How Eco Fashion Empowers Women

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As women we don’t just grab the first items of clothing we spot in our wardrobes every morning. Dressing ourselves is usually a more conscious effort, depending on what boosts our mood, what we want to achieve with the look (think: get dressed for success!) and our personal style. Outfits made from eco materials can be even more powerful. But just how does eco fashion link to empowering women? Here’s what’s really going on when you choose organic clothing.

Put your green power suit on!

Eco clothing is no longer seen as dull or boring. It’s chic! If regular clothes can achieve confidence wonders, greener items are a confidence turbo-boost. When you purchase and wear eco clothing, it makes you feel better about yourself – and the world because you’re doing your bit to ensure a healthier planet. Clothing becomes much more than just something you look good in. It becomes something that can boost your self-worth because it is a symbol of one of the ways in which you are striving to make your living experience, as well as that of others, a more positive and healthy one.

What’s behind that button?

When you glance at your beautiful clothes, look a little deeper. Think back to even before the garment was made. All the materials that contributed to your gorgeous clothing have to be made by using the earth’s resources. But organic materials mean that clothing production is much safer for everyone involved. Crops which are used (such as in the case of cotton) are not doused with harmful pesticides and these fairtrade fibres are nurtured by farmers who also benefit for their work: they are paid fairly for their work. As for fairtrade clothing, it is made in factories where workers are paid a fair wage and experience good working conditions. By supporting eco fashion you are in turn supporting all of these healthy practices.

Sisters doing it for each other

Empowering yourself with eco chic garments is one thing, but there are also other women that are empowered thanks to your green fashion choices. Did you ever realise this?
It’s an exciting part of eco-friendly fashion! For some proof of it, take a look at OllyMolly accessories and handbags as an example. To satisfy the fashionista in you, they come in bright colours and funky designs that you’ll love. But from an eco-friendly angle, they are handmade by South African women using recycled paper. OllyMolly is committed to providing employment for women in local communities in the Western Cape. So when you buy an item from them, you’re ensuring jobs for women in South Africa.
Ilan is another example of eco fashion in this country that produces beautiful garments which are more than just clothes. Fabrics used are sourced locally as much as possible, and garments are re-incorporated into new creations to lower waste. Anything that can’t be used, such as off-cuts, are used to make animal beds. The Ilan brand is also dedicated to re-investing into the community by sharing knowledge and skill so that jobs can be created.

There is much to be said for the community benefits reaped by eco-friendly clothing manufacturing. By employing people from local communities, eco-friendly clothing production becomes about nurturing our areas, for the greater development of our women, people in general and our nation. And then of course there’s a great benefit for the planet that doesn’t go unnoticed: manufacturing eco clothing here at home helps to prevent materials from traveling across the globe, lowering our carbon footprints so that when we step out in style we don’t have to notch up harmful carbon miles.

Giulia Simolo

Giulia works as a freelance journalist and contributor. “Writing is not only my career but also my passion. When I’m not working on a new deadline, I am always striving to learn new things and be creative. I’m a vegetarian and love living green as much as possible. There are opportunities all around us to grant some wellbeing to the planet and I believe in embracing them as much as we can. It is when we are kind to nature that we also nurture ourselves.”