YES, fashion is fun… AND it has a deeper purpose. We have so much power to change the world simply by making informed decisions on what we wear. Usually when we think of the word “sustainability,” we think of climate change and water use. This International Women’s Day, we are going deeper by looking at how our business decisions narrow the gender gap.
1 There are more female leaders in sustainable fashion. “Only 14% of major mainstream brands have a female executive in charge,” according to a 2018 McKinsey study, Shattering the Glass Runway. But if you look at the top players in sustainable apparel-- Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, and Reformation… women lead the way. Overall, the playing field is more level in businesses that make sustainability a priority because gender equality is part of being a responsible business.
2 Because women make up nearly 80% of the fashion industry’s workforce, making positive changes to the way we do business disproportionately lifts women. For instance, if we choose to use certified organic cotton, the reduced exposure to toxins improves the health of everyone in the majority-female supply chain. Women’s issues are often framed in a way that highlights that fast fashion is bad for women (which is true) but at YES AND, we prefer to stay focused on solutions. We are all interconnected-- when we lift one piece of the web that ties us all together, we are all lifted.
3 Sustainable fashion de-objectifies women. Through the lens of global consciousness, sustainable fashion is a vehicle for empowerment and industry transformation. Conventional fashion, on the other hand, targets women. For decades, women have been made to feel inadequate in their physical appearance so that large corporations could capitalize off of our insecurity. As a result, we spend three times more on clothing, most of which ends up in the pockets of men. From the farm to the boardroom to our closets, supporting sustainable brands means supporting women, all over the world.
Happy Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day! Spread the love by sharing this with a friend and tagging us @yesand.