About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view luciasd's profile
    Posted October 11, 2011 by
    Chicago, Illinois
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Are you a slavery-free consumer?

    My Slavery-Free Fashion


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     luciasd says she first became aware of how products are made when Kathy Lee Gifford came under scrutiny in 1995 because her line of women's clothing was allegedly produced with child labor. 'I worked at a small retail shop at the time and we had just started promoting fair-trade coffee. It was the first time I really considered that the dollars I spend could really affect someone else's life--both for better and for worse.' She says she didn't realize human trafficking affected so many people until her friend started to get involved with the cause and founded Malia Designs.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    Apparel and accessory items seem to be some of the most difficult when it comes to deciphering their original origins and determining if they were fairly produced.  A favorite brand of mine is Malia Designs.  I love Malia for their slavery-free and fair trade business practices, and their beautifully crafted and versatile bags and accessories.  Some of Malia’s bags are also made from recycled materials so they help the planet too.

    Malia Designs is a Chicago-based business that specializes in handbags and accessories that are produced by non-profit organizations that employ disadvantaged people in developing countries, such as Cambodia. Not only does Malia help to prevent human trafficking by providing a fair wage to women in parts of the world that are particularly susceptible to the slave trade, but also donates a percentage of profits to both local and International organizations that are hard at work fighting this cause.

    I don’t always consider whether an item I buy was produced fairly, but I know I always feel better about buying goods that are fair trade certified.   I try to spread the word to both friends and family when I find a company or brand that not only produces a high-quality desirable product, but also works to make the world a better place.

    Some of my favorite Malia bags are pictured here.

    For more information you can visit Malia at www.maliadesigns.com

    Add your Story Add your Story