Our Journey to Fashion as a Force for Good – (Read Time: 1 min.)
“I was a mother of two young children when I began looking into international adoption. Our life was great, and I was grateful. But I felt a restlessness knowing most people around the world weren’t as blessed as we were.”
– Gretchen, Trades of Hope Founder and CEO
Have you ever felt that way?
A little nudge in the pit of your stomach? Deep down, I knew I had to do something. Without knowing where it was on a map yet, I went on a trip to Haiti and was shaken by the corruption of so many orphanages there. I couldn’t un-see what I saw. I knew it was my responsibility to do something.
Without any prior experience, I started and ran an orphanage in Port au Prince for almost a decade. During that time, we helped 100 children find forever families. I knew in my head that it was a good thing. Adoption is a beautiful act.
But one truth kept tugging at my heart…
… her battle against poverty.
No Mother Should Have to Give Up Her Child
More often than not, the children given to our care had living parents, grandparents, or relatives. These parents loved their children but couldn’t afford to feed them. They were desperate. There were too many tears and heartbreaking goodbyes. It felt so unjust to me. I wanted a better way to help these families.
In 2010, I teamed up with my daughter Elisabeth and our friends Holly and Chelsie to create jobs for mothers around the world so that they could keep their babies. The four of us started Trades of Hope to empower women.