“Prevent sex trafficking, educate communities, empower the population, provide aftercare for survivors, and offer growth opportunities to at-risk youth and women through the sales of our statement-making, ethically-sourced apparel and accessories.” This is the mission statement of MY SISTER, a clothing organization that provides a way for each and every one of us to make a difference in the lives of girls and women around the world who are trapped in sex trafficking, and to look fearsome while doing it.
MY SISTER is an impassioned clothing company founded in 2015 that not only creates statement-making shirts but also works tirelessly to eradicate human trafficking from their production lines. While they are technically a registered Minnesota for-profit organization, they are more importantly an organization with a mission. They believe that “Every female could be our sister, and we want her to live free and be loved. Sex trafficking is a severe violation of human rights and NONE of our sisters should have to be exploited in this way.” They put these words into action by donating 10% of their net proceeds to their non-profit partner, MN Girls Are Not For Sale, which provides the support programs for identifying at-risk youth and women and helps to prevent sex trafficking. MY SISTER also partners with several other non-profits that provide preventive services and aftercare for survivors of sex trafficking. To date, they have given over $134,500.00 to their non-profit partners and fuelled more than 3,640 hours of survivor employment.
All of the materials used to create their clothing are ethically sourced which means that MY SISTER works with suppliers that pay fair wages, and can guarantee that there is no child labour is involved in their facilities. MY SISTER expresses a deep passion for making sure that their products are sourced ethically because “The garment manufacturing industry has ties to sex trafficking, making the decision even more personal for us. Many women affected by sex trafficking worldwide are actually ex-garment factory workers who were lured into “the life” through desperation and promises of higher wages.” With the majority of apparel workers being women between the ages of 18-24, it is more important than ever to ensure that there are safe and fair work conditions for garment makers.
MY SISTER is the first to admit that while they source their tees from various 100% sweatshop-free distributors, they have had trouble finding ethically sourced suppliers for their larger sizes. Another hurdle that they face is that while they know enough about their supplier to ensure that there are no blatant red flags, they don’t know everything about them to ensure that every garment is made by someone who is empowered and putting love into what they’re doing. They confess that “Though we’ve gotten a good start, we fully recognize that our supply chain isn’t as ethical as it could be, and we are actively working on solutions.” These solutions come in the form of MY SISTER working to become their own manufacture, which would allow for them to control every part of the process from creation of the garment to shipping it out. On top of that, they communicate that this new model would “allow us to employ a greater number of women at risk for trafficking while bringing you, our customers, new products.”
Personally, I love this organization not only because they create some pretty fearsome shirts, but also because I know who made my shirts. Each piece that you buy comes with a tag that tells you the name of the woman who created your shirt as well as a little-handwritten message from her. It is so encouraging to see that these women have found their freedom and life again after experiencing unspeakable sufferings. MY SISTER provides them with a way to once again feel empowered and take back their lives.
This amazing organization creates clothing with bold statements that are meant to spark conversations about sex trafficking. Whether it’s with complete strangers on the street or in your own homes, MY SISTER hopes to provide their customers with tees and sweatshirts that open up conversations about this often silent topic. They provide clothing you can feel good about wearing because you know that the person who created it overcame insurmountable odds and has found a way back to a place of hope.