The Hope Bag

This isn’t just a beautiful bag given to me by my soon-to-be sister-in-law. It’s a bag that brings hope.

The couple who started the bag company FreeSet accidentally moved into the red light district in India. They discovered that literally 10,000 women a day “stand in line,” as it’s called, waiting for the thousands of men who come to buy sex. This couple wanted to provide another option, so they started a business where women could come and make bags to sell around the world. They now make 1,000 bags a day, and provide health care, full-time status, and twice the local going rate, for all the women who work there. They employ 190 women.

I have the best soon-to-be in-laws EVER. Seriously, I am so blessed.

Hannah (one of my soon-to-be sisters) gave me a “husband taser” for my bridal shower. It’s a light-up pink bubble-shooting gun, in case her brother misbehaves. Funniest. Gift. Ever.

Then Jael (one of my soon-to-be sisters) gave me this Hope Bag for my bridal shower.

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Okay, so it’s pretty awesome as is, right? Zipper top, beautiful colors, hand-made, and eco-friendly.

BUT. On top of all that, what’s even way beyond cooler is the story behind it.

The Hope Bag is made by FreeSet, which is a company that provides jobs for women in India, so they don’t have to “stand in line” to sell their bodies in the sex trade.

Apparently the couple who started FreeSet accidentally moved into the red light district in India. They discovered that literally 10,000 women a day “stand in line,” as it’s called, waiting for the thousands of men who come to buy sex. Some of the women are kidnapped and physically forced into this sex trade. Others simply do not have another way to bring home food for their children. And when they look into their children’s hungry faces, they are willing to do anything.

This couple wanted to provide another option, so they started a business where women could come and make bags to sell around the world. They now make 1,000 bags a day, and provide health care, full-time status, and twice the local going rate, for all the women who work there. They employ 190 women.

This is truly amazing. I was blown away reading the company’s story, and some of the stories of the women who have been able to leave the “line” and work with FreeSet instead.

But it’s still only 190 out of 10,000 women. 

This makes me want to go out and buy every bag on their website, and tell everyone I know to go buy a bag as well! The more bags that are sold, the more jobs that are available, and the more women that can be free in their neighborhood. I know it’s not always that simple, but if I can be part of the solution, I want to be.

There are other companies like this, but I’ve often found their products outside of my budget. FreeSet? Totally affordable.

And why don’t I patronize more of these companies? I need to start doing more research, and using my purchases to go toward a cause like this!

You can check out their dozens of different kinds of bags, as well as customizable, bags, here:

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They’re super cute, eco-friendly, and very well priced.

Check them out, and, seriously — tell everyone you know! 

(If you have other sites like this that you LOVE shopping at, comment below!)

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