Take a stand with us for International Women’s Day

By Fashion Revolution

4 years ago

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.

The day itself, in celebration of gender equality strides, is rooted in the garment industry. As Grace Forrest writes, “On March 8th, 1908 15,000 female garment workers marched through the streets of New York in what we now regard as the genesis of International Women’s Day. The women, mainly immigrants, protested untenable working conditions, including 60-hour work weeks, dangerous work environments and increased rates of child labour. Their protests changed little”.

Today, in a globalised garment industry, the exploitation of women may have moved locales, but it still permeates the clothes we wear. 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. Research from UN Women tells us that, globally, the gender wage gap sits at 23%, and that some 235 million women lack legal protections around sexual harassment. In the garment industry, nearly one in three females have experienced sexual harassment in their place of work (CARE International). It’s these stats that remind us, when our feeds are swarmed with so-called ‘feminist’ tees, to stand up for those in the supply chain who don’t have a voice.

We’re encouraging people around the world to share selfies in their slogan tees and ask the brands about their human rights practices, and how they’re ensuring the women and girls who make their clothes have the right to freedom of association and equal pay, while being safe from violence and abuse.

Fashion Revolution has found that most fashion brands’ have gender policies at the corporate level, yet lack any implementation of these values from their suppliers. In 2019, the Fashion Transparency Index found that 63% of brands disclosed gender pay gap information at the brand level, while only 37.5% of brands are taking any initiative further down the supply chain.

Fashion Revolution co-founder and global operations director, Carry Somers, says, “The people making our clothes may not be visible, but every garment they make has a silent #MeToo woven into its seams.

Click here to join our campaign and use your voice to ensure that the women and girls around the world who make our clothes can do so in freedom and dignity, and earn a decent wage.