Frequently Asked Questions
My shirt doesn’t fit; can I return it?
Yes. We strive for 100% satisfaction for all of our customers. For details, check out our return policy.
I’m Looking For A Shirt in a Smaller/Larger Size
Wearing a Free The Girls shirt is a fun and stylish way to help support the cause and increase awareness. We most certainly want to make our shirts available to girls of all shapes and sizes, and are working to find additional shirt suppliers who can produce fair trade paperwork on the manufacturing of their garments and who have a price point that keeps our shirts affordable for everyone. Whew! Not always an easy task!
Please keep checking back, and we’ll definitely announce on our website and Facebook as soon as we have new styles or sizes in stock.
What do you do with my information?
When is the next Free The Girls event?
All of our events are on our Facebook page and here on our blog. Check out our events page.
Is my transaction secure?
Absolutely. We use safe and secure Paypal for all of our transactions.
Is Free the Girls a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit?
Free The Girls launched in August 2010 as a cause-focused company. The response to the cause has been tremendous, so we converted solely to a non-profit organization in June 2011 and have recently received 501(c)3 tax exempt status.
Why doesn’t Free the Girls just give money away? Why collect bras?
At Free The Girls, we have done our best to create a system of financial sustainability for rescued woman to transition back into society. As long as people in the West continue to donate clothes to charity, there will be second-hand clothing markets somewhere in the world. By donating directly to Free The Girls, our supporters allow us to lower our costs and therefore give the women we work with a competitive advantage over others who sell second-hand clothes. We believe that enterprise has a role to play in the rehabilitation of survivors of human trafficking, and your bra donations make small businesses happen. Free The Girls is committed to providing real jobs and real opportunities for trafficking survivors.
What if I have a question that isn’t answered here?
Use our contact page to ask us any additional questions. We will do our best to reply with the information you need.
Why doesn’t Free The Girls facilitate international trips to visit your international projects?
Since we started as an organization, we have had a number of requests from individuals seeking to work with the women in our program. We love the hearts of the women and men who want to visit the project and lavish the ladies with love and encouragement. However, for a number of reasons, we simply don’t allow visitors.
The primary reason we don’t allow visitors is that we don’t believe that short-term visits from outsiders are best for the long-term health and reintegration of the women. Agreeing with experts in the field of trauma, we believe that slow and patient investment by our committed staff and partners in the field is the best approach to reintegration.
The second reason we don’t allow visitors is security. Some of the ladies we work with are still on the run from those who were controlling them in the past. Others have testified to authorities about their captors and their identities need to be protected.
The third reason we don’t allow visitors is that we operate with a very lean staff, and we need our staff’s time and attention focused on working with the women in our program, not facilitating trips for visitors.
***For members of the press: Although we don’t allow regular visitors to our projects, because it is our desire to be an open organization, we do allow some members of the press to visit our projects in order to interview our staff and women in the program who are willing to sit for an interview. If you are a credentialed member of the press, you can arrange a visit to our project in Mozambique with our International Director.
Can I ship bras directly to Mozambique?
Unfortunately we cannot accept donations of bras sent directly to Mozambique at this time. Our team in Mozambique has had difficulties with packages arriving safely. When they have arrived, the process of processing the package through customs is so time consuming, we have decided to no longer accept individual shipments sent to Mozambique. We are truly sorry if sending a donation to the USA is too expensive or impossible.
In the future, we are hoping to add an international partner who would be willing to accept donations on our behalf and coordinate occasional large shipments.
Our U.S. shipping address is: (for bras only please–no correspondence or money)
Free The Girls
1552 Pioneer Trail
Chesterton, IN 46304
Who Buys The Bras From The Girls?
Second-hand clothing is very popular in Mozambique and in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Enormous containers full of donated items from the USA, Europe, Australia, etc. arrive every day in ports across the continent and are sold on the streets by budding entrepreneurs. Most of the clothes are purchased by the poor and working class. However, even wealthier members of society regularly take advantage of the amazing deals available on the street.
What Kind of Bras Should I Donate?
Free The Girls accepts new and gently used bras of all shapes, sizes, colors and styles, including sports bras, nursing/maternity bras, camisoles, etc. We receive many bras that are brand new with tags still on—we encourage those who are donating new bras to leave the tags on as this increases the resale value.
Every bra of every kind has tremendous value to these brave survivors of sex trafficking—so thank you for your support!
Does second-hand clothing from the West hurt local production in Africa?
There is no doubt that second-hand clothing had an effect on local production in the past. However, researchers have shown that the current impact is far less than would be assumed. The greatest impact on the production of new clothing in Africa has been the rise of low-cost production in Asia. Just like in the West, most of Africa gets most of its new clothing from Asia. Even traditional Mozambican capolanas are no longer produced in Mozambique, but say “Made in India”!
Although we welcome dialogue about the effects of second-hand clothing on local production of new clothing, we believe its effect in the markets we work in is minimal.
There are two great studies worth reading:
The Impact of Second-Hand Clothing Trade on Developing Countries (Sally Baden and Catherine Barber. 2005)