Freedom and Fashion: Combining Fashion and Social Justice
Freedom and Fashion is no ordinary non-profit organization.
Their headquarters is located in a quaint office in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles that is identified only by a humble sign sitting on the windowsill. However, their small office houses the most fiercely dedicated team of workers anyone will ever meet.
The staff of about 50 strong is all volunteer-based, meaning none of them are paid for the eight to fifteen hours a week they put in year round at Freedom and Fashion, and that includes founder and CEO Bonnie Kim. They are all fueled by a passion that perhaps in some ways could ironically be demeaned by a rectangular piece of paper.
The concept of Freedom and Fashion is simple, but the impact is resounding. With a desire to see an end to sex trafficking, child labor and other social injustices, Kim created Freedom and Fashion as a hub for fair trade and cause-based organizations. Freedom and Fashion then operates as a free outlet for these companies to promote their products and their causes.
One of Freedom and Fashion’s biggest events is their annual runway show. It combines fashion, entertainment and education all into one and at the end of the night, attendees have an opportunity to purchase merchandise from featured vendors. Some of the participating community partners and sponsors include Read's Clothing Project, Roma Provisions and TOMS shoes.
This year’s event will be at The Cooper Design Space in Los Angeles on December 17. It will be hosted by director of FREE2PLAY Ethan Batstone, featuring guest DJ Anthony Valadez and spoken word artist Janette Ikz.
The team will also be presenting their Khmer love bunny pins that are made by surviors of sex trafficking. The bunnies were designed by members of the Freedom and Fashion team to represent a reclaiming of innocence in the fight against human trafficking. They're made with fair trade wool felt provided by their partner Made in Mongolia and each one is highlighted by different outfits that represent countries that are involved in modern day slavery.
While Kim would never allow herself to be labeled as a pioneer, it’s very clear that she is. Non-profit organizations are a dime a dozen, but there aren’t many CEOs out there who can say that they’ve commanded and grown an unpaid staff from four to fifty people in under three years. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s obvious that the inward love that Kim pours into her team is reflected in the outward overflow of Freedom and Fashion’s vision to end social injustice.
Tickets are on sale through their website and will also be sold at the door.
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