This year’s International Women’s Day is themed to #BeBoldforChange. So make a difference and be an agent of change: Empower impoverished women all over the globe with a purchase from any one of these labels.
“Feminism is about equality and it’s about choice. It’s about a woman being able to say I want this kind of future, or I don’t want this kind of future. It’s about freedom.” – Emma Watson, actress and women’s rights activist
Because a fashion statement that let’s you do good, look great and feel fabulous is a statement that is worth making. The best part? These labels are chic yet highly affordable, too.
Inspired by the relaxed yet vibrant beach culture of Bali and Ibiza, this Singapore-based beachwear label features handmade clothes by small production companies, in support of Ladli, the vocational and educational centre of i-india. What that basically means is that your purchase helps Jaipur’s street children and women find a better future through work skills training and education. Prices start from $59 for a top
This brand from Nashville features utilitarian-chic leather bags made by impoverished women in Ethiopia, and versatile, stackable jewellery made by women in Nashville who have overcome challenges that range from prostitution to addiction. The online accessories store supports and empowers these women by creating a platform that allows them to sell their wares. Prices start from around $22 for a ring
Working with over 1,000 women from Rwanda and Ghana, this New York fashion and lifestyle brand showcases an encompassing range of products – from fashion to homeware – that meld local materials with traditional techniques. It’s aim? To alleviate poverty among women (and their families) by providing them with fair and consistent employment. More impressively, all profits from the sale of its products is channelled into education programmes for the women. Prices start from around $14 for a child’s bracelet
This Californian label offers ethnic-chic jewellery that has been handcrafted by young women who have been rescued from sex-trafficking. Your purchase will go towards the label’s NGO, International Sanctuary, which provides holistic care (including counselling, health care and education) to sex trafficking survivors in Mumbai, India and Orange County, while enabling them a fair wage and employment. Prices start from around $25 for a ring
Named the Best for the World in Community Impact in 2014 and 2016, and members of the Fair Trade Federation and Ethical Fashion Forum, there’s no denying that this full-fledged fashion and lifestyle brand from Austin takes the business of doing good very seriously. Founded with a mission to help women break the cycle of poverty, this label employs more than 1,500 marginalised women from Asia, Africa and South America at fair trade wages. Prices start from around $11.50 for handmilled soap
Handcrafted by impoverished or disabled mothers from Cambodia, jewellery by this New York brand uses traditional metalwork techniques on a range of brass, silver and gold vermeil designs. But providing employment (which includes health insurance and stipends for their children’s education) to these female artisans is not the only good it does. 10% of its profits also goes towards the fight against human trafficking in the country. Prices start from around $54 for a bracelet
While not technically a store that you can shop from, we just had to include The Nail Social for the work they do with underprivileged women in Singapore. This nail salon at Haji Lane not only offers a full range of nail services and foot massages, it also provides this vulnerable set of women with training and employment. And if shopping is what you still crave for, then you’ll be happy to know that a corner of the salon is dedicated to showcasing fair-trade accessories. Prices start from $12 for a manicure
By Charmaine Ho