International Women’s Day: Celebrating and Supporting our Designers, Makers, Customers and Every Woman In-Between
BY PHEOBE CARNEY
Amongst all the things that have happened in the past year (and that are continuing to happen), an opportunity to focus entirely on the women of the world could not be more welcome. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements, to increase visibility for women in every environment, and to call out inequality even its subtlest forms.
With the 2021 IWD campaign theme being ‘Choose to Challenge’, here at LDC we aim to push the boundaries of what women can wear, and to provide a platform for self-expression and self-exploration. The world of the woman has up until very recently been a restricted and oppressed place, and still requires a whole lot of progression until it can be classed as an ideal world. But with Kamala Harris becoming the first female vice president in history, Scotland making period products free for all, Afghanistan passing a law that permits citizens to have their mother’s name on their birth certificates, and more countries publicly committing to equal pay for men and women in sports, we definitely have cause to celebrate. In commemoration of these defining moments in the fight for equality, we want to shout about some of our female designers whose brands continue to support and encourage women.
Birdsong, a fundamentally feminist brand whose mission is to ‘Dress in Protest’ to the systematic abuse of women in the production line. With the estimation that 60 million women worldwide working in the garment industry are paid less than minimum wage, support for their cause is crucial. Their chic and colourful pieces are made by expert women who are facing barriers to employment in the UK, paying them fair wages and providing ethical working conditions. Birdsong’s mission draws on how fashion has always been a pillar in political and social revolution, and encourages us to keep using the clothes we wear as a statement to stand up for what is right. With slogan tees, bold colours, thoughtful shapes and art-inspired prints, their creativity always wins!
Gung Ho, was founded by Sophie Dunster, who joins us in pushing the boundaries of sustainable fashion. Each of her pieces is handmade locally in the UK and boasts unique environmental patterns to highlight the beauty of the world around us, some with hidden messages in the design to spark essential conversations. Every collection focuses on a different issue, one of them being Food For Thought, where the brand teamed up with female chefs who work towards sustainable farming and ethical eating. The important issues that these female foodies are challenging were woven into the designs of this particular collection, giving these women a platform that is colourful, alive and part of our everyday lives to share and promote.
Another one of our brands that supports women in each aspect of what they do, Manimekala works with marginalised communities to tell the story behind each design and help build a better life for the people living in these communities. The brand is partnered with Saheli Women, a women’s collective and ethical fashion enterprise located in a rural village in India. Started five years ago, they now employ 35 local women, empowering and supporting them and their families. Manimekala aims to celebrate every woman involved in each piece of clothing, encourage the embrace of personal heritage and connect women all over the world in doing so. Not to mention their dedication to create zero-waste clothing!
Fanfare’s ethos is all about being fair, ‘Fair on People, Fair on the Environment’. Their website is headed by Van Gogh’s quote, ‘There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people’, and, well, we couldn’t agree more. They work with various charities and movements, such as A21 Campaign and Freeset Global, to end exploitation and abolish slavery in the supply chains of the fashion industry, helping those women and girls who are stuck in a system of abuse. Their designs are elegant, chic, and above all, they inspire individuality.
Just like Fanfare, Trace Collective partner with social businesses that give work to disenfranchised populations, and as such, positive impact is at the heart of what they do. One of these social businesses is Ared, who aim to integrate people who are at risk of social exclusion into the workplace, with a focus on helping women in the penitentiary system and other social services. By giving opportunities to the women who may have lost all hope, they are helping to build a stronger and more equal future whilst creating clothes that have a story, have been made with love, and that are a part of social and environmental regeneration.
These brands are just some examples of how amazing women are supporting other women, but they all share the core mission of individuality and transparency. The fight for equality isn’t over. Come on ladies, we’ve got this!
Like what you've read? Share it with your community!