She Rocks Prevents Human Trafficking for International Women's Day 2019
She Rocks is a movement celebrating women and female rock artists who stand for diversity and inclusivity across the world of rock and metal and beyond. Started in 2017, the #SheRocks movement evolves.
Secret Projects is a social business, that works with women in India, training them to sew foldable, useful, purposeful and charming products which are sold in India and internationally. One of these products, the Secret Sari Dress ™ is a simple festival dress made out of a sari that unfolds from a pocket on the back of the dress. It is made in West Bengal by a sewing unit employing young women who have been trafficked or are vulnerable to human trafficking. Simply put, if a young woman can earn £20 a month they are far less likely to end up in the complicated web that trafficking victims find themselves in.
In the late summer of 2018, cousins Fritha Vincent, founder of Secret Projects and singer songwriter Heather Findlay, fellow India lovers, sat with their children on a remote Cumbrian campsite, thousands of miles from the horrific threat of human trafficking in West Bengal. Fritha shared her story of wearing her Secret Sari Dress at Hellfest, not only realising that it was the ultimate festival dress, but also that the female rock world would be the perfect community to spread the word of prevention through production.
Fritha said “It was watching the kindness and togetherness of the crowd at Hellfest that opened my eyes to the power of the rock and metal community. Listening to artists like Alissa White-Gluz and Maria Brink, I realised just how empowering their songs and presence were, and who that identifies them as women who could spread the message of empowerment and ultimately prevent human trafficking in the most practical way. Money does equal protection.”
Heather immediately said “I would like to help”. This gave birth to the idea to launch the She Rocks Secret Sari Dress Collection; a collaboration between the world of female fronted rock and metal with Secret Projects, to drive a Prevention Through Production Programme that would take the women’s empowerment theme of the She Rocks movement both further East and dig much deeper than ever before. The cousins brainstormed and hatched a plan to reach out to as many women of influence across the genre as possible, asking them to be photographed wearing a Secret Sari Dress, showing women how easy it is to get involved in helping other women. Standing together in this way more and more awareness would be brought to the cause.
“We all love to buy a new dress and wear it. The Secret Sari Dress gives us the opportunity to get fashion into social action” ~ Fritha.
The campaign will be launched to the public on Friday, 8th March, International Women’s Day, with key members of the global rock music world changing over their social media profile pictures to a picture of them wearing a Secret Sari Dress.
The support of the rock and metal world will drive demand for the production of the dresses by inviting fans to buy their own dress. It is hoped that the movement will continue to grow throughout the Summer across rock festivals and gigs.
Though Heather has been instrumental in pulling together a growing group of musicians, and industry creatives, she knew that what was needed for the campaign to be truly successful was a network, working one woman to another, to create a sisterhood of diverse talent, genre and culture. Each one with their own story, but with one common goal; to prevent human trafficking through production.
Heather’s first thought was to reach out to her old friend Irene Jansen. “I love Irene’s directness and I knew after just one conversation with her I’d know if this could work! Irene was immediately fully on board. We drew up a list of women we could each reach out to and got to work”.
Very soon there was a growing list of models and musicians, make-up artists and photographers eager to get involved and with key player in the team Floor Jansen of Nightwish and Northward on board, the campaign suddenly opened out to Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. The Hellfest vision was pulling into view!