Dressember: Your Questions Answered!

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In the last couple of weeks we've received several questions about the Dressember Campaign, what it is and how to get involved! With registration for Dressember opening on October 1st (This Sunday!!) We wanted to make sure you had as much information as possible! If you have other burning questions, leave a comment and we'll answer it!

Your Questions Answered!

What is Dressember: The Dressember Campaign is an opportunity to use fashion as a way to raise funds and awareness to help victims of human trafficking. In December, thousands of people around the world will join Dressember teams and commit to wearing dresses or ties each day during the month. Each team registered will have a page where friends and family can make donations to Dressember. Funds raised through Dressember go toward larger grants through the International Justice MissionA21, and McMahon Ryan -- all of which are fighting to rescue and restore victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation!

What if I have to wear a uniform for work? This is a common question and affects many of us (Including Phil and many of my family members!) The point is to try and wear a dress (or tie for guys!) anytime you are able to CHOOSE what you wear. So if you are unable to during work, no worries! Plan to wear your dress or tie anytime you are able to pick your outfit. Good examples are: running errands, going out to eat, going to church etc.

Why do we participate as a family? Last year, Phil, Ellie and I all participated! Human Trafficking is an important issue for Phil and I, and it felt like a good opportunity to do it as a team. It also was really great accountability for me, because I knew we were doing it everyday together.

How do I join a Team? On October 1st Dressember will open registration! If you want to create your own team, head to their site on that date or after and you can easily register. If you want to join our team, we'll be sending out a link to all that are interested on October 1st as well! Feel free to comment below if you'd like to join our team and we'll get you the info.

I don't own a lot of dresses, do I need to go buy more for this challenge? Nope! I only had a handful last year and I just rotated them. When it was cold, I slipped a sweater over my dress and added warm leggings. You have to get creative in colder weather, but that's part of the fun! Even if you only own one dress, you can do the challenge! If you are in the market for a new dress though, Dressember released a line of special dresses for this year's campaign! They partnered with Elegantees, and each dress is made by a seamstress in Nepal that was rescued from human trafficking. The dresses are beautiful and ethically made! Find all of the styles here. Use code ELLEANORANDINDIGO to get 15% your purchase!

Do I have to wear the same dress the whole time? This may seem like a funny question, but some advocates have actually chosen to reuse the same dress throughout the challenge, which is amazing! However, that is NOT a requirement. So whether you have 1 dress or 31, it doesn't matter -- your voice in raising awareness to human trafficking is the most important piece!

How can guys get involved and support the cause? Great question! Guys can get involved by simply adding a tie to their wardrobe each day -- it can be a bow tie or neck tie, so whatever the preference. Phil wore bow ties for Dressember last year and definitely received a lot of questions!

Do I have to ask people for money? While Dressember is a campaign that raises both awareness and funds to combat human trafficking, you definitely do not have to ask people for donations to participate. The biggest impact you can make is simply by telling people about why you are participating and the impact of human trafficking on people around the world. Also, by posting a photo with information about the campaign and including a link to your team, visitors will see where they can easily donate without you having to ask them to give money! 

What does "supporting" Dressember look like as a team? Dressember support can come in many ways, so let me tell you what we did last year and what we plan to do this year! Last year, our main goal was raising awareness. We posted several photos on Instagram throughout December and included statistics about human trafficking and a link to our team page. We also used the campaign as a way to talk to friends and family about the issue, which was awesome. This year, we want to build on that. We want to continue doing social media posts with helpful information, but we'll be adding a few blog posts on the topic too as another platform. To help raise funds, we have looked at options to partner with local businesses to put on a social that will raise funds. We've also looked at the possibility of a giveaway during Dressember that could bring in donations. Basically, the sky is the limit! However, our biggest focus is really using our voices to raise awareness on the issue and how to help.

Do team members need to be in the same state to be on a team? Not at all. If you have friends and family in other states or parts of the world that want to join you, we encourage it! It's really rewarding to have the accountability together and to have people you love changing the world right beside you.

Why buy a dress from Dressember? While you definitely don't have to buy a dress from Dressember, (you can wear ANY dress!), it's a great option if you are looking to find an ethically made piece that makes an impact. Elegantees employs victims of human trafficking in Nepal to sew each dress! It's a wonderful way to make a difference right off the bat! Click here for the dresses they offer for this year's campaign! And use code ELLEANORANDINDIGO to save 15%!

What percentage of your purchases or donations go to the cause? This is straight from the Dressember website: Dressember is giving 80% of proceeds to International Justice MissionA21, and McMahon Ryan in its 2017 camaign. 20% is retained for administrative, technological, and marketing expenses (almost 5% immediately goes toward credit card processing fees!). This is standard for 501c3 nonprofit organizations, and we are proud of our relatively low retention percentage. Pretty awesome, right?

Wearing a dress and spreading the word is great but how else can I get involved? If you are looking for more ways to get involved in the Dressember campaign, consider hosting a local event or social where proceeds go toward the cause. If you are looking at other ways to help support the fight against human trafficking, take a look at International Justice MissionA21, and McMahon Ryan websites -- there are volunteer opportunities with each organization where you can use your talents!

What has the impact been through Dressember to date? In the last 4 years, Dressember has raised $3 million in the fight against modern day slavery! The funds raised go toward grant partners (IJM, A21 and McMahon Ryan) that work specifically to eradicate slavery and sex trafficking.

I wear dresses everyday already, how to I get people to ask about my dress? This year Dressember has made it extra easy to get the conversation started with their buttons! These are sure to get the dialogue going, even if you wear a dress everyday! Another trick I've found is using a compliment from someone to open up the conversation. Example: Someone says they like the dress you are wearing, and you reply with "Thank you so much! I'm actually wearing a dress every day this month to help raise awareness and funds to fight modern day slaver....etc." I found it to be a less awkward transition :)

I don't have a ton of time to invest in social media but I want to help, are there any articles I can repost to bring awareness with the limited time I have? Yes!! So glad you asked. This year Dressember started a blog. Each week day there will be a new post that highlights the issue of human trafficking, organizations that are making a difference, ways you can get involved and more! It's a really interesting and creative spot to get information, and you are welcome to share it with your friends and family!

Did we miss a question that you have? Do you have your own tips from previous years? Please share in the comments below! We would LOVE to hear from you all!