JEANS SAV­ING LIVES

Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

MEGHAN Markle loves th­ese jeans and now young­sters can sup­port a com­mu­nity event or­gan­ised by the com­pany that makes them.

Out­land Denim is an eth­i­cal cloth­ing brand, based at Mount Tam­borine, that pro­vides sus­tain­able em­ploy­ment and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for women who have been res­cued from hu­man traf­fick­ing and sex­ual ex­ploita­tion.

It caught the eye of the Duchess of Sus­sex, who wore their jeans dur­ing their of­fi­cial tour Down Un­der, and now Out­land Denim has teamed with artist Belinda Smith to set up Blue Jeans Sis­ters.

They will host a com­mu­nity art work­shop in Mur­willum­bah tomorrow and in Coolan­gatta on Jan­uary 16 where young­sters aged 12 and over will make denim dolls out of re­cy­cled denim.

Th­ese will be dis­played at an ex­hi­bi­tion in Bris­bane, en­ti­tled A

Fierce Hope, and then do­nated to or­phan­ages and res­cue homes in Cam­bo­dia and In­dia.

Ms Smith said the aim of the pro­ject was to raise aware­ness of ex­ploita­tion of hu­man labour and the en­vi­ron­ment in the fash­ion in­dus­try.

“Modern slav­ery af­fects 45.8 mil­lion lives in many of the poor­est coun­tries and three quar­ters of this alarm­ing fig­ure are women and girls,” she said.

Work­shop par­tic­i­pants will each make a doll out of re­cy­cled denim jeans, each unique with vari­a­tions in colour and work­man­ship.

“The de­mo­graphic we are tar­get­ing with this work­shop at Level Up is per­fect for the mes­sage of this pro­ject.

“Teens who are highly fash­ion con­scious can be taught to be thought­ful con­sumers,” Ms Smith said.

Out­land Denim made in­ter­na­tional head­lines when Ms Markle cham­pi­oned the Aussie brand that em­ploys sur­vivors of the sex and hu­man traf­fick­ing trade in Cam­bo­dia, help­ing the com­pany give more women a safe fu­ture.

PHOTO: BRIONY WALKER

DOLLED UP: Belinda Smith with some of the denim dolls to be part of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

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