6 Sensational Brands Empowering Women and Their Workforces
Who Made My Clothes? That’s what Fashion Revolution’s iconic annual campaign is asking. And it’s a good question. The truth is, most of the time, we don’t know who’s making our clothes. The darkened ceilings of Asian textile factories couldn’t seem more distant when browsing the high street Fast Fashion racks. But at our Positive Popup (opening May 23rd), we’re celebrating brands that have positive relationships with their workforces -- that are empowering the people who sew their garments. Many of these brands provide training, fair wages and sense of community to workers all over the world, from India to London. So, next time you go shopping, think about the people behind the seams.
Here are six amazing brands empowering their workforces:
Robbie Humphries and Alice Begg started making clothes together in Jaipur, India. Jaipur is famous for its rich history of fabric printing. So, naturally, Robbie and Alice ensure that all their fabric printing takes place there. They provide jobs and fair wages to the locals. This empowerment then feeds back into Jaipur's economy. Plus, every year Robbie and Alice travel back to Jaipur to work with highly-skilled screen printers. If you want to make a positive impact on Jaipur from afar, come check out Humphries and Begg at our Positive Popup.
Arabel Lebrusan is a pioneer of Fairtrade and Fairmined jewellery. Her self-titled business seeks to combat the evils of the mining industry. Historically, mining has been synonymous with child labour, gender inequality and severe worker exploitation. But Arabel’s decision to use Fairtrade and Fairmined metals is a direct step towards empowering marginalised mining workers. The Fairtrade/Fairmined accreditation ensures that workers are paid fairly and are not exploited. By shifting our buying habits toward brands like Arabel Lebrusan's, we're directly empowering these mining communities.
Untold Treasures brings traditional South American crafts into a global market. Why is this important? Because artisans from Bolivia and Colombia don’t always have the tools to sell their crafts on a large scale. Untold Treasures provides those tools. They sell backpacks and jewellery that were handmade by these South American skilled artisans. Most importantly, they are empowering these artisans, many of whom are women. They receive fair wages and market access for their creations. You can see some of those creations at our Positive Popup. They are colourful and beautiful — but they also have a beautiful story.
Paola Masperi founded Mayamiko with the direct goal of empowering communities in Malawi. She knew that the best way to help struggling communities was through nurturing their local talents. With that in mind, she set up her Fashion Lab in Malawi. The Lab not only offers fair employment to local Malawian women. It also trains them and acts as a daycare for their children. For every garment sold, Mayamiko then donates at least £1 back into the Mayamiko Trust. This Trust offers further educational opportunities to disadvantaged people in Malawi. On Thursday, May 30th at our Positive Popup, you can hear Paola talk more about why fashion is a feminist issue (tickets and info here).
AmaElla is a lingerie brand that’s also committed to empowering women. They are completely transparent about their manufacturing partners. They specifically only partner with companies that share their values of respect and dignity in the workplace. That's why they chose a supply partner in Portugal that works exclusively with local women. Further, their non-profit London based partner provides training and apprenticeships to unemployed women in the UK. In other words, it’s underwear with a positive story.
When Rosh Govindaraj founded Issara, she knew she wanted to stay away from mass manufacturing. Instead, she travelled the world looking for skilled leather craftsmen. Ultimately she settled in Central Java and East India, where she hand-selected a small community of craftsmen to hand-make her products. Rosh maintains close relationships with her craftsman. In fact, she’s even set up several social initiatives aimed at empowering their local community. You can feel the positivity of her empowering workforce beaming through her beautiful leather bags and wallets.
You can find clothing from all these brands and more at our MAMOQ Positive Popup. Come by between May 23rd and June 2nd to browse some amazing fashions created by totally empowered workforces.