Sudara makes products that empower women who are working to remain free from sex slavery. The company exists with the basic belief that “No human being should be owned by anyone, anywhere, for any reason- ever.”
The idea for Sudara came about after a life-changing trip to India by founder Shannon Keith in 2005. Shannon was deeply moved by what she witnessed in India’s Red Light Districts – modern day slavery. Upon her return home, Shannon gathered her friends together to help the women in India who could not escape the sex trade. They created a simple pattern that was easy to teach anyone who wanted to learn how to sew. Partnerships were made with like-minded organizations in India who were willing and able to work with women looking for a way out of the brothels of the Red Light District.
In 2006, Sudara hired its first six employees in a “sewing center partnership,” and they began to teach women the skills they needed to become a seamstress. The first pair of PUNJAMMIES™ loungewear was produced.
The name, Sudara, comes from a sanskrit word (Sundara) meaning beautiful. In addition to PUNJAMMIES™ made with hope by women in India who have escaped human trafficking, Sudara also offers tops for women and “thoughtful” temporary tattoos from Conscious Ink.
Sudara also has a nonprofit arm that helps provide housing and education for the women who are trained to make Sudara’s products and their children. According to the website, Shannon’s team is also looking at expanding their focus on sex trafficking beyond India, “working towards developing a variety of new and amazing products—each inspired by the local culture and crafted by the brave women of the community who are looking for a new life, free from slavery and filled with hope.”
Sudara’s 2013/2014 annual report boasts sales of over 14,000 PUNJAMMIES™, four sewing center partners and over 170,000 nights of safe, peaceful sleep for the 180+ women and their children associated with the sewing centers.
As I was reading through Sudara’s website, I was struck by its FAQs page. I found the link on the bottom of the website and expected it to be about making purchases on the site, how to return items, shipping policies and the like. Instead, the page is all about human trafficking and what Sudara is specifically doing to fight it. If you read anything on the site, I suggest the FAQs page.
You can support Sudara and take a stand against modern-day slavery by:
- Purchasing PUNJAMMIES™
- Donating to Sudara’s work
- Sharing this post
- Following Sudara on social media:
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.