The link between Fashion Justice and Ending Violence Against Women

As we are in Prevention of Violence Against Women Week, it’s crucial to acknowledge another significant movement happening concurrently – Fashion Revolution Week. This annual global campaign, slated from April 15th to April 24th, is not just about style; it’s a call to action against the pervasive violence prevalent in the fashion industry.

“We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We are coming together as a global community to bring our manifesto into reality.” – Fashion Revolution Week Manifesto

Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS), through its social enterprise, My Sister’s Closet, embraces the principles of zero-waste, eco-fashion, and the thrift movement. Encouraging the apparel and textile industry towards more responsible ways of designing, producing, manufacturing, distributing, marketing, and selling their products.

My Sister’s Closet has long been a proponent of responsible fashion practices. Their involvement in Fashion Revolution Week (and the approaching Earth Day on April 22nd) underscores the urgency of addressing the intersectionality of fashion justice and ending gender-based violence.

Did you know exploitation is entrenched within the mainstream fashion industry?

This industry thrives on the exploitation of labour and natural resources. Workers, predominantly women, are subjected to deplorable conditions, enduring long hours, low wages, and even instances of labor abuse and sexual harassment.

The Rana Plaza tragedy of 2013 stands as a grim reminder of the human cost of fast fashion. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh claimed over a thousand lives and left thousands more injured. Survivors like Shila Begum continue to grapple with the physical and emotional aftermath, as they fight for compensation and justice. Despite global outcry, accountability from major brands has been sorely lacking, with blame often shifted to local suppliers and contractors.

Millions of women garment workers toil in hazardous conditions for meager wages, sustaining an industry that prioritizes profit over people and planet. The fast fashion model perpetuates a cycle of overconsumption, environmental degradation, and human suffering.

Fashion Revolution Week serves as a beacon of hope amidst these injustices.

How Can I Get Involved?

Given that exploitation, precarity, and feminization of poverty is disproportionately borne by women workers and producers in the fashion industry, we need to raise our voices and take feminist action for a fashion revolution!

Join the Revolution

If you share our vision for systemic change in the global fashion industry, you can join Battered Women’s Support Services and My Sister’s Closet in the Fashion Revolution:

My Sister’s Closet

You can shop in-person or online at My Sister’s Closet. As advocates of zero waste, eco-fashion and the thrift movement, we enable all genders to access beautiful new and second-hand clothing and locally made artisan creations by women. All revenue generated from sales help fund the violence prevention and intervention services and programs operated by BWSS:

Donate to End Gender Based Violence

Donate to BWSS and help bring safety to survivors of domestic, sexual, and intimate partner violence:

Battered Women’s Support Services and My Sister’s Closet advocates for living wages, safe working conditions, and a paradigm shift away from exploitative practices. By envisioning a fashion system rooted in regeneration and equity, this movement paves the way for a more sustainable and humane future.

As we commemorate Prevention of Violence Against Women Week and engage in Fashion Revolution Week, let us remember that our choices as consumers hold power. By supporting ethical brands, embracing second-hand fashion, and amplifying the voices of marginalized garment workers, we can collectively drive positive change.

Together, let us strive for a fashion industry that celebrates creativity without compromising on human dignity or environmental integrity.

As Prevention of Violence Against Women Week continues, we invite you to engage with BWSS as we continue to release resources and action steps on violence prevention.