Jacksonville's Rethreaded Seeks to Stop Sex Trafficking

By Melissa Ross

It’s a Jacksonville startup with a worthy goal – freeing women from the sex trade.

Rethreaded was a top vote-getter at Jacksonville’s recent OneSpark crowdfunding festival, and founder Kristen Keen is already looking ahead to the next phase of the nonprofit’s growth.

Working in partnership with the City Rescue Mission, Rethreaded is expanding its staff and working on increasing sales, too.

Keen was inspired to create Rethreaded after living and working in India. There, she saw the horrific reality of how sex trafficking affects women and girls.

Rethreaded employs and trains women who make clothing and other products out of online casino donated T-shirts. It’s called “upcycling.”  The goal is to give women a way out of drug addiction, violence, human trafficking or prostitution.

Millions of women and girls are trafficked worldwide, including here in Florida. In fact, the Sunshine State ranks a dubious third in the nation when it comes to sex trafficking crimes. Innovative ideas like Rethreaded are part of the solution.

Learn more about this amazing local initiative at www.rethreaded.com.


melissaAbout the Author
First Coast Connect  host/producer Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards.