“Dressember is a collaborative movement leveraging fashion and creativity to restore dignity to all women.”
When I first heard about the movement to raise awareness about human trafficking through dresses, I was immediately interested. One of our customers who was in full pledge mode inspired me to get involved. I began researching, and realized Blythe Hill, the founder of this movement, was much like me. Our talents both lie in creative fields and the fashion industry, which some may view as unimportant.
Blythe says,”When I started hearing about trafficking, I felt an urgency to do something, and so naturally, I looked at my skill set for a way to engage. The problem was my interests and talents didn’t seem to line up with making a difference. I’m not a social worker, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a cop. I’m someone who’s interested in fashion, trend analysis, wordplay, and blogging. My interests felt shallow in the grand scheme of things. I remember feeling powerless, and thinking, ‘There’s nothing I can do.’
I was in college, and felt stifled by the lack of time for creativity, so I decided to create a personal style challenge. I came up with the idea of wearing a dress every day for a month. When I realized the next full month was December, the name “Dressember” came to me and, since I love wordplay, the deal was sealed. So I did it; I wore a dress every day for a month. And I never planned to do it again.
The next year, a handful of girlfriends wanted to do it with me. So I did it again. And then the next year, my girlfriends’ girlfriends wanted to join in. So, when women I didn’t even know were participating in it, I realized this was a good idea.
And then I started to dream bigger. I thought, “maybe I can use Dressember to raise some money for anti-trafficking.” So, in its fifth year, 2013, I aligned Dressember with International Justice Mission and decided, “we’re gonna go big– we’re gonna try to raise $25K,” which felt like a huge, scary goal. When we hit my huge, scary goal– on the third day of our campaign– I realized what had started as a few girls in Orange County wearing dresses for fun had become a community of over 1,200 women in 32 countries who collectively raised over $165,000!”
I love how she used her God-given talents of creativity to make a difference, and I’ll always be empowered by this. Last year we posted a different dress each day from the store (Roadkill Ranch & Boutique) in an effort to raise awareness and directed a lot of people to their site. This year we’ve vowed to do the same.
We haven’t set up our own campaign bank, but since all of the money goes to the same coffer, we are encouraging everyone to go to http://www.dressember.org to get involved or to make a donation.
“THE HEART OF DRESSEMBER IS FREEDOM– THAT EVERY WOMAN HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE A VIBRANT AND AUTONOMOUS LIFE.”
The 1st pic is founder Blythe Hill.
The 2nd pic is Marlena Khramov modeling Roadkill Ranch.
The 3rd and 4th pics are of Sydney Beaver modeling Roadkill Ranch.
Photo Credit: Dressember.org and Savannah Kaefer