Slavery Doesn’t Look Good on You: “Fashioned for Freedom” Promotes Ethical Designers Fighting Labor Trafficking
United Kingdom - Yesterday (16/10), in support of European Anti-Slavery Day 2014, IOM UK and its partners called attention to a fundamental rights issue that is being sacrificed at the altar of fashion – freedom.
“Fashioned for Freedom”, an awareness-raising fashion show celebrating brands that ensure nobody is exploited in the creation of their products, took to the catwalk at St. Mary’s, Bryanston Square in London’s Marylebone last night.
Fashion houses Beulah London, People Tree, Zoe Boomer, Nancy Dee, Mayamiko, Betty & Betts, Fikay and Brothers We Stand presented a pageant of beautiful and sharp body wear produced at no cost to human freedom and dignity.
The contemporary dance company The Natashas’ Project presented a moving portrayal of human trafficking – “the new slavery.”
Fashioned for Freedom aims to educate audiences about the hidden costs in what they wear – especially clothes produced by companies that do not subscribe to ethical, slavery-free production.
Clarissa Azkoul, Chief of Mission of IOM UK, said: “We believe awareness raising and empowering the public through knowledge about trafficking will allow them to make informed, ethical consumer decisions. Anti-Slavery Day allows us, each year, to put the spotlight on the voiceless victims.”
The London fashion show, held annually, aims to be a catalyst in making the public close ranks against fashion businesses that exploit labor, particularly women, and children; and in drumming up support for those that espouse humane, decent labor practices.
“I have faith that some grassroots initiatives will be kicked off as a result of Fashioned for Freedom, and I am very proud to have been involved,” noted presenter Angela Buttolph, Editor of graziadaily.co.uk.
The proceeds from this year’s event will go to help rescue “fishing children” in Ghana. These children – some as young as four years old – spend their days on Lake Volta collecting fish, diving under the water to disentangle nets, while also serving as domestic helpers in fishermen’s homes. IOM, its partner NGOs and government agencies have been working to help this group of children to enjoy their rights to health, education and freedom from exploitation since 2002.
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