I have a soft spot for friends, and for lovely frocks. When the two combine for another fabulous social cause, I had to share the good work of my friend Amy in her fundraising efforts for Dressember.
Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who’ve been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women.
Something we can all get behind!
Meet my good (fabulously frocked) friend Amy Springer..
Tangible: What personally motivates you to support this cause?
Amy: For me it has been a journey of small steps to finally commit to a cause in a wholehearted way like this. Firstly, my parents are very socially conscious, they are great role models to me.
Secondly, in the last two years I have spent a lot of time speaking with women about confidence and how powerful women are in communities – especially in developing countries. I am in the process of developing resources for 15-25 year old women based around the themes of adventure, style and pursuit. So choosing an organisation that support predominantly young women made sense.
Thirdly, I have been hearing more and more about sex slavery in the last few years, when you read the stories it is so horrible (Undaunted by Christine Caine is full of such stories).
Tangible: What does a donation towards Dressember do?
Amy: The money fundraised goes to an organisation that my husband Kyle has admired and supported since 2006 called International Justice Mission (IJM). They work to protect vulnerable people around the world from violence including slavery, sex trafficking, sexual violence, police brutality, property grabbing and citizens rights abuse.
Something I really admire about them is their focus on transforming local justice systems, tackling the problem where there is a chance to prevent violence at the source rather than only being able to provide comfort. All donations help the people on the ground who can really make a difference in their local communities (another reason I love IJM – they train the locals).
Donate here: http://bit.ly/ajsdress
Tangible: How’re you finding wearing dresses everyday? No ‘frock fatigue’ ?
Amy: I actually look better and feel great in dresses, so it is quite nice. It has been really fun to challenge myself to wear dresses to work that I wouldn’t usually. No frock fatigue, in fact I feel really bad if I’m not in my dress within 30 minutes of waking up. The only really big challenge will be when Kyle and I go to Japan on the 28th. That means a full day of travelling with two flights. I am thinking I will need to get a big maxi dress. I will then need to layer up for the last three days – it will be <10 degrees in Japan!
An added benefit is that wearing my fancier dresses to work helps to start the conversation about IJM and Dressember when people make a comment.
Tangible: You’ve done a lot of great posts on social media – do you think it helps with fundraising?
Amy: Most of the fundraising comes from the conversations I have with people and then giving them a note with how to donate. I think that the benefit of social media is to start the conversation and just keep building awareness of the issue with people. So that when they do think about donating some money, whether at tax time, workplace giving (e.g. my company does donation matching), Christmas gifts, or during their monthly giving, then IJM is the first organisation that comes to mind.
Tangible: We’ve both done frock-related fundraising and photos don’t take themselves(!) — My mum was my photographer during Frocktober and you have your #Instahusband(!) has he done a good job?
Amy: Kyle has been so great. He actually was not enthusiastic at all about me doing Dressember. He thought it sounded like a lot of work, and I hadn’t even recruited him into the photo taking yet. Just the thought of 31 dresses had him worried. But he has done such a great job with the photos and is very patient!
Tangible: How have you managed to find 31 dresses?
Amy: There is no rule about needing to wear a different dress everyday, but I actually had 25 in my own wardrobe so I thought it would be a fun way to do it. Having never moved and needed to throw anything out, they have slowly accumulated over the last 10 years with weddings, work and functions. Two of them I actually recently purchased at your own Frocktober dress sale! I love them. I like to make the most of consignment stores like The Secret Closet in Shenton Park and get some really good quality recycled clothing.
Another frocking awesome Perth lady, another frocking good cause!
To donate to Amy’s fundraising: http://bit.ly/ajsdress
Follow her Dressember posts at @amyjayess
Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed interviewing Amy!