Duchess Kate helps Indian sex trafficking victims by wearing Beulah London dress

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 14, 2012 06:22 hrs

Washington: The Duchess of Cambridge turned heads in Kuala Lumpur when she visited the Assyakirin Mosque last month wearing a chic chiffon off-white dress and matching headscarf from Beulah London.

But it has been revealed that by wearing the dress, the Duchess was supporting not just her friend - Beulah's founder Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs - but also victims of sex trafficking in India, the Daily Mail reported.

In 2009, Natasha and her childhood friend Lavinia Brennan made the life-changing decision to swap parties at Club H - Princes Harry and William's private basement at Highgrove - for a stint teaching needlework and English to victims of sex trafficking in India.

"I had been talking to a friend about human trafficking and I was determined to do something to help," the paper quoted Natasha, daughter of the Marquess of Reading and the fiancee of Kate Middleton's ex-boyfriend Rupert Finch, as saying.

"I met women who had been abused and a girl who was trafficked from the school where I was teaching. She fell in love with a man who promised her a new life and whisked her away, and she didn't return. It was heartbreaking, but it helped me to understand slavery and how traffickers work.

"It also taught me the importance of education because traffickers prey on the uneducated, the ones who have no options. I realised that providing skills could prevent trafficking," she said.

Natasha, who has a history of art degree from Oxford Brookes University, spent two months at a workshop teaching vulnerable girls who had been rescued from brothels and slums.

It was there that Beulah London was conceived. Natasha and Lavinia's idea was to create an ethical fashion label that would pay a living wage to rescued women and save them from the economic necessity of returning to the streets.

Each Beulah garment comes with a canvas bag produced by victims of trafficking in India through a Calcutta-based project called Freeset.

Some items in the collection are made via a project in Delhi called Open Hand, by women who have escaped trafficking and the sex trade, including some who are HIV-positive and widowed.

Natasha returns to India every six months to see the women she is helping. (ANI)

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