Written by AMULYA MISRA for THE DESIGN COLLECTIVE
International Women’s Day just passed last Sunday (March 8th) and the whole world celebrated by commemorating the cultural, political, economic and social achievements of women. From the corporate world to culture, women are stepping up and owning the field.
Although, if you ask us, everyday is a women’s day, we still took the time to chat with some amazing women who are making the way for a more inclusive and diverse fashion industry.
1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Christine from Absolute Basics: International Women’s Day encourages a dialog around equality which is really important. It gives us the chance to celebrate the improvements that have been made so far while we get to hear a lot of inspirational and motivational stories which ultimately empowers us. The equal rights movement started in the apparel industry so this day is the perfect reminder for all of us–small and big, the importance of women empowerment.
2. Tell us about your female role model who inspires you?
Holly from Francesca Dot: The woman that I look up to the most is Serena Williams because not only is she the best tennis player of all times but she has built a space for herself in the field through talent and hard work. She is still playing tennis now, regardless of her age, because she wants us to keep working hard. Despite having a kid, she still keeps pushing. Even though she is not winning all the tournaments she used to, she has not given up and keeps trying. And that work ethic really inspires me.
3. Why do you support women’s empowerment and gender equality?
Amilani from Amilani Perera: Gender equality is a basic human right. But yet I feel there is a huge gap in the world in access to opportunities for women and men. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health, productivity and future of their families, communities and countries which creates a ripple effect that benefits everyone. That’s why we, Amilani Perera, are backed with an amazing team of women with empowering stories to tell. That is one of the reasons why we have signed a partnership with the United Nations Population Fund to empower, uplift and include survivors of violence in shelters in their creative journey. We will always be with her.
4. How important of a role does the fashion industry play in empowering women in the community?
Martina from Original Source and Supply: The fashion industry plays a huge role in empowering women in the community, especially if you take fast fashion as the majority of workers there are women. Empowering those women could change the whole industry. Basic things like making sure they receive livable wage and being aware of their rights is essential to their growth along with the industry.
5. What do you think has helped you pave the way to arrive this far in your career? What has been a significant barrier?
Suly from Navya: Being passionate about what I do and being resilient in my goals has helped me get far in my career. I constantly try to give my best everyday.
A barrier, at times, is finding the right balance. As much as work is important, there are so many other things that matter in life as well. So finding and maintaining a balance between work and life is essential.
6. Are there any assumptions about women that you would like to change?
Muna from Navya: I would not like to change any assumptions or stereotypical myths about women because these have helped us to become stronger and prove our place in different kinds of fields–be it corporate, business, science, fashion or even politics. I think we, as women, have set examples and proved these assumptions wrong.