The Aussie Designer Using Denim To Help Rescue Child Sex Slaves


When Debora Schultz sat down to watch a documentary on child sex trafficking she didn’t expect it to impact her life the way it did.

“I’m a mum of three and it left me absolutely devastated,” she said.

The statistics surrounding the child sex trade are sobering. Every 26 seconds, a child somewhere in the world is forced into sexual slavery. The International Labour Organisation estimates that the average age of these children is 15 -- with a life expectancy of seven years.

Yes, she cried. Yes, she was horrified. Yes, she was moved. So moved, in fact, she decided to do something about it.

Her first step was to contact the people featured in the documentary -- Destiny Rescue -- an international not-for-profit organisation that aims to rescue children trapped in the sex trade.

"They are truly amazing," Schultz explains. "They basically go undercover and look for children who are trapped. Then they work with authorities in various countries and then go in and rescue the children."

Justice Denim

The television stylist said her next step was to figure out how she could help as the only thing she "knew anything about" was fashion.  Then it hit her: denim.

“I live in jeans and it’s something I love and know,” she said. And so Justice Denim was born.

Schultz said she also managed to incorporate another passion into her company, by using denim made in Melbourne to help giving the “dying” industry a boost.

“There’s this little part of me that just wants to save the local denim industry as well,” she said.

The Process

Denim, according to Schultz, is a "notoriously difficult fabric to work with".

The mother-of-two said the entire process, from conception to having the product in her hands, took six months.

"It difficult because every little tweak we made with the design we had to send it back to the factory to get tweaked -- and then wait another three weeks for the sample to arrive back," she said.

Eventually, she settled on making the kind of jeans that anyone can wear -- mum tum and all.

"I'm aiming it at mothers -- they're my target market," she said adding that she feels they will understand her decision to partner with Destiny Rescue.

"Anyone who loves kids will get it," she said.

The Result

Once Schulz found decided on the style she went ahead and set up shop online and worked out all the financial elements of just how her new business would support the plight of Destiny Rescue.

"We finally decided to donate a percentage from every pair of jeans sold," she said.

"The way Destiny Rescue works is that once the kids are rescued they're sent to school to be rehabilitated. They work with the children to teach them a skill or a trade so that they don't feel they need to go back into the sex trade industry."

Shulz decided that the sale of every pair of jeans will help to fund one week's worth of schooling for the children rescued.

"It's just become my life's mission now," she said.

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