Back at the beginning, The Intersection was our dream, our vision, our tiny way of using what we had to impact the world. We hoped that one day we could have a store, we hoped that we could have products from all over the world, and we hoped that what we were doing wasn't full on bananas. What we didn't ever think about was that one day people would want to join us. That people would want to be a part of our crazy dream, or participate with us in the things that were on our hearts. We hoped people would see the value in the products and buy them. But as we've grown we've discovered many people want more. They want to be involved in writing the story with us.
We are blessed. Blessed to have great friends and family and people around us who encourage us and help us and believe in us, and even tweet, tag, and share about us. For all those who have participated in the journey with us... thank you so much! For everyone who has visited us at our store or at an event and purchased goods from us... thank you so much for being a part of offering hope to those who need it in the world! For those who have modelled for us, taken photos for us, sat at bad events for us, and lent us things... thanks heaps! For those who have flown across seas to participate with us... you're the best! We have truly been blessed on the journey.
That being said, we are still constantly being asked how people can help or get more involved. Well, one great way is through partying, and who isn't into that? We have chosen through The Intersection to participate in aid and anti-trafficking through business and through buying goods from those producers who need financial support to see their way of life improved. The more that is sold, the more the producers benefit, and the more groups we can buy from. So one great way that our friends can get involved is through hosting a party, either in their homes or in our store. This means that the host invites their friends to come over, and they host them. Then either the host or staff from The Intersection share with the guests about some of the products and stories of the products and the people who benefit from the sale of the products. Then the guests have a chance to shop for those products. The host gets to hang out with their mates and have a good time, and gets to participate in the stories of hope at the same time. Everyone wins!
Here are a few other non-selling or buying ways to help us:
So for all who have helped us or who have asked how they can help us or have thought about asking how they can help us, thank you. We couldn't do it without you! We believe that together we'll make a difference!
When we started The Intersection we were wide eyed dreamers. We had travelled the world and met a lot of people and our hearts burned to do something... anything to help those we had met. We weren't trained in business or savvy about taxes or payroll or incorporation. We knew people. And we knew there were a lot of people who were making great products that they needed to find a market for. It started with paper bead jewellery in a backpack and an idea in our minds.
We have learned a lot over the 8 years that The Intersection has been in
existence. About business, about fair trade, about stories and their power
to connect people on opposite sides of the globe. What we've also learned
a lot about is human trafficking and forced labour and modern day slavery
and the way it is affecting our world.
When we started researching fair trade expressions and goods available one of the first groups we found out about was a group called Freeset. They are based in Calcutta, India, and they are involved with the rescue, rehabilitation, and work training of women who are part of the sex industry there. Their products were beautiful, but we were more caught up in their story. Women from all over India and even Nepal are sold and bought in order to be forced to "work" in one of the largest red light districts in the world. At that point we knew two things. First, we needed to buy from this group and others like it to support the work that they were doing. Second, we needed to be informed about human trafficking so that we could do all we could to be a part of getting rid of it.
We are far from being experts on the matter, but we have spent a lot of time trying to learn, to discover, to connect with anti-trafficking groups, to participate where we can, and to fill our store with as many "survivor-made" products as we can. As we've gone about this we've realized that lots of people around us are hungry for information, and to find out ways that they can be involved in stopping the sale of humans in our world. So we want to make a commitment to anyone who reads this that through our blog, our website, our social media, and our store we will do everything we can to be a source of information, a champion of groups doing great work, and a place to buy products that directly affect those groups and their ability to free slaves. We want to do all that we can to be a part of the solution. And we believe that if you will join us and will tell someone else as well... maybe we can see the tides shift on this awful practice.
This is a bag made by the ladies at Freeset that carries the message "Act Justly." We believe joining the fight against trafficking is an act of standing for justice in our world.