Holiday Shopping Labor Free – 15 Awesome Trafficking Free Companies

I challenge you to be more cautious of where you’re spending your money this holiday season. As the season of giving, I pray that you keep the hands of those creating your gifts in mind.

International Labour Organization says that “almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour – 11.4 million woman and girls and 9.5 million men and boys. Forced labour in the private economy generates US $150 billion in illegal profits per year.”1

The biggest problems are the fast fashion products cheaply made. Be aware of these companies and brands: H&M, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Nike, the Limited Brand (Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, The Limited, Express).2

Rather than making purchases which support companies that have been in yours and your families closets for years, why not try a few new brands?

  1. Tecovas boots – These are the most comfortable cowboy boots I have ever owned, and they’re both affordable and slave free. — https://www.tecovasboots.com
  2. Slumlove Sweater Company – an Austin local business woman is working with woman in Haiti creating beautiful sweaters fair trade and trafficking free. — http://www.slumlove.com
  3. Purses and clutch – Another Austin local brand making purses and clutches — https://www.purseandclutch.com
  4. Agathos leisure – Ethical, fair-trade AND organic athletic gear. — https://agathosathleisure.com
  5. NAJA – An undie company turning women from Columbia into micro-entrepreneurs. — http://www.naja.co
  6. Teysha- Austin boot company that makes custom boots. They focus on quality over quantity, and social justice. — http://www.teysha.is
  7. Toms shoes – Tom’s Shoe’s started the buy one, give one initiative. For ever item they sell, one is given to someone in need. — http://www.toms.com
  8. Krochet kids – They empower women to rise above poverty and transform their lives for both themselves and their families. — https://www.krochetkids.org
  9. Fossil – A beautiful watch company that strives to empower people and create community. — https://www.fossil.com
  10. PACT – Extra soft, organic basics for the whole family. — https://wearpact.com
  11. Everlane – Their goal is transparency and integrity with their brand and their factories. — https://www.everlane.com
  12. Girlfriend collective – These leggings are trafficking free AND good for the environment. They are fair trade, ecofriendly and each pair is made out of 25 recycled water bottles. — https://girlfriend.com
  13. Sseko designs – Bags, shoes and accessories made in east Africa. — https://ssekodesigns.com
  14. Being apparel – ethically sourced and created athletic gear. — https://www.beingapparel.com
  15. Frankie Jean – They have a beautiful collection of the best designers and creatives that are in Austin. They support local artists and sell everything from clothing to home goods and stationary. — https://www.frankiejean.com

These are all brands with incredible products and amazing quality goods for yourself and your loved ones. I’ve had the honor and privilege of speaking with and working with some of these companies one on one, and I’m amazed by their hard work and determination to change the world. Your purchase will help them continue along in their mission to promote change and raise the standards for those in manufacturing and the facilities where they are working.

 Learn more at http://www.IgniteLightNow.org

Sourcing:

  1. Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Slavery. Retrieved from  http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang–en/index.htm

  2. (Jan 1, 2014) 10 Companies That Use Slave Labor. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/cat1613/slavery-never-ended-it-grew-and-got-ignored-db1p
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My Test is my Testimony

A testimony is an awesome way to share how Christ has gotten you to where you are in your life. I had the opportunity tonight to share mine with a girlfriend and thought it would be worth writing down.

I was raised by Christian parents who had my brother and I in church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings and actively involved in youth group on the weekends. I was raised knowing that this was an essential part of my life and my future. When I got to high school, I made the boyfriend in my life my god and without realizing it, in college they were the idol that ran my whole world. While I was in college, I found that my life was pretty good and on the right track just how it was going, so I continued to put the Lord on the back burner and live my life the way I wanted to.

When I wasn’t with my boyfriend, or getting drunk with my sorority sisters, I felt lost. I had the dream of getting into nursing school, and after 3 years of trying my hardest, I had to let the dream go and find another focus that would get my out of college with a degree without accruing too much extra unexpected student loans. I graduated one semester later than planned, with a wonderful man in my life. I went to Africa to teach English for 6 weeks, found a job as soon as I got home and have been in IT sales since.

Slowly after returning stateside, the Lord started working on me. I started seeing things I had always ignored in a different light. Like that my boyfriend wasn’t a Christian and wouldn’t go to church with me on the rare occasions that I attended. This started to slowly eat at me, and other things came into focus. I have always wanted a husband and a family. This boyfriend and I had always discussed the possibilities of a family, and had always been on the same page, but now in this new light when it was mentioned, we didn’t seem to even be speaking the same language. Ultimately, less then 2 years later, I ended the relationship because we were not on the same page when it came to families or faith. These were 2 things that I was never going to be willing to give up. I was going to marry a Christian man who would be a strong leader, and would share my desire to have a family and babies.

8 days later I booked my moving truck to get me to my fresh start in Austin, TX. God has been working in my life every day since, and I have been working hard to not ignore Him. When I look at all of the things that He kept me from, and all the amazing things that have occurred because of His hand on my life, there is no one that deserves the credit more than Him. God has opened doors and closed windows to give me the life that I have never dreamed of. He put me into a house that I could barely afford by giving me the loan officer that fought for me and got incredibly creative every step of the way. He has given me a women’s Bible Study that keep me focused on my goals and are incredible examples of the Christian woman that I strive to be every day. He has blessed me with a family that has loved me through all of the messes that I’ve learned to get through. He reminds me of the things that I will not give up and keeps me focused on the plan that He has laid out for me. He answers my prayers and is with me every step of the way.

I only have this life because God has provided every piece of it to me. He deservers every ounce of recognition and praise because I am only where I am because of Him. He leads me despite all of my poor choices, and mistakes, not in spite of them. God is so good every single day and the future will be full of blessings and challenges that continue to allow me to grow and further pursue Him.

Your test will become your testimony and your mess your message. ❤

Feeling Uneasy

I’m feeling uneasy tonight. I don’t know if it’s the number of projects I’m working on, the stress of preparing for the holidays, the frustration of work and relationships, or anxiety over my future but I’m not feeling whole. Yesterday I felt 100% myself and at ease with everything. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by all I was working on and I was at peace with my busy and hectic life. Today, the devil is trying to distract me and get me down. 
If you’re feeling like the devil is trying to get you down, I hope you find comfort in this. 

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things.”
Ephesians 6:10

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

If you could pray for me to find peace in whatever is causing me to feel uneasy tonight, I would greatly appreciate it.

Profile of a Trump Supporter

Beauty Beyond Bones articulated her thoughts around the election seemlessly. Enjoy!

BeautyBeyondBones

I was going to do a cheeky post on Taylor Swift or something, but…I just couldn’t. As much as I realllly didn’t want to write about the election, ignoring the state of our nation right now just didn’t sit well with me.

Scrolling through social media and watching the news today, there was definitely a tone. An overwhelming consensus of, almost arrogant disbelief in our country that manifested in highly divisive and passive aggressive comments.

A few highlights: written by my friends on Facebook or sent directly to me:

Trump supporters are “dumb, uneducated, delusional idiots pushing for change, regardless of what disaster may entail. This country is breeding ignorance.”

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“If you voted for Trump, explain to me why your female, black, latino/a, LGBTQ+, and Muslim friends don’t matter to you.”

“Trump Supporters: racist, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic, misogynist clowns with an affinity for orange spray tans.”

“Wow. There are racist…

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Dating the Lord

God help me to be fully satisfied in you. The idea that I need to be in a relationship needs to be removed from me because ultimately I’m in a relationship with you God. I want to be fully 100% satisfied in you and at peace with the plan that you have prepared for me. Amen. 
The scariest part about asking the Lord to make me fully satisfied in Him, is that I’m also asking for peace if that means I’m called to be single for the rest of my life. I totally understand that you’re thinking “that’s a little extreme” but hear me out. We’re all called to be and to do something. While I have felt that I was called to be a wife and a mother my entire life, the Lord may not actually be calling me to be that. He could be calling me to be something different. Even though I’ve always dreamed of being a wife, ultimately He may not call me to fulfill that roll. I’m asking for grace in accepting that the Lord is fully in control, even when that brings me to my knees in emotions. 
Paul Enns said “Grace may be defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God of those who are under condemnation.” 
When it comes to dating and relationships, I have thought that I knew better than God. That the relationships I was in, or men I was waiting on, were the right fit at that moment. But the crazy thing is, I have never been pursued by men the way I’ve pursued them. The way that I want and deserve to be pursued. But the Lord pursues me daily! 
Hannah Kerr as a song right now where the lyrics make me feel infinitely better. 

“Every scar on my skin 

Is a beautiful reminder

Of a moment when I didn’t give in 

And I walked through fire
Cuz in the dark there is a light 

A truth that keeps on burning bright

Makes me brave to fight the fight

And shout the battle cry 
Don’t ever stop me I’m a warrior

When I fall down I get stronger

Faith is my shield your love is the armor

I’m a warrior”
I would rather be completely and wholly content with being alone than go down another path where I’m going to be questioning every day where we stand. Relationships shouldn’t be that confusing and complicated. They should be exciting, and fun! While I’m anxious for that next chapter, I’m trying really hard to enjoy each coming day and let God take me down the paths that He chooses to send me down. 

Let go and let God. No matter how many times I tell myself that, it’s easier said than done.