains. It is a great way to ensure that your purchase isn’t contributing to forced labor and the demand that fuels trafficking.
Sustainable fashion is a big part of who Dressember is, and this is one reason Brides for a Cause believes in partnering with us! Erin Scharf, the founder and executive director of Brides for a Cause “support[s] Dressember for their incredible work of utilizing fashion to help end human trafficking, [and] their concept of using fashion for the greater good closely resembles our mission of recycling wedding dresses for charity.”
Being conscious of your consumer footprint, even when saying yes to the dress, allows you to fight trafficking in your daily life. So whether you donate your dress or purchase one, your partnership with Brides for a Cause leaves a lasting social impact.
If you’re in the market for the perfect dress for your special day or want to donate your dress to be loved by someone else, Brides for a Cause has four locations on the West Coast: Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Sacramento. You can shop consciously or donate responsibly to help benefit a woman-focused charity through Brides for a Cause.
On October 15-17, Brides for a Cause is having their 9th Anniversary Sale at their Portland location. Everything in the store will be 20% off and they make sure to completely stock their shelves before the event, so if you’re in the area, mark your calendar!
The bride’s dress is one of the most important parts of a wedding. When little girls imagine their special day, it’s often the image of their dream dress that takes center stage. The dress often encapsulates the beauty of the bride. It’s what makes the guests turn and smile as the bride walks down the aisle, and because of Brides for a Cause, those smiles don’t have to end with the happy couple departing for their honeymoon. Rather, with each donated dress, those smiles are passed on in a legacy of love, hope, and positive social impact.
If you don’t have a wedding to shop for or a wedding dress to donate, you can still ensure your purchases play a role in fighting trafficking. We put together a list of brands that use fair labor practices. Check out our Ethical Fashion Directory to make it easier to find products you can feel good about at a price that fits your budget. By supporting companies with fair business practices, you are able to vote with your wallet for the kind of world you want to live in. Best of all, you can feel confident that your purchase will make a difference in the lives of workers across the globe.