This week we celebrate Women’s Equality Day! A day celebrated to remember the 19th amendment giving women in America the right to vote. While a lot of progress has been made, it’s also important to remember there is a lot of work to be done! There is still a lot of discrimination with voting for certain genders, races, & communities in America. And let’s not forget, the fight for equality extends beyond the U.S., all over the world there are women experiencing daily discrimination due to their sex & race.
Being The Honest Consumer, I want to remind you of the power you hold as a consumer. When you choose to purchase from ethically made and fair trade brands, you’re voting (with your wallet) for equality. It is estimated that 80% of the garment industry is made up of women. Unfortunately there is a lot of abuse within traditional fast fashion garment factories and this abuse directly impacts women due to the large percentage of workers. Your purchase to support brands who use ethical and fair trade practices empowers women around the world. This gives women the opportunity to earn a fair wage and support their families. I highly encourage reading this short piece, Gender: Women Workers Mistreated from the Clean Clothes Campaign, to learn a bit more about what women in the garment industry experience. Choose ethical fashion & vote with your dollar. Here are fifteen ethical brands working to empower women!
ROUND + SQUARE: TEES SUPPORTING EQUAL RIGHTS
ROUND + SQUARE’s ethical clothing supports equal rights, sustainability, and transparent supply chains. ROUND + SQUARE clothing is crafted using organic cotton and donates 10% of profits to Equality Now, a non-profit fighting for legal rights for women and girls around the world. I love the message behind the Girl Power Boxy Cut Powder tee. This organic cotton tee is a great conversation starter. The playful design keeps the bold message playful, yet meaningful!
BRANDED Collective: Jewelry That Empowers Survivors of Trafficking in the USA
BRANDED Collective is a jewelry brand providing job training and employment to survivors of human trafficking in Nashville. While based in Tennessee, BRANDED Collective works with survivors who have been trafficked through out the U.S. and internationally. BRANDED Collective’s jewelry is connecting survivors to consumers through their Messages of Hope. When a customer purchases a piece of jewelry they are able to register their unique number, read a bit about the survivor who made their piece, and send her a Message of Hope to empower her.
Mother Erth: Sustainable Employment Opportunities for Mothers in the Philippines
Mother Erth creates durable, zero waste bags made from recycled materials. Along with making a positive impact on the planet, these innovative bags also provide employment for low income mothers in the Philippines. Mother Erth launched in September 2017 with the intent to reduce waste and impact the lives of hardworking mothers in the Philippines. By empowering the mothers, Mother Erth has a positive effect on the entire family, allowing the mothers to provide and educate their children.
Malia Designs: Ethical & Sustainable Accessories Empowering Women in Cambodia
Malia Designs is a socially responsible brand that designs and sells fair trade handbags and accessories. Malia Designs products are handcrafted in Cambodia by fair trade producer groups mainly employing at-risk women and the disabled community members. Every purchase helps to fight human trafficking through their donations and non-profit partnerships. Bags are crafted using responsible materials such as recycled cement bags, up-cycled cotton, & more.
LIZ ALIG: FUNCTIONAL FAIR TRADE FASHION
Liz Alig strives to create functional, fair-trade fashion for the modern woman. Liz Alig's purposeful fashion is crafted with a transparent supply chain, socially responsible materials, and creates a positive impact for growing communities. Liz Alig’s partnering fair trade cooperatives, workshops, & NGO’s use their funds to offer free skills training to women and free nursery care for young children.
Dazey LA: Celebrating Feminism with Bold Design & Slow Fashion
Dazey LA celebrates slow fashion and feminism through art apparel on a mission to empower women through conversation and community. Their retro-inspired, feminist pieces are made to order in LA. Their bold graphic tees encourage conversation about feminism, empowerment, inclusion, and more. Their slow fashion and zero waste efforts are leading the way for other brands striving to be conscious. Use the code HONEST10 for 10% off your first Dazey LA order!
Swahili Coast: Worker Owned Co-Ops in East Africa
Swahili Coast works with worker owned co-ops that use fair trade practices and have positive working environments, while focusing on bringing the incredible artistry and talents of East African Artisans to global markets. Swahili Coast works mainly with women artisans who are the sole breadwinners for their families which is why the worker owned co-op is so important. With Swahili Coast's "power over pity” motto they're empowering women through employment and community.
ABLE: Ethical Fashion, Empowerment, & Ending generational poverty
ABLE employs and empowers women living in developing countries while encouraging economic growth and reducing poverty. Women are paid fair wages and provided with a safe work environment, allowing them to grow individually and support their families. ABLE is continuously working to end generational poverty and advocate for ethical fashion.
Thistle Farms: Empowering Survivors of Trafficking
Thistle Farms is a brand of natural home and body products handcrafted by survivors of addiction, prostitution, and human trafficking. Thistle Farm's employment program is just one of many ways this social enterprise is empowering women. Ethically made in Nashville, TN these products empower women here in America.
MATA TRADERS: VINTAGE STYLE
Mata Traders is working to make fair trade fashion readily available to consumers through vintage inspired designs and affordable prices. Mata Traders’ fair trade clothing is ethically crafted by women cooperatives in India and Nepal providing fair wages, a safe space, and the tools needed for individuals to rise above poverty.
THINX: Providing women in need with period products.
THINX period panties are a sustainable alternative to pads that also give back to women in need. THINX works to provide period products to communities who do not have access to menstrual products. Through THNIX’s EveryBody program, they work with schools and nonprofits to empower young people with medically accurate and inclusive information about their changing bodies.
Darzah: Empowering Low Income & Refugee Women in Palestine
Darzah is an ethical accessory brand working to create job opportunities for refugee and low income women artisans in Palestine. Darzah works to cherish the tatreez embroidery and Palestine heritage through their product designs. Each purchase of Darzah goods supports training and employment programs on the West Bank.
The Tote Project
The Tote Project creates fair trade, organic cotton pouches and tote bags ethically made by survivors of human trafficking. The Tote Project’s affordable tote bags are made with 100% organic cotton canvas. Pouches are made with 100% organic cotton and lined with recycled sari with a braided recycled sari tassel. The Tote Project also gives a portion of their proceeds to Two Wings which mentors at risk youth and survivors of sex trafficking.
Fair Anita: Investing in the Future of Women
Fair Anita invests in the future of women around the world through artisan empowerment. Fair Anita currently works with 8,000 artisans in 16 different countries creating fair trade goods and paying artisans three times the minimum wage.
Landmine Design: A Safe Haven for Women
Landmine Design is empowering women in The Minefield Village situated between Cambodia and Thailand by providing training and employment. While sex-trafficking is prevalent in this area, Landmine Design is a safe haven for women to gain a sense of community while receiving a fair salary through jewelry creation.
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