Successful Fair Trade Fashion Show Benefits Youth for Human Rights Florida

To raise awareness of human trafficking and the garment industry, Youth for Human Rights of Florida successfully produced the Colors of the World Fair-Trade Fashion Show in Ybor City this past weekend.

TAMPA: More than 100 people gathered this Saturday at the Church of Scientology of Tampa for the first annual Colors of the World Fashion Show. Models ranging in age from 3 to 35 showcased fashions that were eco friendly and made using fair trade practices.

"Many people think it is just fair wages for goods created," said MC Joanie Sigal, "but it means a lot more than that. The Fair Trade movement promotes standards for fair labor standards, environmentalism, social policy, fair pricing, and community development."

In addition to the attendees, support also came from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who proclaimed the day "Youth for Human Rights Florida and Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Stop Human Trafficking Awareness Day."

During the show, the models carried signs that gave statistics about human trafficking while a running video projected additional information about fair trade and how it benefits families and children throughout the world.

As an example, when suppliers use fair trade standards - giving workers a living wage as well as providing a safe work environment and no forced child labor - the workers are able to feed and shelter their families, get health care and ensure that their children go to school.

Attendees gathered before the show for multi-national cuisine provided by volunteers. They were then ushered into the Chapel of the Church, which had been converted into a high-fashion venue complete with flashing lights and a runway.

Two singer/songwriters - John Gold and Jessy Leros provided musical entertainment at the beginning of the show.

Three different groups showcased their fashion and accessories at the event: The dresses were from Nancy's Gone Green, clever handbags made out of recycled soda can pull tabs and soccer balls made without forced child labor from the Green Heart Shop and handbags and belts from Green Veranda. Fair trade polo shirts, produced by Tompkins Point Apparel were modeled by male models.

Youth for Human Rights of Florida was very encouraged by the turn out and success of the event, and plan to have more events in the future.

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