The Fashion Industry Empowers Women in Developing Countries
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Every now and then we read about some research suggesting or proving that fashion industry negatively affects our lives and society in general. Since we love fashion and encourage women to care about their looks and style, we find this criticizing rather annoying. Yes, we can agree that magazine covers and advertisements can lead us to think we are not beautiful, but setting your goals higher is not a crime. And who said being too skinny is cool? Yet, even medical experts agree that it’s healthier to be slim and fit than to be an overweight couch potato. Moreover, fashion industry is the 2nd largest employer in the developing world, just after agriculture, and women present a large percentage of its workforce. This undoubtedly leads to female emancipation and empowering.
Employed women in developing countries are more financially independent and they tend to spend their income on family, on health, nutrition and education. This by all means brings long term prosperity and positive change to their communities. Fashion brands which make a strong social impact are usually restricted to their local markets. Palestyle is one of the brands that has been providing jobs and incomes to Palestinian women in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. At the outset, this brand started with a small team of twenty female employees who used their craftsmanship and skills to add tradition design and embroidery to fashion pieces. Today more than 100 women works with this company and together they invest in several community projects, such as providing clean water to more than 4,000 refugees.
What about big fashion brands? As far as we are concerned, education and investing in small manufacturing businesses owned by women would be more advantageous than simple money, food and water donations. It’s important to give women in developing countries a chance to become free and independent, to start working for themselves and their community. Nevertheless, there is one big issue with ethical market – people shouldn’t buy ethical goods only for compassion. It’s not worthy or fair, since these brands work very hard to achieve the levels of design and quality the market needs. So, our suggestion for you is to buy a product you like, but if two items are similar in price and beauty, but the ethic one and support the developing communities.
Do you still think fashion industry hasn’t god any positive sides?