5 Fashion Companies Empowering Women
Empower Women While You Shop!
Today is National Women’s Equality Day! It may be 2016, but gender inequality is still a relevant and prevalent issue. Women’s inequality is not a problem unique to the United States, but one that is pertinent worldwide. While issues and examples of gender disparity may seem more obvious in some parts of the world, it is important to note that there is vast and varying degrees of gender inequality, and sometimes these imbalances are subtle and/or difficult to pin point. Over the years a great amount of progress has been made in the United States, but there is always room to improve and do better. Below are 5 trailblazing fashion companies that are empowering women in the Untied States and worldwide.
1. 31 Bits
The mission behind 31 Bits is succinct, but powerful – “Using Fashion and design to empower people to rise above poverty.” The company has created a 5-year beneficiary program in Uganda. Women in the program are given the opportunity to receive an income and to provide for their families by creating 31 Bits fashions. Additionally, 31 Bits Beneficiaries are given access to counseling, health education, finance training, and business mentorship. At the end of the 5-year term, women are ready to graduate. According to 31 Bits, “A graduated beneficiary has her own business and is educated, healthy, and confident. She is empowered.”
2. Raven + Lily
Raven + Lily is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that is dedicated to empowering women. The company seeks to break the cycle of poverty by employing marginalized women at fair trade wages, which gives them access to a safe work place, the ability to provide for their families, and access to health care and education. Raven + Lily currently employs over 1,500 marginalized women in 9 different countries, including the USA. In the USA, Raven + Lily employs women that were previously homeless to create hand crafted candles.
3. The Brave Collection
The Brave Collection is a jewelry company that is rooted in helping women. Each piece of jewelry is carved and/or woven by hand, in Cambodia, using traditional metalwork techniques. The Brave Collection employs Cambodian artisans who have disabilities or who are underprivileged. Most of the artisans are mothers and they can choose to work in the company’s studio or to work from home, if it makes caring for their children easier to do. Additionally, all artisans are paid above average wages and receive benefits such as health insurance and stipends for their children’s education.
Birdsong is a fashion company focused on investing in women and the future of women. The company was founded in 2014 by “a trio of feminists,” who saw the negative effects that cuts in funding was having on organizations for women. The company is dedicated to creating high quality pieces that are ethically sourced and manufactured. 50-85% of each purchase goes back to the women who made the item(s). Additionally, the company does not use photoshop and seeks to represent all women. Birdsong has raised more than £10,000 (about $13,000 USD) for women’s charities annually.
FashionABLE is a fashion company on a mission to better the world and the lives of women. While FashionABLE believes in the power of charity, they also believe it takes more than donating money and resources to charities to break the cycle of poverty. Instead, FashionABLE is focused on creating opportunities that will give women the tools they need to be empowered and successful, both locally and globally. Therefore, though FASHION – women will be ABLE to stop their cycle of poverty. In 2015, the company created the Miriam Collection, which is created in Nashville, TN, and provides 5 fulltime jobs to women who have overcome a number of challenges ranging from addiction to a lack of opportunity. The company hopes to greatly expand and to provide more oppurtunities in 2016.