International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide on the 8th of March each year. During this time, you see many fashion brands declaring their support for females all over the world. Many companies give huge donations to women organizations, and some create limited edition clothing and accessories to commemorate the special day. But most brands do it only for promotion’s sake and to generate revenue. A closer examination of their books would likely reveal male executives receiving higher salaries than female counterparts. So let’s focus instead on those brands that celebrate women all year round. These are the ones that truly support gender equality and believe in improving women’s lives.
Fashion Brands Empowering Women
It’s easy for a business to join the feminist bandwagon and exploit it as a strategy to get favorable publicity. That’s why it’s worth highlighting the fashion brands that walk the talk and genuinely support women. They not only make beautiful clothes and accessories but also advocate for the rights of women. Here are a few of them.
If you’re into eco-friendly fashion, then you might have heard of 31 Bits already. They’re a producer of sustainable jewelry in the United States. Besides its environmental advocacy, this fashion brand supports disadvantaged women in Gulu, Uganda through the 31 Bits program. A Ugandan woman who joins the program enjoys holistic care. She is welcomed into the group like a member of a family and provided with an education, a job, and a plan for her future. She will then be able to earn more and have more control over her earnings.
Every time you purchase jewelry from 31 Bits, remember that you’re also giving another woman a better chance for her future. So, the next time you order a promise ring from getnamenecklace, the fashionistas’ go-to online store for custom-made jewelry, why not match it with a 31 Bits stacking bracelet designed by Ugandan women artisans?
Sseko’s passion is not only in making women more fashionable with its apparel and leather accessories; it’s even more passionate about breaking the cycle of poverty that entraps women in underdeveloped areas. Like 31 Bits, Sseko, which means “laughter” in native Lugandan, has also made its mark in the eastern African country of Uganda.
The products sold by this brand are made by Ugandan women who are paid good salaries for their work. Sseko makes sure that their earnings go to a fund specially designated for their college education. After graduation, these women can look for better job opportunities outside the factory, and carve a more promising future for themselves. Empowering women globally is key to Sseko.
In an industry where the market trend leans towards objectifying women, Naja is a breath of fresh air. This lingerie brand is all about supporting and empowering women. Naja employees are single mothers and female family breadwinners who provide for their families with above-average salaries. Workers also enjoy health benefits and receive additional stipends to help pay for their children’s school meals, uniforms, books, and educational supplies.
If you’re fortunate enough to find employment in Naja, it’s easy to balance work and family. The company has a flexible work policy so that taking care of parental responsibilities while earning a good living is possible.
Mata Traders is a fashion brand that prides itself on ethical clothing and accessories, and with good reason. Its partners are several fair trade organizations; together, they work to improve the lives of women in Nepal and India. Mata Traders’ artisan workers mostly come from the countries’ impoverished areas, the tribal villages and city slums.
By hiring these women, the company helps them realize their dreams of lifting their families from poverty; not only with their earnings but also through learned skills. Each artisan learns the art of hand sewing before she moves on to operate a sewing machine. Promising workers eventually become leaders of a sewing group or trainers. Some females get the opportunity to occupy higher leadership positions, like a quality checker or production manager. In Indian and Nepalese societies, where social classes are very clear, providing women with these skill sets allows them to have better control of their families and career.
Elegantees is Empowering Women Globally Too
Elegantees is a New York-based fashion brand whose mission focus is to help fight human trafficking in Nepal by providing employment opportunities. The company operates sewing centers that employ women who have been rescued from sex trafficking, paying them two or three times the Nepalese minimum wage. A regular source of income empowers women as they have more independence. At the same time, the employment helps restore confidence and a healthy self-image.
Whether you realize it or not, every fashion purchase you make is a vote for a brand. You can buy from a company whose primary objective is to generate profits that go directly to the pocket of its CEO or choose to support one that commits to personally and professionally empowering women globally. The choice is yours.