Support Your Global Girl Gang
It's no secret that I consider myself a feminist. After learning about the history of feminism, starting with the Seneca Falls convention in the 1800's all the way through the Riot Grrl era of the 90's, the feminist movement has withstood the test of time, all in support of a single mission: to obtain equal and absolute rights for men and women of all ages, races, and social classes.
We live in a crazy time, where feminist ideals have been pushed upon the most heightened platform yet (social media), yet very few people actually understand what they mean. Of course, this is as to be expected with anything- the more something becomes "big", the more the meaning gets warped. It's like a giant game of telephone, only with everyone tweeting their messages, rather than passing them directly along to a friend. Regardless, the idea of feminism has certainly fallen victim to this phenomenon, and, like anything, it's unfortunate.
While many see feminism as just a political topic of debate, for me, it spans much further than that. For me, it encompasses everything from the food we eat, to the products we buy, and yes, even to the clothes we wear. Clothing- especially ethical clothing- has deep roots within feminism. Why? Because clothing is often made by underprivileged women in unsuitable conditions.
Remember when American Apparel was suuuuuuper popular a few years ago, and suddenly everyone was talking about sweatshops and how horrible they were? Unfortunately, those types of conditions still exist all over the globe, and many companies still utilize these means of production for their manufacturing.
For those of you who don't know what sweatshops are (trust me, I didn't for a while, either!) They're essentially factories that have very poor and often unsafe working conditions, where workers are payed very little (below minimum wage and certainly below a living wage) to work long days producing the clothes that are readily available here in America. Many, many brands use this method of production (you can google who), because it's incredibly cheap, and "efficient" (for them, at least). These factories are often found in places without strict labor laws, such as China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
And many of the people who work in these factories are, unfortunately, women. Women who make as little as $1 a day to pay their rent (in pretty vile living conditions), feed themselves, and provide for their families. It's no wonder that, under these conditions, children often go without meals, medications, and/or education, and parents go days, weeks, even, without seeing their children.
I could literally go on and on about the horrific reality of sweatshops, but truthfully, it's not my story to tell. I've never firsthand witnessed anything of this magnitude, nor have I lived it, so anything I share would really be a second or third-hand account. But the reason I'm sharing this is because I believe that we, as consumers and lovers of fashion, draw attention to it and become proactive in making a change! Whether that change is in how we decide to spend money / the companies we decide to support or it's through petitioning for a change, it's important that we're educated so we can go off and help make the future of the fashion industry better. Or, on a more realistic note, so we can become the most educated and aware people we possibly can.
While I ideally like to do all of the above to help combat this fashion conundrum (for some reason I just really wanted to use that word sooooo... let's roll with it), my favorite way to help solve this issue is to spend my money at companies who've adopted ethical and sustainable practices, and while there are so many different companies who do this (more than you would think!) one of my new favorites has become Krochet Kids. What's really cool about their business model is they hire impoverished women from third-world countries, teach them how to sew, and then hire them to make all the garments sold through Krochet Kids! Even better, these women are paid living wages, and you can actually see and know who the woman who make your exact garment was! Inside every Krochet Kids item is a label, hand signed with the name of the woman who made it, and if you go on their website, you can see a picture and video of the woman, learn all about her favorite things to do, and even send her a thank-you message.
Not only that, but this Krochet Kids dress I'm wearing is so ridiculously soft and comfortable! To be completely honest, I wasn't expecting to love it, as I've never been a fan of midi-dresses, yet wearing this dress, I felt the prettiest I'd felt in a very long time. I have a feeling I'm going to be wearing this dress a ton in the near future.
So to wrap this post up (because man, has it gone on for a while.. whoops) go out and support the women, from all over the world, who work hard to make your clothes. After all, their human rights are just as important as yours, and its about time we do our part to help support them. By shopping from ethical and sustainable brands (like Krochet Kids) who put women first, or by simply being educated, we can help do our part to create a better, safer, more ethical change within the world of fashion, and do our part- whether we're feminists or not- to support our global girl gang.