Women's Day 2019 - How Ethical Fashion Can Empower Women

It’s International Women’s Day 2019 and our launch day! To celebrate this special occasion we wanted to spotlight some of the brands we work with and the great things they do to empower women all over the world.
 
The Bloomer Dress - Early Feminist Fashion
Fashion and feminism have always crossed paths. The way a woman can dress has always been dissected, discussed, and ultimately policed. In the 1850’s the ‘Bloomer dress’ took the fashion world by storm. It has been argued to be one of the first feminist fashion pieces, offering greater comfort and ease of movement than the more conservative outfits of the time.
     
The Bloomer was supported by Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a high profile group of Suffragettes, helping it turn into a fashion craze and cementing the liberating relationship between fashion and feminism.
     
In the present, the relationship between women and feminism is more complex.
Today t-shirts bearing feminist slogans are made in factories that employ vast numbers of women in dangerous conditions for astonishingly low pay. The cost of fast fashion is not just to the planet but to our women too. It doesn’t have to be like this. Fashion can be a force for good in the world and at the Honest Department we’ve set out to prove it.
 
A Beautiful Arteli Handbag
Our brands showcase how creativity can be empowering and liberating, creating ethical and sustainable economies led by artistic women. Arteli makes handbags out of dried Iraca Palm leaves, utilising generational techniques to create timeless fashion pieces. In Usiacuri, where Arteli bags are made, a high percentage of women are the head of their household. Arteli’s mantra is ‘fashion meets nature’ and they bring together these two elements in a way that liberates women, building a strong and vibrant community.
     
All the Wild Roses was set up to help the founder's extended family, together they developed their skills and now create beautiful fashion that empowers Hang’s family and the community around it.
     
Creating empowered communities around sustainable economies is just one of the ways fashion and feminism can work together to lift up ladies from around the world. We should not forget that garment making is a skill, a necessary and valuable one.
 
Baby Cacti Shift Dress - Symbology
Symbology work with creative women from around the world to help create their items, making use of traditional and cultural techniques while also helping to preserve them. This focus on the creativity behind fashion allows Symbology to create and design pieces that feature beautiful cultural motifs. This connects the piece to tradition, history and style in a deep and intimate way. They’re all about connections at Symbology and through a partnership with the Looma Project, each item contains a label connecting the wearer to the maker. Everyone benefits from this relationship, no one is being mistreated. Instead, women across the globe are connected and empowered through fashion.
     
These are the sorts of stories we love at the Honest Department. We look for stories of an honest fashion that works for everybody, bringing true beauty into the world through long-lasting relationships built on sustainability and trust.
     
Fashion can be a powerful social force. By supporting brands that commit to creating not just beautiful clothes but beautiful stories we hope to empower those women to carry on changing the face of fashion. This women’s day think about the stories behind your clothes and what they could mean. For women everywhere, ethical fashion is the way to go.