This International Women’s Day, take a stand against gender inequality and exploitation in the fashion supply chain
This International Women’s Day (8th March 2020), Fashion Revolution will stand up for the millions of women and girls around the world who make the clothes we wear. While the big brands introduce collections, slogan tees or marketing campaigns centred around female empowerment, we’ll dig deeper into the people, factories and mills behind this feminist merchandise.
Hayat Rachi writes, “You cannot exploit women in one country to empower them in another”. Yet sadly, the vast majority of the people who make our clothes work in less than ideal conditions, characterised by harassment and abuse, pay that falls far short of a living wage, and lack the fundamental human right to collective bargaining.
Together with our community, we’ll use this International Women’s Day to shed a light on gender inequality in the fashion supply chain. Get involved with our campaign by sending an email to a brand, using your social media platform, educating yourself about gender inequality in the fashion industry and spreading the message in your community.
You can take part in direct action by emailing a brand (or many) on their gender equality practices in their supply chains. Not all brands will reply, and some will only offer generic, boilerplate information, but we know from our research that these kinds of inquiries from their consumers often lead to important conversations and real action taking place within even the biggest brands.
Dear <BRAND NAME>,
This International Women’s Day, I’m standing up for Women in the global fashion industry. As your customer, I love your style, and I love the empowering messages of your International Women’s Day collection / feminist tees / [delete / add as appropriate]. However, I also want to ensure that the gender equality you advocate for is distributed equallythroughout your supply chain.
Women represent 70-80% of low-skilled labour in the ready-made garment sector, and are some of the most vulnerable people in the supply chain. I want to know what policies you have in place to secure that the women who make your clothes are treated fairly and are safe from harassment, violence and abuse.
Please me how you guarantee the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association for workers in your supply chain. Globally, the gender wage gap sits at 23%, and unionisation is the most significant lever for women and all workers to secure a living wage.
Finally, I want to ensure that the women and all people who make my clothes are not enslaved, given that the garment sector is one of the most at-risk industries of modern slavery. Do you publish your 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers to help protect workers further down the supply chain from conditions of modern slavery?
Please tell me #WhoMadeMyClothes?
Need the contact info for your chosen brand? We’ve created a list of the sustainability and human rights team contacts for some of the biggest global fashion brands here.
Download our Instagram grid assets here and share them to your platform, making sure to tag the fashion brands who you want to challenge on their gender equality and human rights practices. You can also find assets to share to your Instagram Story here.
You can also make your own social media assets with your own feminist tee selfie (below).
1. Take a selfie in your feminist t-shirt
2. Download one of our ‘make-your-own-asset’ messages here and save it to your phone
3. Download Layout app on your phone.
4. Using Layout, create a collage with your selfie and the brand message using the app. Save the collage to your phone.
5. Open Instagram and use the IG stories > ‘write’ function to add the brand name of your feminist t-shirt on the blank line.
6. Post the image to your Instagram grid, or your story and tag the brand as well. Use the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes and ask the brand how they are implementing gender equality all the way along their supply chain.