By Emily Miller
On Thursday, October 20th, Vanguard University’s Live2Free club held their 7th annual Fair Trade Fashion Show. Live2Free and the Global Center for Women and Justice partnered alongside Goodwill of Orange County, the Human Trafficking Task Force of Orange County, and Soroptimist International to hold this event.
This year’s theme for the Fair Trade Fashion Show was racial justice and its intersections with economic justice, and so the GCWJ and Live2Free showed an intersectional view of social justice through our Fair Trade Fashion Show by representing people of color heading up the ethical fashion movement. They also held a multitude of fair trade vendors, including Basket & Beads, Tribu, Are + Be Coffee, Opia Upcycling, Amarte, Impactful Market, Purpose Jewelry, Noonday, Fair Trade LA, and more. Many of these vendors are owned by women of color.
At the event, the models walked the runway in a variety of Fair Trade clothing brands from the vendors, as well as secondhand clothing from Goodwill. Five of the Vanguard University faculty were seen strutting the red carpet as well, including GCWJ director Dr. Sandie Morgan from the theology department, Dr. Itzel Callejas-Macias from the biology department, Dr. Patricia Burton from the psychology department, Dr. Stephanie D’Auria from the sociology department, and Adjunct Professor Ruthie Hanchett, who teaches for the Anti-Human Trafficking Certificate offered at Vanguard.
Makaela Brass, President of Live2Free and senior sociology major at Vanguard University, stated: “As a black girl coming from a community impacted by human trafficking and learning how so many other people of color are affected in various ways, I think it is crucial for individuals to see actual people of color heading up this movement to seek justice. It’s one thing knowing that we’re vulnerable, but it’s another seeing people who look like them stand up to fight for equality and freedom. Our theme is paramount because it emphasizes the need to be conscious consumers and thinkers while also bringing recognition and representation to everyone that needs to be a part of the conversation – women, men, adults, children, students, and community members of all backgrounds. It motivates and inspires, letting the world know that people of color can be powerful agents of change.”
In short, Live2Free’s 7th annual Fair Trade Fashion Show was a success! Live2Free and the GCWJ are excited to continue working with its partners in the coming years to fight for ethical labor practices and representation of people of color in the anti-human trafficking movement.
You can follow Live2Free on Instagram @_live2free_, and they meet in Scott 227 every Monday at 10 AM. You can also follow the GCWJ on Instagram @vugcwj. If you want to make a difference by shopping for clothes ethically, one app that Live2Free recommends is the Good on You app. It rates clothing brands based on how ethical and sustainable they are and provides in depth descriptions on their business practices so consumers can make informed decisions.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is being trafficked, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or text “BEFREE”.