The Northern Quarter neighborhood in Manchester, once the home to cotton mills and textile factories,on May 28th forced us to consider who makes our clothes.
It is a little known fact that men and women, boys and girls are trafficked to work in the cotton industry. It is also a fact that most people do not consider this when buying their clothes. Lured in by cheap prices do we stop and think about how the cotton is spun, dyed and woven in factories? Likewise are businesses aware of the unethical and at times criminal behavior of their suppliers?
In light of these questions STOP THE TRAFFIK have launched the Make Fashion Traffic Free campaign. However, a campaign is only as successful as the audience it reaches – that is why it is important to spread the word as well and far as possible.
The recent exhibition in Manchester consisted of a collection of the works of 1st year Graphic Design and Advertising students at Manchester College, who – as part of their course – were asked to develop a graphic and social media campaign to raise awareness and call people to action on behalf of STOP THE TRAFFIK. The exhibition was called “Unstitched” and displayed great artistic talent and a mature understanding of the complexities found in human trafficking.
Amongst such an array of talent choosing a winner was hard. In the end we felt the campaign by Noemi Salazar & Lucy Bryan-Smith best captured the essence of the STOP THE TRAFFIK ethos and the Make Fashion Traffic Free campaign. Their slogan was #iwanttoknow and included a series of posters together with an Instagram movement.
STOP THE TRAFFIK Manchester is just one of STOP THE TRAFFIK’s regional groups around the UK who work tirelessly to raise awareness of human trafficking. To find out more, check out their Facebook page or find them on twitter: @ACTManchester