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Learn about the locally-launched fashion line that’s on a mission to fight human trafficking, and how you can help through their Kickstarter campaign.

The Parative Project
The Parative Project supports the rescue of women in India from human trafficking.

It all started with a simple conversation. “During a conversation over lunch with my friend, Ryan Berg, who talked to me about human trafficking in India for the first time, I knew I wanted to use my project to spread awareness on the issue,” Drew Oxley recalls.

Shortly after this eye-opening conversation, Oxley created the Parative Project. With a play on the word partitive, which means to “break apart,” Oxley, created a T-shirt company that not only tells a story with every single T-shirt design, but they would be made by the hands of those whose story is being told.

The Parative Project is getting funding backing from Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website designed to accept donations from your peers to fund project-based companies. According to the Kickstarter website, it supports a variety of projects from films, games and music to art, design and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people.

The Parative Project items are designed by an Ohio local artist, Joshua Minnich. The T-shirts have simple yet heartfelt catch phrases such as “Our freedom is tied together” and “You are loved.”

“[Minnich] is great! I’ve been working with him for about a year now. I can’t put to paper what I’m thinking design­-wise, but Josh has a knack for nailing every design,” says Oxley when talking about the design process.

One of the T-shirt designs available through The Parative Project.
One of the T-shirt designs available through The Parative Project.

According to Oxley, the women who will be constructing the garments in India have been rescued from human trafficking. “They will now receive a living salary, health care, retirement and proper aftercare,” he adds.

In India, working conditions for civilians are sub par compared to other countries. Recently in January of this year, a story in the Huffington Post focused on a women’s garment workers’ union in Rajasthan, India. According to this article, garment workers sew nearly 150 pieces an hour, and make up for any shortfall in daily targets without overtime pay, even if pregnant or unwell. If they don’t meet their quotas, they face deductions from their wages and even lose their jobs. “None of those practices are being done with our partners’ workspaces,” says Oxley. “Our company and our partners are people over profit.”

As for the women who are rescued from trafficking in India, the government offers them a one month aftercare program. This program is unpaid, though, and many women opt out of going. For the women who do go, many are forced back into being trafficked. The Aruna Project and Freeset—The Parative Project partners—are set out to be an alternative way out, as women are immediately paid for their training, which leads them to a self-sustaining job. The women are also offered assistance in finding a place to live, care for their children and aftercare rehabilitation.

Another T-shirt design offered by The Parative Project.
Another T-shirt design offered by The Parative Project.

Now, there are only four days left to contribute to The Parative Project, and they’re only about $400 short of their $20,000 goal. “We had several backers in the first minutes. Our customers and fans were awesome right from the start,” explains Oxley.

The Parative Project items—which includes T-shirts and recently expanded offerings such as children’s T-shirts, tote bags and flags—are for sale now by visiting their Kickstarter website. There, you can find more information about the business, their mission and follow their journey.