One MASSIVE topic out there, rolling through the internet and on many of our minds is about clothes. What’s right, what’s good, what’s excessive, what’s simplifying? There is this movie and there are capsule wardrobes and on and on.
I loooove what is happening over at Dressember. What is Dressember?
“Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who’ve been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women.”
Individuals (or teams of gals) commit to wearing a dress for every day of December, raising money that is then distributed to IJM (International Justice Mission) and A21. The end goal is a big dream of abolishing modern day slavery, bringing dignity back to so many oppressed women in this world.
I love a good tale of a regular, everywoman (or man) using the skills she has to make an impact. Blythe Hill, the founder of the project, tells a great story about this accidental movement that began with a simple, personal style challenge in 2009 and by its second year as an intentional fundraiser (2014) raised over $465,000.
When I started hearing about trafficking, I felt an urgency to do something, and so naturally, I looked at my skillset for a way to engage. The problem was my interests and talents didn’t seem to line up with making a difference. I’m not a social worker, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a cop. I’m someone who’s interested in fashion, trend analysis, wordplay, and blogging. My interests felt shallow in the grand scheme of things. I remember feeling powerless, and thinking, “There’s nothing I can do.”
Now, she has done something, and it’s fun, talkable, and hugely effective.
Back when you wrote in to our reader survey, there were a couple of requests for posts about “how to talk to young people about social injustice” or “helping kids to be more others-focused at Christmas.” Of course, I could write many more words about both of those things (and I will try), but something like Dressember is a ready-made opportunity to open up these conversations.
Personally, I'm on the fence about whether I will be a participant, create a team, give as a donor, act as a cheerleader, or be involved in a mix of the above. The organization hasn't quite expanded to international tax deductible donations, and since I am in Canada, this is a hiccup (All US donations to Dressember are fully tax deductible, as are Canadian donations directly to IJM).
I also wanted to put it out there first and see if any of you wanted to join in! I can just about guarantee that there will be times I will feel overwhelmed with the busyness of the season, and doing with a team is certainly more fun! If you think you would like to participate, or might be keen to donate if I do, please comment below or send me a message.
Photo credits: Dressember // Sarah Shreves
We've listened to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman countless times in my house (or, as my music app tells me: around 30), and the chorus of this song — "Never Enough" — keeps ringing through my head.
The song itself is about love (ie. without you, all the amazing things in the world will never be enough), but as we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, I feel like "Never Enough" is the battle cry of retail marketing.
“We don’t hire homies to bake bread, we bake bread to hire homies.”
I have often written about my love & admiration for Father Greg Boyle (Father G) and the work he has done with the gang population in Los Angeles with Homeboy Industries. It is not an easy thing to promote the dignity of people who have been involved in violent criminality, finding kinship in mutual love and respect.
This line — “We don’t hire homies to bake bread, we bake bread to hire homies.” — is a perfect description of the complex dynamic of running a business that is, at its core, motivated to employ a marginalized population.
For many of us — perhaps especially if you have kids in school, or an affinity for fall —, September is the perfect time for a fresh start. I wrote last week about my fresh exercise start after a summer of indulgence!
Whether it is the new calendar year, or a new school year, milestones offer a great chance for fresh starts. I think it is a fantastic time to dream about what will be different, what systems can change & improve, and how to begin well.
But here we are, mid-way through September, and I want to offer another thought:
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