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Hello Rewind Project Gives New Life to Old T-Shirts and Sex Trafficking Survivors

Jace Shoemaker-Galloway | Friday March 5th, 2010 | 3 Comments

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Let’s face it.  Chances are pretty good you have an old t-shirt in your dresser that has seen better days, but for whatever reason, you just can’t seem to let it go.   Whether it has sentimental value or is a one-of-a-kind vintage tee, if you can’t part with that shirt, a new company, that is combining recycling with a mission, can put it to use.

While staring at a pile of old t-shirts in her Manhattan apartment and with no room to spare, Jess Lin wanted to make “something usable” out of all those shirts.  After developing a concept, Lin founded the Hello Rewind Project.  Hello Rewind upcycles old t-shirts into a one-of-a-kind usable product while providing help and assistance to sex trafficking survivors in New York City.

Many people may be surprised to learn that sex trafficking occurs in the United States.   In fact, this form of modern-day slavery has been reported in all 50 states. In 2004, the United States Department of Justice estimated that up to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States annually. While most of the victims are women, men and children are also victims.

When sex trafficking victims are rescued, many are left on the street.  With no means of supporting themselves, many resort to working in brothels in order to survive.  Working with the Longitude and Restore NYC, the Hello Rewind Project provides free training, job skills, fair wages and hope for a new life.   Those in the program learn English, business and sewing skills and are also given an economic incentive.

And in case you’re wondering where that old t-shirt comes in, here’s the scoop.  The shirts are transformed into one-of-a-kind, custom-made laptop sleeves.  Many of the sleeves are hand-crafted by the survivors of sex trafficking.

Here is how it works:

  • Laptop sleeves are available in several sizes – 13, 15 and 17 inch. Visit the website for specific dimensions.
  • Laptop sleeves cost $49.
  • Customers send the t-shirt to the company in a pre-paid envelope.
  • Free domestic United States shipping is included.
  • Once the shirt is received, a custom-made laptop is made from your t-shirt.
  • The one-of-a-kind laptop sleeve should arrive in your mailbox within 4 to 8 weeks.

The Hello Rewind Project, launched in February,  is working hard to change lives, one t-shirt at a time.   Be sure to follow Hello Rewind on Twitter or Facebook.


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  • captainliz

    What an awesome idea,are these available In Australia also? This does not surprise me at all…there are many states In Australia that this is a problem to.

  • http://www.bigjobsboard.com/ bigjobsboard

    This is really awesome. this is a great advocacy to help the victims. I will definitely get my old T-shirts and donate all of them to the victims. I wish them good luck! Praise to the people behind this great work!

  • http://www.bigjobsboard.com/ bigjobsboard

    This is really awesome. this is a great advocacy to help the victims. I will definitely get my old T-shirts and donate all of them to the victims. I wish them good luck! Praise to the people behind this great work!