Wear a Number to Restore a Name
The BRANDED Collective was a social justice enterprise in existence from 2012 to 2021. It served as an economic empowerment jobs program where the employees handcrafted artisan jewelry. The jewelers were survivors of human trafficking from Nashville-based non-profit End Slavery Tennessee.
Many victims of human trafficking are BRANDED; their captors physically mark them with a number or symbol. The process is often violent: a forced tattoo, a burn or knife cut. BRANDED Collective jewelry stands against this brutal practice. Each item made was stamped with an initial and a number. The initials belong to the survivor who made the item. You can still read each artisan’s story here
. The number symbolized each patron’s unique place in the Collective.
When BRANDED started in 2012, 100 numbers were stamped on 100 cuffs. When the company closed in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Collective was 57,778 numbers strong!
In its nine years, BRANDED empowered 27 survivors of human trafficking to rise above the branding and the trauma they had been given.
The company supported these women as they celebrated getting their first apartments, getting their drivers licenses back, reuniting with their children, remaining clean and sober, going to school, getting married, having babies, and all of the amazing things life has in store on the other side of trafficking.
Though the company has closed, the jewelry is still out there shining bright. 57,778 people continue to wear the story, share the story and change the story.
Thank you so much for a decade of profound work and never ending mission. Onward!
We exist to empower survivors of human trafficking through meaningful work and economic independence.
We hope each survivor will be inspired to rediscover the dreams she has lost and be motivated to go forth and pursue them. We seek to unite a collective of survivors and patrons who work together to advance the abolition of human trafficking.
Our survivors’ welfare and empowerment is our priority.
We seek to be kind in all that we do or say.
We choose to do the right thing, even when it requires sacrifice.
Cultivate Creativity and Encourage Risk.
We try new things and embrace failure as an opportunity, not a threat.
We seek to keep our product consistently beautiful to the last detail.
We seek to be ethical in our production process. Whenever possible our materials are sourced locally or within the USA.