BoGo Bras and Budding Entrepreneurs
BoGo stands for “buy one give one” and for every BoGo item purchased, a brand new bra is donated to women who have been rescued from sex trafficking. They then start their own business selling bras in their local community, allowing them to provide for themselves and their families while also gaining valuable business skills. We partner with the organization “Free the Girls” who is in charge of facilitating the distribution of bras in their three programs located in Mozambique, Uganda, and El Salvador. By purchasing a BoGo Bra, you make it possible for a new bra to be sent to a woman to sell at her local market as she starts a new life. Empowering women and letting them know they have a choice starts with each one of us. We hope you decide to join us on our journey! If you would like to receive email updates you can simply fill out the form on this link.
What is the difference in Free The Girls and BoGo Bras?
Free The Girls is a non-profit that collects new and gently used bras for women to sell in their local communities. BoGo Bras is a philanthropic, for-profit company that supports survivors of sex trafficking through donations to Free The Girls. Free The Girls has three programs at the moment in Mozambique, Uganda, and El Salvador where they work alongside the women and help encourage them in their journey selling bras. BoGo benefits Free The Girls by sending them brand new bras! Free The Girls is limited by their inventory of bras as well as by the law prohibiting the sale of second-hand clothing. Many developing countries have this law in place due to health regulations and protection for their economy. With donations from BoGo, the goal is for Free The Girls to have a large enough inventory to establish more programs in countries where they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
Why bras though?
Bras can provide an avenue for women to help other women who have a past of being abused by men. Working alongside other women, as well as with women clients, allows a time of healing and restoration for these survivors of trafficking. Once a women has been rescued from the destructive environment of human trafficking, she is left alone and rarely with an alternative way to make money. This lack of opportunity makes it difficult to provide for herself and her family and is not true freedom. When women sell bras in their communities, they develop tangible skills they can carry into future employment such as handling money, dealing with customers, and managing inventory.
There is also a large market for bras in the countries where the women are selling them! This means that their bra businesses aren’t detracting from any business that would otherwise be in their communities. They are only contributing to their local economies.
Who’s pulling the strings?
That would be me, Emily Wilhoit, and my dad, Sam Wilhoit! My journey at BoGo Bras started in September of 2016 during my senior year at the University of Georgia. I was talking on the phone with my dad about post graduation plans, explaining how I really didn’t want a job I wasn’t passionate about. At this time, I had been involved with Free The Girls for a while and had been collecting used bras from my friends. Eventually everyone started saying, “I wish I could donate my bras but I wear all of them now!”. So I had an idea. What if there was a way where people could continue donating bras but they didn’t have to give any up? What if someone else donated one for them? And that’s where BoGo Bras came from – Buy One Give One Bras. For every BoGo product that is bought we donate a brand new bra. I’m lucky that my dad has been running an e-commerce business for 10 years and believed in my vision! When I told him about my idea for BoGo he loved the concept and jumped on board to help get the ball rolling.
I wanted to create an easy opportunity for people to combat human trafficking. This issue is very close to my heart and I honestly wish there wasn’t a need for a business like BoGo. But the truth is, there are women, men, and children, out there who are forced into human trafficking and they need people who will fight for them and help them back up on their feet. When you buy from BoGo, you are showing these women that they ARE worth more and they CAN run their own business! Through BoGo people can know that with every purchase, they are the reason a woman gets to live her life freely and to the fullest.