Can Fashion Industry Boost Women Empowerment?

Gender equality is far from being met at every level of fashion and beauty industry though these industries are mainly focused on women products which are produced and sold by women.

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International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide every year on March 8 when each individual promise to respect, honour and value the women in their lives, but in this patriarchal society how do we ensure gender parity? How can we assure that women are empowered? Before making any comment, we need to know the true meaning and need of women empowerment. Women deserve to be empowered not because of they are the weaker sex; it is their right to avail all benefits and opportunities that are limited to men for years. Becoming rich does not mean empowerment, empowerment is something where women can raise their voices, can take decisions about their families, can avail education, and can live their lives as they wish. It could be started within families, workplaces, and neighbourhoods.

Gender equality is far from being met at every level of fashion and beauty industry though these industries are mainly focused on women products which are produced and sold by women. Women are exploited continuously by different industries from the very beginning and the fashion industry used to be one of them, but women have taken initiative with pride and changed the scenario. Now they have taken fashion as a tool to feel empowered. In this era of sustainable fashion, women empowerment burgeons. Women have created brands for women. Women empowerment can be achieved by creating job opportunities by the women for themselves by making female consumers feel beautiful and self-proud. Supporting each other makes women empowered and creates huge impact on development of our society around the world.

Following are some fashion brands who give women’s prosperity a priority before profit, which are made by women only believing that every woman deserves to feel empowered and confident in their own way. We Are We Wear, a fashion brand creates colourful and empowering swimwear for everyone from sizes XS to 3XL. Selva Negra focuses on empowerment by ethical practice and work with non-profit organizations to build better communities and offer high-quality and flawless clothing for all women. Eileen Fisher is not only a sustainable fashion brand, but it has also taken an initiative to offer live-streaming experience where women can share their individual stories to empower each other irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. 

Girlfriend Collective believes in health & wellness and representation; that is the reason this brand is concerned about its materials & packaging and are giving platform to the women to represent themselves. ABLE, another ethical brand is empowering women by creating opportunities for the women who are in poverty by educating and employing them to eradicate poverty cycles. House of Aama rooted from African culture creates gorgeous collections by exploring African artisans and ensures that tradition and talent should continue together and be celebrated. We Are Kin takes the initiative for modern women who face hardship in their everyday life. This brand donated their one third profit to the refugees, The Fawcett Society and Women’s Aid by selling their T-shirt ‘It Takes Tits To Do That’. Pour Les Femmes (For The Women) is a sleepwear brand who creates opportunities for women living in regions of conflict by ensuring fundamental human rights and employment for the women. Proclaim made from conscious and recycled materials creates inclusive lingerie for all women and empowered women through instilling the belief that fashion is for all women. 

To empower the women, Carcel, the brand has taken a revolutionary business model which creates huge social impact and a low environmental footprint. They have started their production house inside women’s prisons and are working directly with the inmates by giving them the opportunity to earn a living. This brand works beyond production by creating a positive culture and a safe space, encourage women to develop business plans to live their dreams and be re-accepted by society once outside of prison. Luüna Naturals, the toxin and plastic-free period care company offers women the power of choosing the sanitary option which suits them best.

There are few Indian fashion brands who are very self-aware and stick to their roots, started working towards empowering women artisans by providing a big platform to the women to create their own identity. Mother Earth is a tasteful lifestyle brand whose 40% of products are made by self-help groups. Krishna Mehta, the brand, is a staunch supporter of the Manipuri designs and the Manipuri artisans and weavers. The brand creates opportunities for the differently abled women by providing them training in different skills like hand printing, dyeing, and embroidery. The India Craft House provides a huge platform to the artisans all over the country to sell their products to an audience from all over the world. Forty Red Bangles is a socially conscious and ecologically responsible company that celebrates the Indian bride. The brand strives for maintaining the integrity of the sustainable fashion. Okhai, a brand created with the support of Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development, is working to empower the tribal women in rural area by helping them to create beautiful traditional handiwork. The idea is to create opportunities for women who belong to less privileged backgrounds by providing them skill development training to create new ventures within the industry, to earn and live on their own terms. 

Ethicus is a farm-to-fashion initiative, started with the aim to revive the rich local hand-weaving traditions of Tamil Nadu. The brand believes in inclusive growth and creates employment for female artisans and cotton farmers. In the present scenario, India needs more Female Empowered Entrepreneur who will generate more employment for the women and encourage them to be empowered by themselves in their own way. We wish to see this world as a safe, peaceful, and encouraging place for women by empowering them through awareness, education and the support that they need to become their own change agents

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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