Now that fall has arrived, retailers here in the northern hemisphere are launching their fall/winter fashion campaigns for the new season. One causing quite a buzz is Swedish fashion giant H&M, with their new commercial celebrating female diversity, with notable figures like Hari Nef and Lauren Hutton featured in scenes backed up to a cover of Tom Jones‘ classic, „She’s a Lady.“ They aren’t the only Swedish brand putting gender in focus or showcasing different women in their advertisements. Department store chain Åhléns is currently encouraging customers to take a stand against gender norms in fashion, and Ellos.se is creating a dialogue about strong women in their latest campaign, which revolves around the hashtag #StrongBecause.
We praise them for starting conversations about norms, however we fail to see their overall efforts as exemplary models in an industry that is in desperate need of a makeover. As a company that is trying to shake the establishment, and to showcase the faces behind the fashion, we feel that these advertisements fall short. They celebrate the wearer of the clothes, without acknowledging the incredibly strong women who take that clothing from material to product.
The fashion industry employs around 65 million people worldwide, and 3/4 of them are women. They’re mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers…they’re ladies whose strength we’d love to see highlighted as well. Fortunately, we’re not alone here. There are a number of fantastic businesses who are embracing fair fashion principles, and showcasing the talents of women who are all too often behind the scenes of these viral campaigns. One great way to find them is to simply browse Instagram, using hashtags like #whomademyclothes, #thewomenbehindmydress, or #slowfashion. Another easy and effective way–just follow us here on our Pitupi blog, where we not only highlight the slow fashion principles behind our own brand, but share inspiring companies that push for transparency. They’re the strong women (and men!) whose lead we aim to follow, and whose objections to power norms in the fashion industry we advocate for the loudest.