Farrel is smiling and wearing an orange, ethically produced scarf.

Economic Empowerment Through Ethical Shopping

Feb 21, 2024Madison Barefield0 comments

Ethical shopping is possible!

A note from Farris, our social media & marketing intern:

Hi hi! I can hardly believe I have already been interning with Not I But We for four months! Time flies! Looking back on my time here working alongside survivors, one key piece of the work has captured my heart more than any other: economic empowerment.

It is estimated that only 1-2% of trafficking victims are rescued, and a staggering 50% of these rescued survivors will be re-trafficked in their lifetime. We know that poverty is a driving force of trafficking, and a large factor in survivors deciding to return to a life of exploitation.

If we can equip survivors with job skills that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families, we can begin to combat the temptation of relapse that hundreds of survivors face out of desperation to provide for their loved ones. Stores like Not I But We not only employ survivors, but also provide them with skills that will ensure secure employment that outlasts their time with Not I But We.

This is where we, as consumers, have a chance to play a key role in the healing journey of survivors! Who would've thought that continuing to do something we have always done - shop - could have a lasting impact on survivors around the world? Through every purchase, you are empowering women and providing survivors of human trafficking with dignifying work.

Mother's Day just passed, and I chose to purchase my mom's present from a company with a similar mission of empowering others - 2nd Story Goods! Here's a snippet from their website that made me excited to support their mission:

 Farris, our former social media and marketing intern, is smiling.

"... why we’ve been working on the ground with our artisans in Gonaives, Haiti for 10 years, creating recycled, handcrafted goods for a livable wage. Last year our impact enabled over 108 children to stay in school, not because of hand-outs, but through the dignity of their parents’ work with 2nd Story Goods."

Every Mother's Day gift, birthday present or treat-yourself purchase is a unique opportunity to support families in poverty, women on their rehabilitation journey and an endless list of fellow human beings trying to provide for themselves and their families worldwide. Shopping ethical is one of the simplest ways to lift up others through dignifying work and economic empowerment.

Shopping ethical is a new journey I am on, largely with thanks to two of my dearest pals Liv & Madison, and I invite you to join me! Being mindful of where the things I purchase originate excites me, as it allows me to play a role in empowering others around the globe.

It only takes a few extra minutes before purchasing a product to make sure the company's artisans or employees are being treated with dignity and kindness, and paid an ethical, livable wage.

If you are interested in exploring ethical shopping as well, here are a few brands I personally love & cannot recommend enough. Each one is doing life-changing work, and you can purchase from them, knowing you are making an impact! Happy shopping!

And if you are interested in interning with Not I But We or want to know more about the justice enterprise, feel free to shoot us an email (hello@notibutwe.com)!

xoxo, Farris


Not I But We

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Mission: To create meaningful jobs so survivors can rewrite their story.

My Favorite Product: Freshwater Pearl Necklace ($40)

Click here to shop!

2nd Story Goods

Location: Gonaives, Haiti

Mission: Providing meaningful work, a safe work environment and a liveable wage for local Haitians.

 My Favorite Product: Marquise Moon Earring ($28)

 Click here to shop!


Location: Nashville, TN

Mission: Employing those transitioning out of homelessness in Tennessee.

 My Favorite Product: "Bee The Change" Necklace ($60)

 Click here to shop!

New Hope Girls

Location: Dominican Republic

Mission: Rescuing, facilitating healing and employing female survivors of human trafficking.

My Favorite Product: Vagar Pouch  ($18) (I use it every day!) 

Click here to shop!

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