International Women’s Day

Happy international women’s day everyone!

The theme for this year is ‘Balance for Better’. To achieve a gender balance of views in business, in a family or in any other kind of collaboration has got to be a good thing.

To achieve balance of course we need equality for women. And though conditions for women in the developed world have come a long, long way in the last hundred years; from being unable to vote in democratic elections to now governing whole nations, many women in the world still live and work in appalling conditions. 

“What has this to do with personal style?”, I hear you ask. Well sadly, a great number of the women living and working in appalling conditions are doing so because of the fashion industry. The hysterical pace of the daily fast fashion race forces garments to be sewn ever faster, impinging greatly on the health and safety of machinists. The women and girls who make our clothes for us work long hours to fulfil high quotas, endangering their health and very often being paid less than a living wage.

You can help to change this. By analysing your clothing needs, identifying your personal style and buying only what you love, you will at least be purchasing mindfully. Whether or not your budget stretches to buying locally and ethically produced fashion, if you at least wear what you purchase instead of discarding it only to buy more, you will be making a step to help other women.

We need to slow this clothing consumption frenzy. Be mindful of not being part of the female statistic that only wears 20% of their wardrobe. And how can you do this?

Think about the clothes you like wearing;

  • What do they have in common?

  • Is it fabric, cut, colour?

  • Can you found more clothes that align with this look?

Set your sights on a personal style and build on this, rather than being a trendsetter who’s always looking for the next fix. For example,

  • do you like romantic, flowing silhouettes

  • or are you more sassy

  • androgynous

  • natural or

  • cutting edge?

And work out what you actually like wearing. It’s my experience that no matter how much you love the look of something, if it’s not something you feel good in and enjoy putting on, you’re unlikely to wear it.

Ultimately, know that whenever you buy a garment or discard it, someone (most likely a woman) has worked hard to make the piece for you. Value it and honour the work of women less fortunate than you.