With today being International Women’s Day, we see more posts on social media than normal about empowering women. Photos of people wearing slogan tees that read “Feminist” or other female empowerment messages makes you want to join in on the movement and buy one for yourself. But the reality in these tees is that they aren’t empowering the women who make them at all, they are doing quite the opposite.

About 75 million people work in the fashion and textiles industry and about 80% of those people are women. Many of these women, who do not receive a living wage, are working in unsafe factory conditions and are or have been exposed to verbal and physical abuse in the workplace. Just this past January, Spice Girls t-shirts were sold to raise money for Comic Relief’s “gender justice”, A campaign in which the money raised would be donated to help “champion equality for women.” A Guardian investigation found that these charity tops that read “#IWannaBeASpiceGirl” were made at a factory in Bangladesh by women who said they were forced to work 16 hour days while being verbally abused and harassed.

The #IWannaBAaSpiceGirl Tee

The women sewing our clothes may not be able to speak to feminism as freely as us, but we can use our voice to support them by saying no to fast-fashion.

“We may not hear the voices of the women who make our clothes, but every garment has a silent #metoo woven into its seams”.

Carry Somers – Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution

Feature Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

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