This past December, I participated in Dressember, where I pledged to wear a dress each day of the month to raise money for International Justice Mission to stop human trafficking and end sexual slavery in the world. Far more women and girls are shipped into brothels annually now, in the early 21st century, than African slaves were shipped into slave plantations each year in the 18th century. (Half the Sky) And this isn’t something that just happens overseas. I know of 3 brothels within a 5 miles radius of my home. Dressember was my small way to begin to take action.
I set a goal of $500 and raised
$900 $1000 – double my goal! A big thank you to the 28 29 people that contributed to my campaign. (Although you can give through the end of January if the desire strikes you.) I find myself pondering each person’s small decision to contribute what they can towards the greater cause of fighting injustice. It makes me think about how the little things really do add up to something that matters. And it reminds me that our lives are thousands of these small, seemingly unimportant decisions strung together. The small decisions make us who we really are and can cause positive change in someone else’s life if you choose to do it. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” (Arthur Ashe)
Each day I spent time thinking about the injustices of human trafficking. It did bring about my age old struggle with the ‘cosmic lottery’ – why was I born to a life of privilege when so many don’t have access to clean water, food, jobs, education, healthcare? And I don’t know that I will every find peace here because I doubt that there is an answer to this terrible question, but I know that taking action helps quell the tumult that the question brings about. I can choose to use my privilege to help.
I recognize that fashion seems an unlikely way to create action and provoke change, as it has its own fair share of injustices. But it also offers its own special solutions. This is where my love of Noonday Collection enters – they use fashion and style to empower. They pull people out of injustice – with a focus on those that society deems unloveable, incapable, worthless. People’s lives are changing for good because of their model. And below, you can see I donned my dresses, wore my Noonday, took selfies (ugh, that word), and learned many things, two of which are 1) I love wearing dresses and 2) I have a dress thrifting problem! I hadn’t realized the extent of my dress collection until I began this challenge… But I was inspired by the founder of Dressember – Blythe – who wore the same gray, ethically sourced dress from Fair Indigo all month long, styled 31 different ways. Maybe next year?