With 1 in 7 women working in the garment industry, making up for 80% of all global garment workers, considering the labour behind your label is the ultimate feminist act.
Women’s work in the garment industry is often mistaken for ‘empowerment’ of women - they have the right to work and earn their own money finally! This is completely overlooking the facts of the poor working conditions, low pay levels and expectations on women to be solely caring for the family at the same time, and is essentially going against these women’s fundamental rights.
While we in the Western world are quick to call ourselves feminists, but focusing on what is immediately around us rather than a global perspective. We overlook the fact that while we call ourselves feminists, we are still shopping from brands that are directly profiting from women’s exploitation.
We need to remember that feminism is not just for white women and we need to ask for transparency in fashion manufacturing and see the issue as a global issue. It is not a coincidence that the garment industry is by majority made up by women - women in third world countries where your garments are often made, have the poorest access to education and therefore the least lucrative jobs. While this may sound like a stereotype for far east countries, it is all the same reasons as the pay gap between men and women in UK.
We are all feminists. And we should all be.