WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN FASHION

“A woman is like a tea bag — you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”

Eleanor Roosevelt rightly quoted the extent of a woman’s power in this century and her words were spot on. The world today views the word ‘Feminism’ as some sort of a diabolical agenda and it has since been kept in the dark over the years. To be brutally honest, it still is. Why does such a bad notion arise over the very definition of a term which rose as a need of the hour, when women’s oppression was at its peak in the modern world. The year is 2017, and surprisingly, we live in an age where women will be criticized for the type of clothes she wear, the type of career she aspires and her sexual choices. It all appears to keep women as a an object of men’s desire.

There exists a gender gap in various sectors of fashion which still fears the rise of woman as a threat to the traditional norms in business. So, the entire picture of women empowerment can be thought of in two different ways. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. But it presents to us with the idea of how fashion perceives modern women and women’s’ influence fashion in the modern age. Let us for the sake of convenience of our human brain categorise these two corollaries as Fashioned Woman and as Feminized Fashion

(i) Fashioned Woman

This type of business guidance is adopted by almost all Fashion companies dealing with women's athletic wear i.e. devising power clothes aimed at fitness minded women. Basic principle of such workout clothes is not just utility but also exploring subtle vanity. Every woman wants to look good in these workout clothes. She must be able to wear them not just to the regular gym up by the street, but also sport them to a dinner date or even on a girls shopping spree. In essence, it has to make her stand out. Times are changing and fashion is evidently migrating from stress inducing Denim jeans towards lifestyle clothing like Yoga Leggings and other Sportswear. The most profound change here is that this trend is not just limited to the teenage sect. People of all age groups want to remain healthy and hence even the youth and aged women are being a substantial part of this growing market.

There is another reason for this influence to occur — The regressive drop in prices of urban fashion outfits. We are witnessing an era where major fashion retailers are relentlessly shutting down their branches one by one. Naming one brand might seem purposely singling it out. But this is happening to all top fashion retailers out there. This evidently means women are now opting for Athleisure as a form of premium wear as well. Major names in Athleisure clothing are charging a hefty premium on their products and people are willing to bet their hard earned dollars on them because, of their fashion-cum-utility value.

It goes without saying Activewear is the next growing trend in the world, as Barclays Analysts estimate its market cap in US to touch nearly $100 billion by 2020, nearly a 50% growth rate from now. That’s some serious business potential and a staggering growth rate!

(ii) Feminized Fashion

While many people might be having aversion from hearing the word ‘Feminized’, listen us out. What we mean by Feminized Fashion is that the growing power of womens signature in the fashion industry itself. While there might be many dominant female fashion figures like Chanel and Jimmy Choo, they are still a minority in a male dominated industry. It’s in fact an industry just like any other, plagued with gender inequality. All major enterprises in the Fashion commerce are handled by men in majority and in an age where we have women Astronauts and Presidents; this is kind of a huge let-down for the progressive world. How much percentage of the fashion industry employ women? While we talk about employment, we definitely do not imply sweatshop workers who fret themselves out for less than a dollar a day and find it hard to make their ends meet, even though on the outset, they work for the big names in fashion. Unfortunately this is the big part which is overlooked in today’s outsourced manufacturing age.

At Tvaag, this is one of our major pillars of business principle — To Empower Women. Studies over the globe have shown that unemployed women are much more prone to attacks of domestic violence. While on the other hand, their social and economic empowerment directly results in a drastic reduction in the partner violence. This is largely owing to the fact that employed women contribute to the economic well-being of the family, which in result contributes to the progress of the society. This process of bringing value to a society empowers women and boosts confidence. According to National Sample Survey, in 1999–2000, 25.9% of all women worked and by 2011–12 this proportion had dropped to 21.9%. Through Tvaag, we hope to provide women with the ability of stand on their own feet and bring about a positive trend in the way society views working women.

There is a three-fold benefit in supporting Tvaag’s initiativee

(a) Individual impact — We are directly providing women with financial independence. They will now have better opportunities to invest in their family’s future and have access to better medical care. Creating sustainable incomes allows them to invest in properties and eventually phase out poverty. Instances of domestic violence are known to become rare in such cases. As a result, their living standards will improve.

(b) Community impacts — This is the holistic advantage. While we employ rural women, we are creating more jobs in an otherwise untapped market. This boosts local economy and local travel industry. More products made by women will be encouraged to be produced. This in effect reduces poverty and builds a stronger and sustainable economy. This creates a positive outlook in the society.

© Environmental impact — Since all our products are purely organic, not only is pollution out of the picture, we are growing more plants, thereby preserving the ecological balance in nature.

Women today face the stark criticism in a multitude of ways, one of them being their inherent gentleness in character. The new age women have sole freedom to fight these weaknesses with their vigour and valour. But the reality is that the more they fight it, the stronger their weakness is projected and the harder they find it to be dealt with. Well, I am not a woman. But I have met women and I know a wee bit of biology (not to brag). The Y-Y chromosomes are to be blamed. But the question remains why fight these we soft tendencies? Rather embrace them and carry them as your crown. We sincerely believe women were created to do things that men couldn’t do, not what he could do. For this reason, it’s evident that a world with empowered women would be a peaceful one, as opposed to the crude patriarchal society we now live in.

Tvaag is dedicated to uplifting women working in the fashion industry and our operations are centered at rural industrial areas where women’s unemployment rates are still a big stain mark in their progress. We hope to empower such women through our business by providing them the opportunity to be a part of this growing vision. When you choose to buy a Tvaag product, you have simultaneously, already invested in the future of women. Our businesses are completely fair trade and ethical in its manufacturing process. In fact, our team gladly welcomes anyone who would want to visit our facility and see the people friendly working environment.

The more our business grows, the more women’s voices are being heard in this world