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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024

Madison nonprofit opens storefront to bring attention to exploitation in fashion industry

As you start your holiday shopping for family and friends, take a moment to think —  

“Who made this shirt? Where did this sweater come from? Under what conditions were these things made?”

These are the questions that James Ferret, the founder and CEO of the Ethical Trade Company, hopes Madison consumers ask themselves this holiday season. 

“We want more people to think about not just the quality of the products they're buying, but who sourced it, where it's sourced from and the true cost of the product,” Ferret said. 

Ethical Trade Co., a Madison-based anti-trafficking non-profit, opened up a pop-up shop to offer products that are both sustainably sourced and high quality in time for the holidays. Ferret plans to offer a variety of products, including handmade sweaters, face masks and candles, all of which are made by survivors of human trafficking. 

“Our purpose in opening the pop-up shop is to not only provide a source of items that are slave-free, but also environmentally friendly,” he stated. “It's our goal that when you shop here, you learn about the issues of exploitation and trafficking and realize there is so much we as consumers can do about it.”

Located in the lobby of the Damascus Road Church, the store will be open through February with options for online shopping with contactless pickup or in-store private shopping.

The products are made in cooperation with partner organizations, such as Badala Bath Co. and Singing Rooster, who work to end human trafficking and labor exploitation in communities around the world. 

While there is no concrete plan for the continuation of the Ethical Trade Co. shop, Ferret hopes to eventually open a storefront in the downtown Madison area. 

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