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Student represents organization that helps victims of human trafficking, sells ‘ethical’ fashion, empowers women


Senior Amber Cullen is a representative of Stop Traffick Fashion, an organization that sells clothes and accessories made by women who have survived human trafficking and that puts the proceeds toward helping other women who may be victims. She is wearing a shirt sold on the site, made by survivors of human trafficking in Kolkata, India, and earrings from the site.

Amber Cullen was scrolling through her Facebook newsfeed when she found an organization with the potential to empower her and other women.

Cullen got involved in, a website and organization that sells fashion made by survivors of human trafficking and the proceeds go to helping stop it.

“What I like about Stop Traffick Fashion and this opportunity is I like that Stop Traffick Fashion is giving people a plan of action,” Cullen said.

Cullen, a senior, is the campus representative for STF and said her job is to “empower people.”

She looks at her role as “getting things rolling and then other people can run with me. I just have to run the first lap myself.”

So far, she’s been telling people about STF and soon, she’ll partner with campus organizations and spread the word even further, she said.

“The point is to educate about human trafficking,” Cullen said. “We’re Americans, we have way too much money, what can we do with our excess money?”

The organization tells people what human trafficking is, what the “reality of trafficking is in the world,” and what they can do about it, she said.

“This is about women, it’s strictly for women,” she said.

Junior Kim Patrick learned about STF through Cullen and says she was shocked to hear about what sex trafficking was.

“I knew, but I didn’t know how many people were affected,” she said.

Patrick said she plans to buy a shirt from the website.

“It might be, like, a reminder of why I bought it and what actually is going on out there in the world,” she said.

The majority of the products on the website are made by survivors of human trafficking, but Cullen said it’s “not going to change the face of trafficking just because you purchase a shirt.”

“But in a way you are voting for companies to treat their employees well by purchasing fair trade,” she said. “It’s very much ethical fashion.”

Sophomore Gabi Fleming bought a shirt from the boutique and said it’s “great quality.”

“This is good stuff,” she said. “You know this is done with care … and it’s a good fit, so that’s a bonus.”

Fleming wants to purchase a bracelet, too. She said she bought the T-shirt and will most likely buy the bracelet because “I just want to help people as much as I can. Even though it’s not a lot.”

Cullen gave Fleming a way to get involved in the cause. They met in a student organization and discussed the problem, Fleming said.

“Sometimes causes seem so huge to us and it seems like you can’t do anything, but you can,” she said.

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