FEMINIST FASHION BRANDS
TODAY, MORE SO THAN EVER, A WOMAN’S SENSE OF STYLE IS NOT ONLY A FORM OF HER OWN SELF- EXPRESSION AND PERSONALITY, BUT A TOOL OF INDIVIDUALITY WHICH CAN BE USED TO MAKE A STATEMENT.
The use of clothing to take a stand, and even a political stance, has become a more prevalent occurrence over recent years. Following are a few of the most influential and inclusive fashion companies who not only aim to endorse and empower women through their products, but also maintain ethical boundaries without capitalising on the “feminist band-wagon” at the expense of individual designers and small companies.
Birdsong Founded by Sophie Slater, Sarah Beckett and Ruba Huleihel, Birdsong is a UK based company that offers hand-made clothing, made by women from all over the world. The brand seeks to fight against sweatshops by ensuring fair pay and safe working environments for its global employees. The brand employs women’s charities who have suffered funding cuts and then deposits 85% of their profits back into those charities. They also hire a diverse range of models, as well as female photographers. This combats the excessive use of Photoshop in the fashion industry, making it a safer and more welcoming place.
Otherwild Otherwild is a Los Angeles-based shop, owned and run by queer feminist Rachel Berks. They offer a wide variety of products from feminist literature, to women-made ceramics, art, and clothing. The brand is primarily known for their iconic “The Future is Female” slogan which was emblazoned on t-shirts and sweatshirts during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Since then, with each purchase of a sweatshirt, 25% of the proceeds go towards Planned Parenthood and the protection of women’s reproductive rights in the USA.
Neon Moon Neon Moon is a UK-based lingerie and lounge-wear brand, which is LGBTQ+ inclusive. New Moon’s website manifest page states that the brand is comprised of a ‘small but growing team of badass, unapologetic, feminist women’ whose aim it is to ‘make high-quality lingerie for all women.’ This inclusive attitude to lingerie and garments, which can make women feel empowered in both everyday life and intimate moments, is reflected in their diverse line-up of models of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicity.
Aerie (American Eagle) Aerie is a branch of the U.S. brand American Eagle, who specialise in underwear, lounge-wear, and active wear for women. Their #AerieReal movement advocates for body positivity and the empowerment of all women, through helping them to feel comfortable and confident. The brand has been ‘retouch-free’ since 2014, with visible scars and stretch marks on their models being applauded by the media for the honesty with which they present their products to women today.
GreenBox GreenBoxShop is an online store which was founded in April 2016 by Kayla Robinson as a result of her struggle to find ethical social justice clothing. She set to work, finding designers and activists who would collaborate and create products which focus on LGBTQ+, feminism, ecology, and vegetarianism. These products, from conceptualisation to the day they are shipped to the client, are handled by a team who is directly connected to the issues that the clothing advocates. This allows for an acknowledgement of original content, in regard to the products, and a healthy discourse between those who are knowledgeable about these issues and those who are seeking channels to better inform themselves.