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.