DRESSEMBER

You throw like a girl!

You run like a girl!

You are such a girl!

The term ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ is often thrown around in a derogatory or insulting manner. Femininity is seen be associated with weakness and as something with less value or a sense of inferiority to the more predominate masculine trends in our current global media and economic system. Worse still the expression of femininity has traditionally been frowned upon in corporate workplaces having been seen to be a sign that you are less professional than your colleagues or not a ‘go getter’. While this trend has changed over the years from women hiding their lady assets in man-style grey, black and navy suits to a culture of being able to express ones femininity (to a degree) through ‘work appropriate’ (i.e. not too revealing or informal)  lady like attire women are still required to think like a man some of the time in order to get ahead in the workplace. Dressember is a 31 day dress wearing initiative started by Blythe Hill to advocate for women who’ve been exploited for their femininity through worldwide trafficking and acts of violence by embracing of the inherent freedom and feminity of all women.

How did Dressember begin?

What began in 2009 as a cleverly named and quirky style challenge by founder Blyth, Dressember spread like wildfire. On the surface the initiative is essentially a month of wearing dresses, but when you dig a little deeper it is so much more. In 2013, Dressember took on new meaning: opposing the worldwide trafficking and exploitation of women. In its first year as a fundraising campaign, Dressember aligned with International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that works to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. Those who participate in Dressember are supporting the abolition of modern day slavery. Beginning in 2015, the Dressember campaign will expand to partner with other anti-trafficking organizations

The Dressember Foundation exists to inspire and empower a global community of like-minded women who are locking arms to face one of the greatest injustices of our time.

Successes to date.

In it’s first year of fundraising Dressember had 1233 registered participants in 32 countries across six continents who collectively raised $165, 000 USD. 100% of the funds raised in 2013 went directly to the International Justice Mission. In 2012 participation doubled and the funds raised nearly tripled, at over $465,000 raised. This year the  target is one million dollars and in order to reach this goal Dressember needs your help!

 

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 Participate to be the change you wish to see in the world!

Sustainability in Style is proud to be an official affiliate of the 2015 Dressember campaign. Throughout the duration of the month I will be committed to wearing and styling the  black Dressember dress every day (aside from days spent in the plant nursery in my work uniform) and sharing my experiences with you as I go. I am also planning to host a fundraising event in my local area to raise awareness of the Dressember mission and funds for the 2015 partners. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to join in the experience by committing yourself to wearing a dress, the Dressember dress , or a variety of dresses for the whole month and raise funds as part of the team  (or on your own the choice is yours). The official Dressember dress has been produced in partnership with Elegantees and manufactured in Nepal by women who were rescued from the sex trafficking industry and offered dignified positions in the fashion industry at a fair wage.

If joining in the challenge is too much of a commitment for you at present you can donate to support our team or share the mission with others if you can’t afford to donate. I am so excited to be bringing you this month long style challenge for a cause as  it harnesses the power of fashion to support many of the people who make our clothing. According to Amnesty international there are an estimated 20 million people in India, China and Pakistan who are enslaved, many of which work in the garment industry.  Across the globe one-in-six people work in the fashion industry the majority of which are women earning less than $3 per day . Enslaved people are people without rights, denied a voice, traded for sex, labour, or monetary gains and treated in abusive and violent ways (read more about human trafficking and force labour in the fashion industry here). There is no reason why anyone should suffer at the hands of another for the sake of fashion, labour, or sexual pleasure.

Frock up, sign up, and take a stance against these injustices today.

Be the voice for someone who has been denied one!