UPDATE: The Parative Project’s Kickstarter campaign was successful! Now you can buy on www.theparativeproject.com.
T-shirts have been telling stories for decades. Whether it’s your favorite band, sports team, logo, or graduating class, what we wear makes a statement. I (Drew, the founder of The Parative Project) have always had an affinity for t-shirts. My love started with a t-shirt I printed in high school that said, “My Love for You Goes on For Ages.” The intention was to wear it around my crush to show her how I felt. Sadly, she didn’t show up for school that day… However, I realized something that inspired me and hopefully will inspire you. I learned that t-shirts can communicate. Years later I started The Parative Project, we make tees to spark conversations about what can be done to eradicate human trafficking and give hope to those who are fighting for the cause and to those who have been victimized by it.
It was later that I discovered two specific organizations that have worked alongside women who have been trafficked, exploited, and forced into labor: Freeset and The Aruna Project.
After a conversation with the founder of The Aruna Project, I was inspired to move production of Parative’s shirts to India. Here, the tees wouldn’t just tell a story; they would be made by the hands of those whose story is being told. These women are hardworking, talented, and we believe in them. We can communicate this to them them not only by hiring them, but in another way too. We want to tell these women of their deep value in the best way we know how: a t-shirt.
For the Kickstarter, we made t-shirt designs that speak backwards. The messages on these specific shirts are not for the consumer, nor the people who will see you wearing them (although of course we think you will love them too). Instead, we designed these shirts to speak to their maker. The woman who is working to end the cycle of poverty for the generations after her. The woman who is diligently fighting the ghosts of her past. The woman who might need some encouragement to know she is remembered. We know that a t-shirt isn’t going to erase everything that has happened to her, but like a greeting card can turn around someone’s day, these tees will serve as comfort and support to her. As she works, she will read the messages, “You are loved” and “Our freedom is tied together.” So when the product she made is purchased, she will know that we believe in her freedom and want to help grow her business.
This Kickstarter is allowing us to begin a partnership with Freeset and The Aruna Project. Both of these organizations give rescued women an opportunity for freedom through employment. The women are given the chance to heal from their past, grow in the skills they need to live their new life, and have the freedom to dream.
With the shirts designed and the relationships started, all we need now is to fill the orders! If successfully funded, Parative will transfer production of its merchandise to create sustainable job opportunities for women who have been empowered out of the trade in partnership with organizations like The Aruna Project and Freeset. Help us make this happen and share the message that these women are loved.