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Sixteen months ago, a new seamstress started a job at the sewing center. Her name is Mira, and she is 19 years old. At Elegantees, our passion is to do more than design with intention to provide your new favorite clothing item. We make these clothes in Nepal in order to restore lives. 

 

Mira's Story

My mother gave birth to three daughters, but most of Nepal thinks girls have little or no worth. My father abandoned us and married another woman for a chance to conceive a son. My sisters and mom were neglected, even by our maternal family. Things got worse when Mom was nearly murdered by my uncle. Her wound from the stabbing made her body too weak to work hard. We depended on others to give us a place to live, but we were a burden to them. I didn’t go to school for many years. Instead, I worked a job to help us survive. 

Some of my friends wanted to go to India. They told me to go with them to have a better life, and I was very hopeful of that. When I crossed the border, KI Nepal* inquired with me. They helped me realize that going to India was a trap for sex trafficking. KI Nepal protected me and gave me skills to sew garments. I started taking classes for completion of Grade 8, and then was hired to work as a seamstress and make elegantees. I am very thankful for the chance to study and have a good job.

 

Shop the Mira tee:

Inspired by this overcomer, it is a cute basic you'll wear over and over again. At a reasonable price, it's possible to support our work through fashion.

We choose to work in Nepal.

It started as a desire to use fashion to fight human trafficking. Little did we know, when Elegantees founder, Katie, met Ramesh, the founder of a nonprofit that rescues thousands of girls each year, that this would come together. Nepal is an impoverished nation with a local perception that a girl child is worth less than a boy child, so young women disappear far too often. The trafficking of girls from Nepal into India for forced prostitution is perhaps one of the busiest slave trafficking routes anywhere in the world, with estimated 5,000-10,000 Nepali women and girls trafficked to India each year. Sometimes, they travel farther than India, and end up in the Middle East. 

Employment has an impact on the respect of women. A well-paying job is a gift to bring hope for a life free of violence, poverty, and vulnerability to harm.  Elegantees' mission is to pay a living wage to as many women our sales allow us to provide for.

 

Our nonprofit partner:
*KI Nepal is the nonprofit partner of Elegantees. KI Nepal intercepts thousands of women and children each year from human trafficking and provides safe homes and counseling. Elegantees is an employment partner and hires women referred to us from KI Nepal. To donate to KI Nepal's work, visit Our Daughters International, which is the umbrella 501(c)3 to provide for KI Nepal. 

 

Photo: Our Daughters International

 

February 01, 2019 by Katie Martinez