Oh my giddy aunt! I am so excited! We have a new partnership!!
Freeset! Who/what is Freeset? Well, I’m glad you asked. Freeset is a company in India started by people from New Zealand who wanted to see women set free. They landed in Kolkata and moved into the largest and most notorious brothel neighborhood….I like those kind of people. These legends thought about how women coming out of brothels would need new employment for it to be a sustainable change for them.
So they figured out that sewing would be a good option, and jute bags would probably sell well. They started the hard task of teaching people who didn’t know a skill, how to not only do it, but do it well. One of the values at JusticeKiss is that I aim to find good quality products, not just guilt products. So this business is an awesome fit as a partner since they quality control and produce an exemplary product.
They also pay their workers twice the going rate for similar employment and offer health insurance and other things. If you know anything about South Asia it’s that workers rights are not a high priority for most employers. That’s one reason I only want to partner with brands that value the hands that make the products more than the profit they can make from the product.
On top of that, have you heard about the cotton farmer suicide crisis in India? No, well let me tell you, you should. By being forced to buy GM cotton seeds many farmers have had seeds that didn’t work in their area and subsequently went bankrupt. This led to a rash of farmers who committed suicide in the face of impending disaster and hopelessness. But Freeset, like other socially aware businesses uses organic cotton in their bags. What does that mean? It means they are holding to a standard of not doing harm. They aren’t harming the market, they aren’t harming farmers and they aren’t harming the environment while making a truly great product.
All in all, I’m so stoked to partner with this business and see more women have a sustainable & free future away from the brothels and abuse. And since Nepal is a major supplier of those same brothels it feels like a win, win, win. Supporting Beauty for Ashes Nepal gets women out of the brothel system in Nepal. Supporting Tiny Hands and their border monitoring stations reduces the number of young people and women going over the borders to these types of jobs. And supporting Freeset helps get those already trafficked in India out of the circumstances.
So, I hope you will go to http://www.justicekiss.co.nz and check out the new bags and see if one is right for you or for someone you love. I have my eye on a couple for myself. There’s even several options of men! (My husband is adamant he needs one. 😉 ) Even if you don’t buy, go check them out cause they’re beautiful to look at. And it’s exciting and restores hope to look at some of these companies doing great things in some of the darkest places.