Power Project organizes a fashion show to raise support for victims of human trafficking.
“January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month,” said Brandi Voth, owner of The Power Project. “We wanted to host a fashion show that highlights anti-trafficking brands created by survivors of human trafficking.”
Freedom Fashion will host a show, scheduled for January 21 at 6 p.m., where they will present various brands and organizations dedicated to stopping human trafficking.
“The fashion industry is very susceptible to human trafficking, both labor and sex trafficking, so we wanted to say that there are brands that are changing that,” said Voth. “They use transparent supply chains, ethical sourcing and pay a fair wage. We do it at a slightly slower level, but with greater impact.”
The two companies involved are Voth’s, Power Hat Co. and Power Tee Co.
“We are a brand that fights human trafficking and offers transitional employment to victims of human trafficking,” said Voth. “Also, all our t-shirts and sweatpants are Fairtrade certified.”
Another company involved is Moss & Metal, which is located in the same location as The Power Project Collective and is owned and operated by Bailee Tierce.
“She has a permanent bracelet company called ‘Let’s Bond for Freedom,’ and 10 percent of each sale goes to support survivors of human trafficking by providing income gaps, business training and financial assistance,” Voth said.
There’s a new line to be launched at The Power Project called The Last Word, featuring anti-trafficking t-shirts, upcycled pieces and hand-painted denim jackets inspired by survivors.
Some other businesses that will be involved include Bungalow 123, Wild Pear Boutique and ABLE. All these companies cooperate with Fairtrade-certified artists and support the fight against human trafficking.
Proceeds from the fashion show will go to the Cooke County Hope Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of the Power Project established to meet currently unmet needs in Cooke County.
“We’ve used it in the past for Fix My ride and we’ve used it for some people who need financial assistance, and one of the areas in Cooke County that’s not being filled is survivor assistance,” Voth said. “I’ve done a lot of work in other counties, but we really wanted to plant something here where we can support survivors, so all the proceeds from this fashion show will go to the Cooke County Hope Alliance and we’ll use that to financially support survivors and the lack of income.”
As part of the show, various groups will be present to let people know more about what can be done.
“After the show, after we’ve done the talk, more organizations will be featured and people can go talk and network and find organizations to get involved with,” Voth said. “Maybe you have a heart for child trafficking or labor trafficking or frontline rescue or you work with restoration: wherever anyone wants to get involved in the anti-trafficking movement, I can get involved.”
The problem affects everyone.
“Any time you have large gatherings of people, traffickers will bring girls and boys, children and women,” Voth said. “We are five miles away from one of the largest centers of human trafficking in the US annually, the WinStar Casino. They don’t want it: they have a great team of investigators trained in anti-trafficking and victim advocacy who are on the ground every day to keep them out of the casino, but the truth is that traffickers bring girls from Dallas to the casino every day.”
Voth became aware of the problem in 2017 and began researching and learning more about what she could do.
“When my eyes were opened to it, I just knew I had to be involved in it,” Voth said.
Freedom Fashion will be a fashion show that will raise awareness of this serious topic, but there should also be fun.
“It’s a tough topic, but it’s a conversation we can have in a nice social setting,” Voth said. “We wanted to use it as a fun night, have a DJ, some drinks and food; Make it a night of fashion and advocacy, but also a great social event where we all raise awareness and funds and talk.”
The show will take place at the Power Project Collective at 114 W. Main St. in Gainesville. General admission tickets are $50 and include drink tickets. For more information, visit thepowerproject. com.