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Author: Polished Pearl

This season at Dillard’s

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Lanyards and Id cases from Polished Pearl make the perfect gift for a grad.

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The carry all from Sari Bari makes a wonderful diaper bag.

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The Freeset jute bags make a great beach bag!


Author: Polished Pearl

Behind the Flashmob

It is once again time for NYC Fashion Week and it made us think back on the flash mob during the last day of Fashion Week on Sept 11th. It had been something we were planning for months with the help of the NYC Symphony Chorus, the videographers, Caleb and Joshua, and the amazing team at Hephzibah House.
It was about celebrating the launch of this campaign and about the declaration of freedom on a day that has represented anything but that. A police officer told us after we finished, how awesome it was to have witnessed something so uplifting that day. That is what freedom business is all about, going into the heart of something dark and sad, and bringing hope.

Below, a behind-the-scenes video discussing the Flashmob.

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Author: Polished Pearl

International Anti Slavery Day

Trafficking is a business that profits billions of dollars FROM people. Part of the solution is business that profits FOR people. We call these Freedom Businesses. Free at Last businesses are making a difference in the lives of hundreds of trafficking survivors in India. With the purchase of Free at Last products at Dillard’s, you join in the journey of freedom.

Dillards Online Store

 

 


Author: Polished Pearl

Free at Last Flashmob

The Free at last Campaign launches with a flashmob in 9/11 in NYC. Products hit the shelves in Dillard’s stores nationwide.

9/11 Free at Last Flashmob

 

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Author: Polished Pearl

Sari Bari-A life in the making

Sari Bari is a safe place of employment where women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to trafficking can experience a new life in the making. The name “Sari Bari” comes from two symbols. A sari is the traditional clothing worn by women in India. In India, a sari represents the essence of womanhood. The word bari mean “house or home” in the Bengali language.

Sari Bari does not rescue women, but rather seeks restoration for those who have been trafficked or held in the sex trade by poverty and lack of empowerment. Approximately 65 percent of women in the red light areas no longer qualify for legal action in the form of rescue. While they were likely first trafficked in their teen years, many are now middle-aged and are trapped by circumstances that have bound them since childhood.

Helping to prevent new girls from being trafficked into the sex trade is the most effective way to combat sexual slavery. We hope to offer high-risk girls an opportunity to life-giving education and work that will protect them from ever entering the sex trade. To meet this goal, Sari Bari has located its third production site in a village that is a high trafficking area of India. Young women ages 17-25 and living in poverty are offered jobs at this site.

Sari Bari makes and sells beautiful, handmade, vintage sari products but it’s more than that. The heart of Sari Bari is its women survivors of Kolkata’s red light areas who have taken brave steps into new life, freedom and hope. Each Sari Bari product is marked with the name of the woman who made it and with your purchase you become a part of her freedom story.

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Author: Polished Pearl

Polished Pearl

Every Life is a Pearl. Unique. Rare. One-of-a-kind.

Polished Pearl is an accessories label that trains and employs on the front of human trafficking and whose profits are used for the care of vulnerable children.

As we began to explore what was needed in the fight against human trafficking, we found that though there are rescues and some restoration homes, training and employment are still so needed. These pearls come out of the brothels with so many traumas that they are actually more vulnerable than when they were trafficked to start with. Then there are the on-going physical and emotional challenges, so finding safe employment that pays enough for them to live on is very difficult. Also, in order to prevent trafficking, safe and sustainable employment is needed to offer a viable solution to crippling poverty.

This is where we can make a difference. We began to be inspired by the beauty we saw in India, the beauty in the faces of pearls we met, and in the incredible detail of hand embroidery and colourful saris. We set out to create pieces that display the beauty we encountered in these women both inside and out, helping to bring training and sustainable employment. Now you have joined in the journey and are part of polishing these pearls, discovering the joy of having a unique piece that truly represents the beauty of every pearl.

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Author: Polished Pearl

Freeset

Freeset is a fair trade business offering employment to women trapped in Kolkata’s sex trade, women who were forced into prostitution by trafficking or poverty. These women didn’t choose their profession it was chosen for them. Now, they’re being offered a real choice. When they choose to work at Freeset, they can start new lives, regain dignity in their communities, and begin a journey towards healing and wholeness. All profits from Freeset in Kolkata benefit the women (salary, health insurance and retirement plan) and are used to grow the business. This means more women can be employed and experience freedom.

Freeset uses an “upside down” model that turns the normal principles of running a business on their head. Businesses generally choose the best people for a job and pay them the lowest possible wages. Here, women are employed on the basis of their need for freedom, rather than their qualifications – many have had little or no schooling. They are trained and then paid well above the going market rate. The transformation in women’s lives is clearly apparent, simply because they’ve been given a chance. We would like to see the 10,000 sex workers in our neighborhood empowered with the choice of leaving a profession they never chose in the first place.