Growing up, a strong female role model wasn’t something I lacked. I come from a family where female empowerment was (and still is) constantly talked about at the supper table. Even at a young age, my parents made it known that women can do it all with willpower and the help of others. Out of all the advice my parents have given me over the years, the best advice they have given me is to work hard and help others along the way.
I’m a solid believer in my shirt: Women Will Save the World. 80% of garment workers are women which means that if we provide garment works with fair wages, better work environments, and opportunities we can change the global economic structure. Sustainable fashion and starts with empowering garment workers and make sure they have the opportunities to better their lives. So how do we empower women through fashion? Here are four ways you can help empower women in fashion.
Invest in small businesses.
When you buy from the little guy, you’re helping others make a better opportunity for themselves. This shirt is made by the Style Club Babes by the founder Hilary Novelle. Hilary Novelle was an opener for major artists on a concert tour. She made all her costumes before she went on stage and because of this, she scored a free denim sponsorship. She ended up designing a new pair of jeans every day by ripping, shredding, bedazzling, embroidering, and sticking patches over everything. Her styles gained momentum and that is exactly when The Style Club was born. You can shop her collection at Lou & Grey and shop at your local stores to help them thrive.
Spread the good word.
When you find a company that empowers women and pays them fairly, you need to shout it from the treetops. Post on social media, tell your friends, tell your coworkers, let everyone and their mother know about it. Most sustainable fashion brands fail within the first two years so they need every ounce of publicity they can get. Help them out by spreading the good word.
Do your research.
Sites like Good on You, podcasts like Conscious Chatter, and blogs like Conscious Style provide valuable information on whether a not a store is sustainable. They also provide the best avenue to finding more ethical companies that you’ll love. Before you buy something at Marshalls, check your app and look up the labor policies for that company. If it’s too hard to find, chances are the company is hiding something.
Stop buying from companies that exploit women and don’t pair them fairly.
It’s so weird seeing shirts that promote feminism and Hilary Clinton from fast fashion companies. Stores like Forever 21, Zara, and H&M all produced shirts that said “I’m with her” and “Feminism is the new Black.” Although great slogans, very hypnotical in the sense that feminism is making sure that women are provided with opportunities to prosper and these stores are doing the opposite for garment workers. When you find out a company is not treating their workers right, try your hardest to stop shopping from them. Everyone makes mistakes and might slip up buying from a fast fashion store, but don’t make it a reoccurring thing.
What are your favorite stores that ethically produce clothes? How do you empower women? Let me know in the comments down below.