Women to Follow – Part II

Welcome to part II of our WtF (Women to Follow) blog series, dedicated to everyday women who are creating a better future and bringing others on the journey.

The ladies behind Dressember are definitely WtF!!

Blythe, Tracy, Marissa, Michelle and Madeline lead a non-profit global movement whose vision is a world without slavery. In 2013, Blythe Hill founded Dressember to see human trafficking end in her lifetime.

Dressember Blythe Hill

Since then, Blythe and her team, along with 7,000 advocates have raised over $10 million to support anti-trafficking programs rescuing, protecting, and restoring the lives of trafficking victims and survivors around the world.

We chatted with Marissa Peden, Dressember’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, and she explains why people should care about human trafficking.

Dressember Marissa Peden

“In today’s world of advanced technology, and seemingly progressive worldviews, millions are trapped in sex slavery, and 1 in 4 are children. Traffickers generate roughly $150 billion annually, yet many people have no idea that slavery still exists.”

Dressember human trafficking

People also may have no idea that they are contributing to an unethical global fashion industry that participates in human trafficking. 

According to Marissa:

“Fast fashion has pushed companies into a race to the bottom where they seek out the cheapest way to keep up with the rising demand for fashion. Unfortunately, this demand trickles down the supply chain causing harsh working conditions for workers, many of whom have been trafficked into their position. As companies chase cheaper labor and production, the textile industry falls into a trend of cutting corners and ignoring safety measures to keep production costs low.”

Dressember explains the direct link between fashion and forced labour here.

Check out Dressember's Ethical Fashion Directory to find products that you can feel good about purchasing. 

How does wearing a dress (or tie) for a month in December help?

Marissa describes:

"The dress is a symbol that comes with ample dedication and courage to talk about human trafficking for 31 days leading up to January, Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

"One of the most difficult parts about this issue is tackling awareness, many people don’t know trafficking even exists and we cannot stop something without knowing about it. The issue is also an extremely complex one - we do our best at Dressember to break it down by dismantling common myths and highlighting the realities. By generating awareness and providing education, Dressember advocates are equipped and empowered to fight human trafficking.”

What we really love about #Dressember is that these WtF use their voice and style choices to fight for the freedom and dignity of other women. Now that’s inspiring!


Follow Dressember here: Instagram @dressember 40,700 followers

Visit the Dressember Foundation here

Image credit: Dressember

Note: This is not sponsored content but a genuine inspired piece. We believe in lifting up other women whenever and wherever possible.

If you'd like to be featured or want us to get to know you/ your work, contact us at hello@lilyandlord.com or here.



What I adore about this brand is that we're creating pieces that children will want to wear over and over because they love it that much.

Evelyn Leow, Creative Director of Lily & Lord