Feminism by cheap chains – what have you (there)?

You can’t miss them: the slogan is this fall’s hottest accessory. But work T-shirts with feminist inscriptions of cheap chains like Forever21 drempelverlagend, or devalue them, just the statement?

Boohoo T-shirt © Asos

‘Wild Feminist’, ‘P*ssy Power’, ‘Girl Gang’ – who by a random Flemish shopping street running read the shop windows as signs: activist slogans on a rather shabby canvas. Of Bershka to Forever21: the shops that mainly teenage girls happy, they seem suddenly very aware of their responsibility and add a hefty dose of girl power to their 2017 range. A surprise it is not: the emerging najaarsmode is particularly politically charged. Prabal Gurung, Dolce e Gabbana, Missoni, Sophie Theallet: a lot of designers made their FW17-collection with a clenched fist.

Prabal Gurung © Getty Images

Fashion is politics

There is sometimes monkelend laughed that fashion should not engage in politics, but -we wrote it before – fashion is politics. The sector acts as a social thermometer, a reflection of what under – and bovenhuids oozing and inspires. A designer is a creative spirit that, of course, guided by emotions, movements and personal beliefs – their clothing is a canvas, their shows and campaigns, in a statement. In addition, expected by the audience that also of the industry. The consumer finds it important that fashion labels are involved with diversity, with the health of the models they cast, and the message about body image that she displays to the world. There is outraged when images of sweatshops or animal suffering in the media, applauded when shirts with slogans on the catwalk over stride.

Read also: From hoodie to hijab: the political impact of the garments

Terms like cis and trans get meaning and content while clothing the gender standards exceeds. Climate change is an agenda item that even the Oscars picks while becoming less and less labels think of seasonal designs. We run ourselves over and cause a burn-out epidemic while designers their jobs at big fashion houses cancel because the rhythm scorching, a rhythm that is maintained by our insatiable consumeerdrang. There is no social change that his reflection would not see it in the modelandschap, not fashion trends that have no life of their own outside of the industry.

Women’s rights are alright

Feminism plays a larger role in the street – and the world of fashion, and activist shirts and slogans evolved away from openly engaged designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett, right into the arms of trendy high fashion. Almost three years ago, organized Chanel a manifestation as a parade, where the models on the “catwalk” ran with billboards on which the slogans “Ladies First” and “Women’s Rights are Alright’, philippines. It was the same year in which several stars, male and female, proud of the photo went to the Fawcett Society T-shirt with the inscription ‘This Is What a Feminist Looks Like’.

Dior © DR

The following year he flaunted Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan for the promotion for the film Suffragette in shirts with the Emmeline Pankhurstquote ‘I’d Rather Be A Rebel Than A Slave’, while Cara Delevingne and her former sweetheart, Annie Clark by London paraded with dark blue ‘The Future Is Female’-sweatshirts. In 2016, in the light of the Us elections and the tentoongespreide misogynie of Donald Trump exploded with the movement. During the Women’s March came to Madonna in the streets with the Marie Required-quote “Feminism is the Radical Notion That Women Are People” on its torso. On Instagram promote Rihanna in a pink hoodie with the inscription ‘This P*ssy Grabs Back of Leomie Anderson, while Alexa Chung snapshots placed in a ‘In Solidarity’-shirt of the Deep End. Arianna Grande completed her sexy look with boots knee boots an ‘Fight Like A Girl’-sweaterdress.

The most striking statement of the najaarsshows was created by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first woman to head the iconic French fashion house Dior. Her models walked the catwalk in t-shirts with the inscription ‘We Should All Be Feminists’, a reference to the famous TED talk by the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who also went by Beyoncé recycled. T-shirts that are then very quickly the racks uitvlogen. If even luxehuizen as Dior is concerned with feminist, work of T-shirts, then it is not surprising that the cheaper chains – which is, anyway, quite like the catwalks copypasten – also propaganda-apparel. Cheaper than with sequined-covered dresses in any case. Only: how feminist is such a garment that you for seven euro quickly meegrist really?

Acrid aftertaste

On the one hand, you could argue that it is a good thing is that popular chains of feminist slogans to bring to the attention. Not so very long ago bulkten the media of celebrities that distance the names of the term ‘feminism’ because they are not really well aware of what feminism means. Or especially: not means.

T-shirt Pull & Bear © DR

The chances are that zestienjarigen today much better know what feminism is, and themselves also better in the whole social discussion, know places. And perhaps they have shirts of their favorite stores there have something to do with it. That can only be welcomed. ‘Who run the world’ is also a more positive message through your diaphragm into the world than (we have really already seen) the ‘Basic Bitch’.

Anyway, this is where the problem lies. Because honk that girls the world need to be lead by means of a t-shirt that often a symbol for oppression, tastes a little bitter.

Also read: How fair is fashion creates opportunities for women

Of course, fast fashion and the relentless pace at which we consume is not only a feminist issue, but it would be an important topic in the discussion. Recent reports show that 85% of the underpaid and exploited workers in the sweatshops of Bangladesh are women. That is not surprising, because women worldwide are still the least access to education and profitable jobs. Also in Bangladesh. Women take the jobs that nobody else wants, where they are not supported if they become pregnant or fall ill and where they are sexually harassed by their male colleagues and employers (according to Action Aid in Bangladesh has nearly 20% of the female labour force in Bangladesh it.)

Follow the money

But, also says Fashion Revolution Day founder Carry Somers, just the high street links or clothing, eliminate that ‘Made in Bangladesh’ is to solve the problem, the more sweatshops anywhere in the world (even in Britain) and because the major brands is not ethical to produce. “Stop trading with Bangladesh or organizations to boycott, which take advantage of this inequality will not ensure that women from their plight can break and Sheryl Sandberg-wise topjobs claim,” said Somers to Dazed Digital. “It also means that they have no jobs they will have, and (still more) in poverty.”

So it is important that fashion companies themselves invest in better working conditions for where their product is made, and different designers and high street chains are reportedly working on it. We as a consumer need to in addition be critical to look at the items that we eagerly go to the cashier to drag. Especially when those items are politically and socially loaded. And no, we do that not only in H&M, Pimkie and Zara, but also at the major fashion houses, the charming Etsy-seller, and indie-designer.

© DR

The proceeds of the ‘Feminist’ shirt from Dior to go to the Clara Lionel Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to poverty. Who is an activist Prabal Gurung shirt on his or her wardrobe will add will be donating part of the money to Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. The ‘Wild Feminist’ T-shirts of Wildfang had the past year been good for 25,000 dollars in the pockets of Planned Parenthood. The by Forever21 copied ‘Wild Feminist’ T-shirt instead? That is especially good for the owners of the chain.

Also read: The important role of women in the rise of sustainable fashion

Mode, the production mode and the wearing of fashion would be just tools for empowering women, but only when you are on the right way. This is not a discussion about frivolity or even not about the commercialization of the term ‘Feminism’. When Little Mix a Beyoncéetje doing and on the stage for a gang of teenage girls “girl power” . but very powerful. In itself there is nothing wrong with chains or designers that the “hype” in the air feel hang and feminist fashion in their racks push, only to “participate”. Sometimes saints the means of even the goal. However, it is important that when feminism becomes a fashion trend that all women, worldwide, should be able to benefit. Because we should ALL be feminists.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular