In recent years, we’ve been seeing more and more of the fashion industry going against the usual norms. It’s no longer enough to have pretty pictures or glossy pages in a magazine. To make a real impact, brands are using their platforms to further worthy causes like female empowerment, racial equality, and body positivity. Though the movement is far from perfect, it’s nice to see the new kids on the block stepping up and walking the talk.
That said, here are 5 brands that are leading the way towards a more diverse and inclusive industry around the world.
HARA the Label
From day one, HARA the Label has been operating with diverse women in mind. As an underwear brand, you can see from both the roster of models it works with and the sizes it catered to that its business is more than just about tokenism. The images used are a far cry from the usual lingerie models who don’t have a single strand of body hair or a bump out of place. What’s more is that HARA believes that self-love and love for the planet go hand-in-hand, which is why it strives to uphold the highest standards when it comes to worker wages and its environmental footprint. The brand is dedicated to paying workers fairly and using only natural dyes and fabrics.
The Social Outfit
For The Social Outfit, diversity is the standard. As a social enterprise, it is their mission to empower migrants and refugees by hiring them and giving them an avenue to share their local techniques in sewing and craftsmanship. It’s their genuine effort to engage with the multicultural community that adds depth to their designs, instead of simply co-opting traditions and reducing cultures to simple stereotypes. As a result, The Sustainability Portal notes that the brand’s clothes are noticeably vibrant, and owning an item feels like having a unique slice of wearable history.
With almost half of American women now falling under the “plus size” range, it’s alarming that a lot of brands have chosen to alienate the biggest market demographic. As a result, plus size women have long had to stick to baggy shirts and plain leggings. But fashion-forward retailer Woman Within is proving that every customer deserves to have options, whatever shape they may be. The brand is known for their comfortable yet trendy designs that help plus size women look and feel their best. Their vast selection includes everything from dresses and jackets, to jeans and activewear.
Built on the foundation of supporting the LGBTQI community and women, gender-neutral brand Kirrin Finch is injecting innovation into androgyny. By putting a fresh spin into the usual shirt-and-pants combination, it’s making menswear-inspired apparel more accessible to people at all points of the gender spectrum. It’s certainly not your typical clothes divided starkly with their “men” and “women” labels, as the brand makes sure to embrace diversity on all fronts. Moreover, their shirts are made from natural fabrics to ensure the most minimal environmental impact possible.
Birdsong made a name for itself when it started outing the fashion industry’s sweatshop model. But beyond the company’s precise ethical processes and transparency with customers, it empowers customers by working with a diverse selection of models and making sure all campaigns aren’t retouched. The team’s commitment extends all the way to funnelling a portion of their profits into women’s organizations, letting Birdsong put “feminist fashion” into full perspective.