Who are we and why do we exist?
- Oct 02, 2019
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KitePride, our Tel Aviv based sustainable fashion brand exists to create safe rehabilitation employment for women and men exiting human trafficking and prostitution. We provide women and men escaping and exiting prostitution with jobs that are otherwise not given to them. We are the missing link from exiting to staying out. We are breaking the vicious cycle of women and men turning to prostitution as a means of economic survival. There are 14,000 men women and children in human trafficking here in Israel. We are actively changing those numbers.
We create bags. However, these are no ordinary bags. Each bag is made from upcycled fabrics. Instead of trashing and sending their old gear to landfill, we inspire ocean lovers from around the world to donate their kitesurfing kites, wetsuits, sails and parachutes. We turn what was deemed trash and headed to landfill into durable, lightweight and trendy bags. We literally give a second wind to kites and people. That is our motto.
Our bags are so much more than the upcycled fabric they are made from. Our bags are a symbol of hope, survival, renewal and are a statement worn by someone who cares for both people and the environment. When you wear a KitePride bag, you are ACTIVELY changing the staggering statistics as you are providing a job, spreading awareness and saving fabric form landfill. THANK YOU!
Hold on, a job is not the only thing we provide. We provide our employees with love, a sense of belonging, responsibility, and ownership. We Pride ourselves as being one big family. For many, this sense of family is the first time love has been felt. Everyday, we sit down to a communal lunch whereby healthy relationships between people and food are fostered and discussions of all sorts are had. Relationships are formed, barriers broken down and love and laughter is the bonding factor.
So what is our story?
It all started at a conference in 2010 when founder, Tabea Oppliger was first informed about and exposed to the staggering amount of human trafficking that exists in the world today, even in highly developed countries. Extremely frightened by what she had learned, when she left the conference, she was eager to find answers and make a change. As a professional masseuse, Tabea decided that one way to connect to victims of human trafficking would be to offer her professional services to these individuals to try and restore their sense of self-worth. She formed deep connections with many of the victims and what she found was that they all wanted the same thing: OUT.
Though they dreamed of leaving the industry, reasons such as financial debt, trauma, lack of skills or education prevented them from doing so. They were not asking for pity; they wanted jobs. From there, in 2011, Glowbal Act was established in Switzerland: the non-governmental umbrella organization aimed at combatting modern-day slavery through education, jobs, and support. In 2014 the co-founders relocated to Tel Aviv to expand their work.
As a kitesurfer herself, Tabea had always been connected to the environment and sustainability, but it was only with the help of Rebekka Federer, a professional seamstress, and kiteboarder, that the solution became clear. Federer gave Tabea and Co-Founder husband Mati the idea to upcycle kites into bags. A new business model was born: employ individuals escaping human trafficking and modern-day slavery by upcycling used material from kitesurfing kites, sails, parachutes and wetsuits and repurpose it into trendy and durable bags. As wild and nearly unbelievable as it may sound, KitePride really does offer a second wind to both material and people.
Surfers from around the world donate their used kites, parachutes, wetsuits and sails to KitePride and the Tel Aviv team then turns that material into beautiful, durable, lightweight bags. It is a twofold solution, and it’s a solution that’s truly making a difference. The profit made from every bag sold gets reinvested into the company in order to offer more skills-training and safe employment to more victims of the corrupt industry.
KitePride is just the beginning of this story. Our goal is to continue to grow, expand globally, and create more employment opportunities to those escaping modern-day slavery. Help restore dignity, self worth and restore the human spirit by supporting KitePride. You too can be a game changer, help us today. Every purchase makes a world of difference, TOGETHER we can change the narrative from slavery to freedom!