Change Your Wardrobe, Change the World
... or at least impact it in a positive way that promotes change (the good kind).
There are little things, in our day-to-day lives which can be transformed into something that helps to better the world we live in. And clothes, is one of them -think of it as putting on your own personal superhero costume, duh.
Okay, so maybe "costume" isn't the right word. Instead, why don't we call it conversation provoking apparel and accessories that'll provide you, yes you, with the opportunity to educate others on the importance of the inclusion of all different types of humanists... whew, that's still a mouthful.
Basically, sometimes a t-shirt with "feminist" featured across the chest is just not cutting it (although it's totally fine when it is!) So I decided to share with you, some of the most awesome, inspiring and uplifting brands created by some extremely praiseworthy women.
There's a definite fierce feminist attitude behind these products but that shouldn't stop anyone from buying them! It's all about equality here - we should all be feminists and we should all help support each other no matter what race, religion or gender one identifies with! Not only do these businesses support women, but they often support charities and a variety of different communities.
What you wear is how people see you. And these femi-businesses have the perfect stuff for you to match your wardrobe to your attitude. Or for great gifts to give to your Trump-loving relatives, this upcoming holiday season (caution advised).
And without further ado, I give you:
THE GIRL B(R)ANDS
"When talking isn't enough, wear the message across your censored, life-providing tits." I don't know about you, but I can definitely get behind a brand with a motto like this! Created by two women in their Brooklyn apartment, this store used to be on Etsy but moved to an official website due to high-demand; and it's totally obvious why. Not only are the t-shirts super cute, but they also represents the creators' goal for women being able to lead "uncensored lives" as well as their intention of inspiring girls with the confidence to speak out about women's rights. On top of that, a percentage of the proceeds go to the National Organization for Women (NOW).
The shirt pictured above is by far my favorite! It's called the Wage Gap Tee. This t-shirt in specific says "you owe me 21 cents" which informs people how much the women wearing it, is owed, in comparison to her male counterpart. Also, YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE THE SHIRT TO REFLECT RACE -how cool is that?! Okay well the fact that there's not only a difference in pay between genders but also between race, within those genders, is not cool. BUT the fact that race is addressed is pretty awesome, considering thats most of the time, women's rights are only concerned with white women. Love this brand, love this t-shirt and love what a conversation starter it can be!
"My mom and The Spice Girls taught me everything I know about female empowerment and girl power." Umm hi, be my best friend, Candace Reels! Based in L.A. the Female Collective, started by Reels, began as an Instagram account that aimed for women to build each other up - oh hey #girllove. Now a fully fledged website, the apparel empowers women and encourages celebrating one another. The t-shirts can help you make a difference, encourage more people to talk about the gender problem this world has, all while making you laugh a little! One more thing I love, is that all the shirts are unisex - see how uplifting and celebrating women is for everyone!
One more thing that Female Collective raises awareness for, is an issue that is very much overlooked by most people when concerning the homeless. The brand reminds us that although homeless shelters receive donations of clothes, they do not receive nearly enough undergarments for women. Can you imagine living without a basic necessity? In the month of December, this brand will be raising awareness for a campaign called Uplift The Girls which encourages you to donate all the bras you never wear (that are still functional) to women who are desperately in need of them. There is extremely little attention paid to this problem and on that account, it's amazing that the Female Collective is talking about it!
"Inflexible and compulsory sexual and gender binaries are used to oppress and deny people their humanity and agency"- THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. I literally cannot stress how important it is to understand that the whole concept of gender is a problem in itself because of the limitations attached to the definition. I'm not going to get into it, but if you're interested in learning more, you can contact me and I can point you towards some fabulous literature that will change your views on everything. Anyway, Otherwild is an incredible site that sells apparel, celebrating all kinds of people regardless of race, color or gender expression. Their LA location, and soon NY too, is also a graphic design studio, a community center and an event space.
As well as apparel, they sell jewelry, accessories, stationary and a ton of other items. The t-shirt shown above is only one, of a variety of genius designs. This one in particular is a favorite of mine because of the clever play on words and because THEY SELL KIDS SIZES. I don't have kids and this still makes me incredibly happy. When we're born, we have no concept of gender, or race and religion, or pretty much anything for that matter. Everything we grow up to become is a direct product of our environment, so it's only fitting that we start educating the next generation on the importance of equal rights (and the limitations of gender binaries) before they're influenced by all the negative stigmas we are dealing with today. I think it is insanely cool that Otherwild makes kids sizes because once again, issues such as these affect everyone, no matter how old.
And if that wasn't enough, 25% of the proceeds are donated to The National Center for Transgender Equality. But that's not it, if you go for "The Future is Female" shirt then 25% of the sales proceeds go to Planned Parenthood!
Otherwild is slaying the all-inclusive fashion game - so go ahead, put your money where your attitude is.
"We are Tomboys, but like you we are also Friends and Sisters, Heroines and Hellions, Rascals, Rockers, Shapeshifters and Trendsetters. We're here to LIBERATE MENSWEAR..." Wildfang hits home for me as I'm sure it does many of you too. It was started by two badass women who sought to take the fashion industry by storm by taking "all the best men’s styles, but for women" aka a tomboy's holy grail. If you didn't grow up wanting to shop in the boys' section of stores or trying to steal your brothers clothes, you may not get this. But for my fellow tomboys out there, remember when you had to convince your mum to let you buy "boys clothes" and then told your friends about it to play it off as "cool" and make you seem less weird. I always thought my choice in clothing meant there was something wrong with me and I wasn't a "real girl." WELL, turns out, just like everything else you grew up hearing in the 90s, that's a whole load of bull! The reason I preferred boyswear was solely because it was more to my taste. I liked black and today wearing black is a staple. I simply didn't like flowers, and glitter, and to wear skirts and dresses. There was never anything wrong with us tomboys, there was something wrong with the old white CEO's telling us, how girls should dress. Okay, rant over.
Anyway, so these two women are changing the lives of all the tomboys out there and reminding everyone that it doesn't matter who wears what - I mean really, which genius came up with the idea to style clothing based on gender. Sizes, shapes, fine I get it - but WHERE on earth does it say my ninny needs a skirt?!
Wildfang means tomboy, and even the brand isn't restricted by definition. On their About Us page, they write, 'Wildfang is a much better word for tomboy. It also means “wild child,” “rascal,” “animal caught in the wild.” See, it’s not just one thing—it’s a little bit ornery, and it changes from one day to the next. Just like us.' And if there's anything 2016 has shown us, it's that things are constantly changing.
The "Wild Feminist" Crew, pictured above, is just one of many feminista inspired items but the "band" also has a ton of other apparel that will be sure to please any fashionable wildfang (and their kids) out there! Definitely check them out!
"Our aim in creating this brand was twofold - provide women and girls with empowering and inspiring apparel, while honoring the incredible contributions of remarkable women largely ignored in history books." If you're looking to learn more about some amazing women, you should check out HERstory Apparel. And if you're looking for conversation provoking apparel that'll not only remind you, but the people who see you, of how incredibly hard the women of the past worked to get us where we are today; HERstory Apparel is for you.
This brand is different from the ones above because it historically educates as well as inspires their clientele. Most items have a monumental significance concerning women's rights. One of the items has XIX on it to represent the 19th Amendment, reminding us that it took activists nearly 100 years to win the right to vote. The people at HERstory write,"Few early supporters lived to see the final victory in 1920" - and shows us that people gave their lives for us to be able to vote. This is so important in light of the recent election when millions of Americans chose not to vote. And supporting brands such as this and raising awareness of the history that got us to where we are today, could encourage one of those many people to vote in the next election.
It wasn't just American women who contributed to our world today and HERstory reminds us of this by having apparel dedicated to British activists. Not only does the website have photos of the clothing, they also have images of the women themselves, in action - which is pretty freaking cool.
The shirt pictured above is my absolute favorite from the Herstory website. When you hear Queen Bee, you think Beyoncé. So if you're walking around wearing a t-shirt that says "Queen Bess" you're sure to get stopped because like me, people could misread it and see "Bee" instead of "Bess" and wonder who the heck is on your shirt lol. Or, and probably more accurately they might genuinely be interested in who this Queen is. At which point you can tell them all about Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman, "the first female pilot of African American descent and the first Native American woman to hold a pilot license during a time of both gender and racial discrimination." HOW INSANELY AWESOME IS THAT! I'm gonna be honest and say I had no idea who Bessie was before writing this post; which just goes to show how much there is to learn about the world.
HERstory Apparel is the perfect way to celebrate women of the past, inspire the young women of today all while donating to organizations that empower women and girls and protect their futures. If you're looking to start building your feminist wardrobe, HERstory is definitely the place to start; and any of these items would make amazing gifts for the whole family!
"Our overall goal has stayed the same: to encourage a culture of activism and inclusion." Philadelphia Printworkswas founded in 2010 with this mission in mind. With a team of women and men of color, this brand celebrates black authors and philosophers through its fashionable printed apparel. They have a number of different collections that comment on "everyday Black womanhood" to collaborations that encourage discourse on "otherness."
The t-shirt above is a part of the "School of Thought" collection in which, "colleges and institutions have been established based on the philosophies of Marcus Garvey, Audre Lorde, Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver and James Baldwin." In collaboration with Mars Five, the collection "represents the double consciousness experienced by African diaspora in America and creates a safe space for the praxis of liberation." It is an incredible tribute to men and women whose work is not nearly talked about enough or even at all, especially when it comes to education. With each of the different figures comes a story of who they are and what they accomplished in their time - so check it out if you want to know more!
Another collection I want to highlight is the "Professional Black Girl" limited edition collection. Based on an original video series by Dr. Yaba Blay, this partnership has created products based on Blay's activism which aims 'to celebrate everyday Black womanhood, and to smash racist and “respectable” expectations of how they should "behave."' Pretty cool, right? If you're interested, you can watch the full series here!
Definitely look up Philadelphia Printworks if you're looking for apparel that's gonna do a whole lot of good for a whole lot of people. P.S. they also have a blog, eek!
PETALS AND PEACOCKS
"Drawing inspiration from vulgar humor, witty comebacks, and all around sass, Petals and Peacocks is not afraid to push boundaries and share their passion with the world." And who doesn't like some sass in their wardrobe? Although Petals and Peacocks doesn't exactly fit in with this collection of femi-businesses, I decided to include the brand because they are the makers of the "Girl Power" hat in collaboration with NYLON Magazine! This dad hat is now a staple in my wardrobe and is great to throw on when I'm feeling a little extra anti-patriarchy. The description says, "think girl power infused with heavy-metal vibes" - um heck yeah.
The lifestyle brand was founded by a couple who combined love and business in order to follow their interests in fashion and clothing. Their About page tells us, "what started off as Victoria's (the co- founder's) portfolio project during art school, became a full-time clothing brand and company." Petals and Peacocks is a beautiful reminder to all the girls out there to follow their passions and push all the boundaries that have been made to stop them from succeeding. It's for"the independent individual who knows what they want, wears what they want, and does what they want." Along with this hat, they also have a pride hat, as well as a number of other ultra-cute items including bomber jackets, pins and phone cases. If you want a "Girl Power" hat, get it now before they're all gone. And be honest, you know you want one.
All of these brands have been created by fierce individuals with a badass attitude. Check out their stuff and even if you don't purchase anything, trust me, you'll be learning a lot! If you're looking to freshen up your wardrobe and do good, any one of these shops will help you on your way. Remember, match your fashion to your mindset and you'll def make people stop and listen. What more could you want from shopping?
Thanks for reading and don't forget to #talkaboutit - whether it's women's rights, climate change, the Gilmore Girls revival, or what we're gonna do about the Donald situation - I promise you, talking about it helps.
Only love here,
**all images are from the respective brand's website