Happy International Women's Day! Today marks a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women all around the world. It is a day to celebrate the power, as women, to be bold and inspire change within ourselves and others. In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting 6 brands that are created, inspired, and celebrated by strong women worldwide. These brands are pushing culture and raising awareness to issues of education and job equality, freedom of violence, and changing the industry in profoundly impactful ways. These amazing women entrepreneurs and global female artisans are on a mission to support economic empowerment, education, equal employment, health, and are creating long-term positive changes.
Mission: Since 2006, Sari Bari has provided freedom and economic empowerment for women who are vulnerable to human trafficking and long for a new life provided with opportunities and employment. The line specializes in upcycled Sari products that are handmade by the survivors of Kolkata’s red light districts who share their freedom story though each product marked with their name. Sari Bari’s mission is to create a healthy environment where young women can be provided healthy recovery, a fair-wage job, and to be surrounded by a community of women reintegrating dignity, freedom, and hope into making a new life for themselves.
2. My Sister
Mission: With a passion for preventing human trafficking, My Sister focuses on educating communities and providing after-care for survivors.The brand’s mission offers growth opportunities for at-risk women through the sale of their ethically-sourced apparel and accessories, as well as offering more employment opportunities to survivors of human trafficking. My Sister also sponsors and supports national and local community advocacy in order to raise awareness of domestic trafficking in the United States. The brand strongly stands behind women empowerment and employment. A percentage of each purchase goes to non-profit organizations that help with education, intervention, and raising awareness on human trafficking.The brand believes that what you wear tells a story. Every My Sister shirt will not only provide help with growth opportunities for survivors but will also continue the conversation of sexual exploitation.
3. Raven + Lily
Mission: Raven + Lily specializes in handcrafted items made from women in economically-challenged countries like India, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Kenya, and Peru. Kristen Dickerson, founder, and CEO of Raven + Lily created an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that is dedicated to helping women earn more of an income and give them access to health care, education, and a secure job, in order to diminish poverty for themselves and their families. The brand also focuses on employing at-risk women: trafficked, HIV+, previously homeless, or women in oppressive situations. Raven + Lily is named the Best for the World in Community Impact in 2014 and 2016 and continues to spread its passion for social justice and fashion for all women as a certified Benefit Corporation.
4. Global Girlfriend
Mission: Global Girlfriend works with 100 women artisans and organizations in over 30 countries. Long-term partnership is an effective strategy that Global Girlfriend forms in order to provide women all around the world with healthy and safe working conditions, equal employment opportunities, and a fair living wage.Specializing in handmade apparel and accessories, every purchase made helps girls’ education globally through GROW (Girls’ Right to Opportunity Worldwide.) Stacy Edgar founded Global Girlfriend in hopes of helping women worldwide with economic security. The brand is passionate about the real change in the world that can flourish from women having more access to economic opportunities.
5. Sseko Designs
Mission: A fashion brand based in Uganda, Sseko Designs began by generating income to support young women in Uganda who want to continue on to university. Liz Forkin Bohannon, founder of Sseko Designs says “We believe that every woman has a dream. When she has the opportunity to pursue those dreams, we are collectively walking towards a brighter, more just and beautiful world."This brand has opened up the opportunity for 87 women to attend university and are increasing the class that has graduated with the help of Sseko each year. Seeking opportunity and community for women worldwide, women in East Africa are provided the opportunity to work with the brand to put an end to the cycle of poverty. Sseko Designs is on a mission to instill more educational opportunities for women in Uganda as well as inspire change towards extreme poverty.
6. A Complete
Mission: Angelica Fuentes, leading Latin American businesswoman and philanthropist, founded A Complete when she was on a personal mission to create a brand that encourages women empowerment. She is a strong believer that beauty and power come from within and created a daily skin routine, inspired by the real and natural beauty of women. A portion of A Complete’s revenues is donated to initiatives that are promoting education, economic opportunity, and health services for women of all ages.
Happy International Women's Day and don't forget to treat yourself, and your fellow women with brands that make an impact!
Written by: Sahar Forouzanfar