By Jessica Kelly | Founder & Chief Everything Officer | THR3EFOLD
Well, it’s been an eventful weekend in America. I was personally so honored to be apart of such a historic event in our nation’s history. Attendance to the Women’s March (on Washington & beyond) is still being counted, but officials have concluded that even on the lowest estimate of 3.3 million attendees (the highest estimates reaching 4.6 million), it is the largest protest in US history and includes 550 cities and towns across the USA and 100 cities around the world. But how do you keep this momentum year round? Luckily, THR3EFOLD has a way to implant women’s rights deep within your brand DNA, to rally for women around the world all year long.
As I mentioned in our exciting Instagram Video feed from the Women’s March on NYC, THR3EFOLD will never endorse or condemn a candidate, or political party. We actively seek to build a community full of diversity in nationality, race, religion, and OPINION. This means if you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or none of the above, YOU. ARE. WELCOME. HERE. In deciding to participate in this walk or not, I concluded that we are marching FOR something, NOT against something or someone, and with that said, we passionately advocate each day for the equal rights of women around the world in education and vocation and therefore I felt it supremely important to be that voice in our own homeland all the more. So to all readers, may you always feel included here.
One of the most significant stories I brought back from my research travels abroad in India, was a seemingly simple conversation with two sisters in Mumbai. I had spent a few days with a group of beautiful young women, learning to sew and practicing henna in a small, barely ventilated community center in the middle of their home which happened to be a slum community atop the largest landfill in Mumbai (a city where the poverty population alone is the size of NYC - 8 million people). This community center allowed the young women of the slum to gather, take off their head coverings, and leave their responsibilities at the door for a few hours each day. We had laughed together, and practiced being both photographer and model extraordinaires with my fancy camera, not to mention them quickly surpassing me on Snapchat skills...seriously. And they adorned my hands and (and any limb they could find available) with the most beautiful henna work I’ve ever seen. I felt like I was in high school again, happy with friends, full of love and life.
I eventually asked the two chattiest sisters, one of my favorite questions, what do you want to be when you grow up? Through some broken English, I aided the conversation with "Do you love school? Do you love sewing? Where would you like to work?" And the only answer I got, through expressionless faces as if this was completely normal (because to them it was) is, “Oh, no no father doesn’t let us”. Every independent bone in my body shook and the tears (thankfully) obediently stayed just under the surface of my grief stricken soul. Because they were female, they weren’t allowed to be educated or leave the community in order to earn a living for their family, much less travel the world, start a business, or any other audacious frivolity I’ve attempted over my lifetime.
I was heartbroken, and ultimately that heartbreaking conversation was one of the major takeaways I brought back with me from that inaugural trip. You see, India is rich. Rich in culture, rich in skill, and rich in opportunity. But the spiritual whiplash I was left with, from the unfathomably vast disparity of income might as well have been a rebellious match diving headfirst into the pure gasoline that was the mission of my life. I had started the company, I had worked for the experience, I had found the connections, and now, now I had the unquenchable fire. My life’s work, will be to bring opportunity to the marginalized, poverty stricken, forgotten and abused people groups of our world and I’m going to do it through the chicest industry on our planet.
Fashion is the largest labored industry on the planet, and everyone consumes it. THR3EFOLD stands firmly planted in the belief that fashion is perfectly positioned to be the catalyst that changes the world not the cause that condemns it, and we work diligently to one day soon see a fashion industry functioning with a 100% ethically-made supply chain that everyone can trust and support. So I invite you to be a part of this mission. I invite you to be the change that these sisters, and this world needs. With a simple shift in our business suppliers, in our shopping habits, in our thought patterns, we can turn the tide on what we once knew as the global poverty epidemic.
Please email me if you’re interested in joining THR3EFOLD in the ethical fashion movement.