I read a blog post recently asking the question of wether fashion is empowering for women, it was a good post and had some great points but I noticed it only touched on one step in a garments life cycle. The step where it is bought and styled.
Yes! fashion can be and should be empowering for women. We should be able to dress however we want, in a way that makes us feel good without any outwardly spoken judgment from other people. I love the power of clothes, the way they can make you feel, the memories they can hold and the possibilities they can provide, even if it’s just in your own mind!
However to answer the question of whether fashion is empowering for women I think we need to also look at all the stages of creation and all the people involved in getting it to that second to last stage of it’s life.
Women make up 90% of sweatshop workers… 90% !!!
“Factories that employ the use of sweatshop labor perpetuate numerous injustices. Women are paid as little as six cents an hour and work ten to twelve hour shifts. In many instances overtime is mandatory. In some cases, women are allowed only two drinks of water and one bathroom break per shift. Sexual harassment, corporal punishment, and verbal abuse are all means used by supervisors to instill fear and keep employees in line.” – Source: http://www.feminist.org/other/sweatshops/
Girl Power T-shirt sold by Boohoo who are known for their use of exploitative sweatshops. (source)
Not very empowering!
On the one hand I do believe that fashion is and plays a very important role in women’s lives and should be seen as fun, care free and empowering, but on the other it is important to remember and think about the women who are behind our clothes and do what we can to make sure they are also empowered as possible.
It blows my mind to see people wearing empowering and feminist slogan t-shirts which were bought at a big retailer who only produced them to capitalise on, it is a complete contradiction.
Instead purchase your activist, feminist, social justice T-shirt from a RESPONSIBLE source, Like Green Box Shop
As always would love to hear your thought! Have a great weekend X