With the passing of recent bills such as the Juvenile Victim Act and Safe Harbor Law, sex-trafficking awareness is on the rise. New Minneapolis company My Sister has joined the cause with the launch of its t-shirt line, which it celebrated with a party on Thursday night that combined style and substance for a socially conscious statement.
The evening kicked off with a series of introductions by My Sister co-founders Wayne Zink and Mandy Multerer, Lee Roper-Batker—president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, the group behind the MN Girls Are Not for Sale anti-sex-trafficking campaign—as well as members of WATCH, a Minneapolis-based court monitoring and judicial policy non-profit.
Up next was a dramatic performance piece, The Silenced! by Shá Cage and performed by Mama Mosaic, which told the moving stories of three women from three parts of the world: Asia, Africa, and America, each with distinct circumstances and perspectives.
It was followed by a runway fashion show featuring My Sister’s tees bearing feminist phrases such as “You’re not the boss of me” and “Make herstory.” As producer Sarah Edwards explained before the show, the looks went from dark to light to signify the darkness felt by the victims of sex trafficking, leading to a hopeful outcome after finding support. Working with stylist Sam Perry, Evolution Hair salon, and Ignite Models, Edwards smartly paired the casual tees with items by local fashion designers including Emily Trevor, Caroline Hayden, Claire Ward, Yevette Willaert, jewelry designer Stephanie Lake, and local boutiques Proper & Prim and MartinPatrick3, giving the tees a high-fashion look.
But the most feel-good moment of the night came when Zink led an impassioned fundraiser to raise $10,000 for a hospice center for nonprofit partner Maiti Nepal, an organization in Nepal dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking. Within ten minutes, the philanthropic crowd had exceeded the goal by more than $2,000. That’s what I call socially conscious style.
You can snag a tee and find out more about how to help the cause at mysister.org.
Tank by My Sister, skirt by Emily Trevor
Tee by My Sister, skirt from Proper & Prim
Tee by My Sister, skirt by Yevette Willaert