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Fighting Modern Day Slavery with Fashion
111 backers pledged AU$ 11,092 to help bring this project to life.

About

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AU$ 11,092

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Llewelyn and I; a journey. The brand takes on the name of my twin brother and business partner Llew
Llewelyn and I; a journey. The brand takes on the name of my twin brother and business partner Llew

How it Began

This story began the moment I found out that there are over 40 Million people trapped in slavery around the world today. That's twice as many people as the population of Australia and more than twice the number of people that were taken from Africa during the entire transatlantic slave trade. After learning this I was driven by a passion to do something about it. I looked at the causes of slavery and how best to fight it, and also tried to figure out why more people weren't being rescued. Unemployment is one of the main causes of slavery and countless men women and children are bound in slavery, not by ropes and chains, but by desperation and lack of other opportunity. How do you fight it? Awareness is a good start, funding activists is another but what happens to those who escape or those who are rescued to stop them ending up in the same position of vulnerability as when they were trafficked? To answer that question, I booked flights to Ghana, West Africa, with a dream to develop a brand that would help bring an end to slavery by funding activists fighting to rescue children from Lake Volta, raise awareness with each piece of beautifully vibrant clothing sold, and most importantly, offer training and jobs to those rescued, so they would never find themselves in that same position of desperation as when they were sold into slavery to begin with. 

A day at work
A day at work

The Story so Far 

My first trip consisted of six weeks spent in Ghana creating a sample range and connecting with Challenging Heights, the anti-slavery organisation I am now partnered with. Two months after returning home, I was off again, this time for three months to set up our workshop with electricity, furniture and industrial sewing machines. To begin with I employed David, Naomi and Raymond full time and Abraham part time while he finished his apprenticeship. While I was there, we put together our very first range of jackets, and so Llewelyn Clothing came to be.

Details
Details

This is where we need your help!

Nearly a year later with two sold out collections, Challenging Heights has asked us to employ Agnes, Isaac and Abraham full time, on top of the workers we already have. To expand this quickly on our own would be difficult, but with your support it can be done as Kickstarter allows you to pre-order so we can receive the funds before the items are produced. With your money we will buy the extra machines, pay the workers their wages, and also be able to pay for all the fabric necessary to fill your orders. In return for your support, we will send you beautifully handmade items straight from our workshop in Ghana at 30% off their retail price!

With your help, we are able to make a profound difference in the lives of these people and help them achieve their dreams. Here are their stories.

Our New Workers

Agnes
Agnes

Agnes was trafficked by her paternal uncle and became a fisher girl on Lake Volta where she was traumatised by constant verbal, physical and sexual abuse over the course of four years. Finally free, Agnes hopes that if she becomes a fashion designer with an international following, she can then use her voice to end child trafficking and child labour and free those who are still bound within the shadows of slavery. She has applied for a place in the National Vocational Training Institute and we are extremely proud to be able to support Agnes and help her find her voice and follow the dreams she has been working towards since her rescue.  

Isaac
Isaac

Sold into slavery by his own father, Isaac worked for his first master for some years before being sold to another man on Lake Volta to continue his work as a fisherman. After seven years of slavery, trapped in forced labour and enduring abuse, Isaac escaped and traveled 500km back to his hometown Winneba, where our workshop is based. At 27 years of age, he has not received any schooling but he is focused on becoming a tailor instead. Isaac wants the world to know that slavery still exists and wants to be a part of the fight against it. His dream is to set up his own shop in the future and employ others, especially those who are less privileged.    

Abraham
Abraham

Abraham has been working for us part time since the start of last year. I was lucky enough to interview him in Ghana for an article in Der Spiegel, a German magazine. Abraham was enslaved from the age of 12 to 16 before his rescue and rehabilitation by Challenging Heights. While working as a slave on Lake Volta, he dreamed of becoming a tailor and despite constant verbal and physical abuse, he never gave up on that dream. Later, when he was free, Abraham met the man who trafficked him into slavery and then became his master. When asked how he was doing, Abraham answered by sewing his old master two shirts. The first shirt he said, was to show that despite everything he forgave his master, and the second shirt was his way of proving to the man who abused him for all those years that he could beat him into working and steal his childhood, but he could never, ever, take away his dreams. 

Meeting these people and hearing their stories of such incredible suffering, courage and compassion is truly inspiring. To be able to provide the opportunity for Agnes, Isaac and Abraham to escape the unimaginable horrors of slavery and reach a brighter future is exactly why I created the brand. I see the potential in Ghanaian fabric and I see the fashion industry as a great platform to raise awareness about an issue and drive a movement towards freedom and respect for every one in the manufacturing process. My dream is to help bring an end to slavery, and if I can do that as well as share the vibrance and energy of West African fashion with the rest of the world, with clothing that empowers both those who wear it and those who make it, then I believe with your help, we can free many beautiful people from slavery, one piece of clothing at a time. 

Our Products  

Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jackets
Bomber Jacket
Bomber Jacket
Hoodie
Hoodie
Hoodie
Hoodie
Long Sleeve Shirt
Long Sleeve Shirt
Short Sleeve Shirt
Short Sleeve Shirt
Short Sleeve Shirt
Short Sleeve Shirt
White Shirt
White Shirt
Cushion Covers (they also come in black and white and other more subtle colours)
Cushion Covers (they also come in black and white and other more subtle colours)

Please note the same fabric shown in these pictures may not be available when you order, see below for more details.

The Process 

If we reach our goal, we will send you an email to collect the information needed to fulfil your order. The fabrics we use are sourced from the local markets so are constantly changing and because they are so vibrant and unique we want you to decide which pattern you want your item to be made from.  We want the item to be perfect for you therefore our email will include fabric options, choice of size and shipping address. Please look at the rewards we offer to see what items you would like!

We would love all the support we can get, so please share with your friends. If we pass our goal, there are countless others like Abraham, Isaac and Agnes, each desperate for work so the more orders we have, the more lives we can change and greater the impact we have on ending modern slavery will be. 

Risks and challenges

Since I set up the workshop and began manufacturing in Ghana I have been faced with many challenges. Over the course of the year each challenge has been resolved and my workers and I have grown a lot through our experiences and I am now confident we are able to overcome almost anything. The time I have outlined for the production takes into account the frequent power outages, laid back nature typical in Ghana, and the many small delays that are all part of choosing to produce in a West African country. Communication is key, so I will always be willing to answer any questions or listen to any feedback you have throughout the course of the project and beyond! Thank you for your support, Emmison

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About $7

    Become part of the Journey

    We'll add you to our mailing list where you will receive updates on our progress as well as the stories, photos and interviews from the founders of Llewelyn Clothing, our workers and the many incredible people we meet with along the way. You'll also be the first to view our new collections and discounts!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 29 or more About $20

    Receive a Cushion Cover

    Beautifully handmade in Ghana with distinct and vibrant colours, these cushions will brighten up your day. Sewn using a thicker upholstery fa​bric, they are durable and because of a hidden zip, easy to remove and wash should they become dirty. We originally began by making cushions with all the little scraps and offcuts from our garments as otherwis​​e they would go to waste. They are then taken to the rehabilitation center where we hope to bring some colo​​ur and comfort to the children staying there after being rescued from slavery on Lake Volta. Treat yourself to something special, or give it as a gift to someone you love. I hope they bring you joy.

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    AU$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 59 or more About $41

    Receive a Shirt

    Made from 100% woven cotton, these plain shirts are great for any and every occasion. We think it's cool to be different, so the inside of the cuffs have a splash of colour that can only be seen if you roll them up.

    (25% OFF RRP)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 67 or more About $46

    Receive a Short Sleeved Coloured Shirt

    Guaranteed to stand out in a crowd, these shirts are made from the highest quality traditional West African fabric. Perfect for festivals, parties and walks on the beach, there can never be a dull moment in these incredibly unique shirts. (25% OFF RRP)

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    Pledge AU$ 69 or more About $48

    Receive a Long Sleeve Coloured Shirt

    This simple shirt design has been transformed by the West African wax prints into something unique and timeless. With fabric sourced from the chaos of Accra’s busiest market and sewn in Winneba, a small fishing village in Ghana’s Central Region, these shirts tell a story of freedom and respect as clothing that empowers both those who wear it and those who make it. (30% OFF RRP)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 79 or more About $54

    3X Cushion Covers

    Beautifully handmade in Ghana with distinct and vibrant colours, these cushions will brighten up your day. Sewn using a thicker upholstery fa​bric, they are durable and because of a hidden zip, easy to remove and wash should they become dirty. We originally began by making cushions with all the little scraps and offcuts from our garments as otherwis​​e they would go to waste. They are then taken to the rehabilitation center where we hope to bring some colo​​ur and comfort to the children staying there after being rescued from slavery on Lake Volta. Treat yourself to something special, or give it as a gift to someone you love. I hope they bring you joy. (Save 10%)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 95 or more About $65

    Recieve a Hoodie

    This jacket combines casual sportswear with the vibrant West African wax print fabric. Made using a breathable mesh knit lining, we created a unique lightweight jacket that brings a quick splash of the stunning Ghanian culture to rest of the world. By standing for freedom and standing out, we hope to inspire a movement towards a socially responsible fashion industry and towards change with each jacket we make.(Save 27%)

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    Pledge AU$ 99 or more About $68

    Receive a Bomber Jacket

    Lightweight and colourful, our bomber jackets are the original Llewelyn Clothing product. Handmade with a cotton outer and smooth synthetic lining, these jackets are incredbly versatile and durable. With such vibrant colours we hope the conversation begins and those wearing these jackets can start to give a voice to the countless men women and children still trapped in the silence of slavery.

    (30% OFF RRP)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 169 or more About $116

    3x Any Shirt

    Beautifully handmade and ethical, you can choose three of your favourite shirts for only $150.

    (Save up to 44%)

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 247 or more About $170

    The Lot

    For showing such a huge amount of support, you will receive a beautifully made Bomber Jacket, a Hoodie, a Shirt and a Cushion Cover, all of your choice.

    (save up to 38%)

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Funding period

- (22 days)