As we continue to move through this quarter focusing on Human Trafficking, it’s important to recognize the relationship between the goods we buy and slave labor. If you’re looking for a way to fight human trafficking, the easiest way you can do so is by using your consumer power. The fast fashion industry depletes the earth’s resources and leverages slave labor to pass on a “cheap” cost to the end consumer. As consumers, we have the power to become more aware of our purchases to make a positive difference for the people involved in making our clothes and goods.
Who makes the clothing we wear every day and in what conditions?
In addition to clothing, you can also fight human trafficking as a consumer by asking questions like, “who picked my tomatoes?” Be a conscientious and informed consumer. Find out more about who may have picked your tomatoes or made your clothes at ResponsibleSourcingTool.org, or check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.
Want to learn some other ways to fight human trafficking? Here are some ideas…
- Learn the indicators of human trafficking.
- Volunteer and support anti-trafficking efforts in your community.
- Meet with and/or write to your local, state, and federal elected officials to let them know you care about combating human trafficking and ask what they are doing to address it.
- Be well-informed. Set up a web alert to receive current human trafficking news.
- Watch and discuss films about human trafficking. For example, learn how modern slavery exists today; watch an investigative documentary about sex trafficking, or discover how forced labor can affect global food supply chains.
If you’re making the shift to a completely ethical wardrobe, there are plenty of resources online to refer to! Luckily, we did some of the work for you! Check out some of the additional resources on fast fashion and ethical consumer decision-making below!
If you are in the United States and believe someone may be a victim of human trafficking, call the 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or report an emergency to law enforcement by calling 911. Trafficking victims, whether or not U.S. citizens, are eligible for services and immigration assistance.