Every year on March 8th, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world with different themes. This year, the UN’s theme is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” Internationalwomensday.com‘s theme is: “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.”
So today, HeartSleeves’ theme will be: “Investing in Women: Empowering Female Artisans and Business Owners.”
I write a lot about fashion lines that employ women. And indeed, employing and empowering women is the surest way to raise the standard of living for entire communities, because women invest back into their communities whereas men are selfish (sorry, guys, it’s true). So to celebrate women in developing countries that are improving their lives and producing beautiful fashion, I’m going to highlight a few on the blog today. You can support them (and HeartSleeves) by shopping at the links below.
“Investment in girls’ education may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world,” —Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary and Chief Economist at the World Bank
MADE BY WOMEN:
Raven + Lily is a conscious brand that partners with female artisans in India, Ethiopia, and Cambodia. In addition to providing sustainable, fair-wage employment to the artisans, the company reinvests all profits into employing marginalized women through design, launching new partnerships, and funding educational and healthcare needs in its partnership community. Meet the Artisans on the brand’s website, and shop Raven + Lily on FashioningChange.
My picks: Lux necklace, Malam Bracelet, and Manhattan Twilight Necklace, all handmade in Ethiopia by women with HIV, made from melted bullet casings (talk about symbolism), and benefiting literacy and healthcare programs in Ethiopia.
“We cannot talk about building sustainable economies, sustainable democracies and sustainable societies without having strong and empowered women. Strong women lead to strong nations. This makes investments in their education, economic opportunities and political participation vital elements to building a more peaceful and secure world.”— Zainab Salbi, Founder and CEO, Women for Women International
Ananda Pascual works with groups of marginalized women artisans in the slums of Mumbai, Cambodia, and Peru. The aim of the brand is to bring together and openly recognize those involved in the making of a garments, thereby engaging customers in their stories. Read more about AP’s mission on her website and shop on FashioningChange.