Sorry Tale of “Feminist” Tee Shirt Shows Need to Change how Fashion is Made and Consumed

by Sangeeta Haindl
Dec 2, 2014 8:00 AM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs


Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M, spoke about how we need to change how fashion is made and consumed during a speech at the BSR 2014 conference in New York this November. The theme of this year’s conference was transparency and transformation, with a main focus on how an increased openness can transform companies, consumers and communities. This conference and Persson’s speech could not be more timely, as across the pond in the U.K. the sorry tale of the feminist T-shirt finally proves that fashion can anything but empowering for women—and that’s whether they're making the clothes or buying them!

The U.K. high street brand Whistles, fashion magazine Elle and long-running feminist campaign group The Fawcett Society are currently caught in a fashion scandal after the newspaper, The Mail on Sunday ran a story exposing that their slogan T-shirts, ‘This Is What A Feminist Looks Like,’ are actually made in a Mauritian sweatshop by women earning 62p an hour. The descriptions of the living and working conditions endured by migrant women working in Mauritius are harrowing – long hours, meagre pay and prison-like living conditions.

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Sangeeta Haindl writes on social innovation, social enterprise, and social entrepreneurs. She is the owner of Serendipity PR, in London, U.K., where she works with high-profile brands and organizations in the public, non-profit, and corporate sectors, winning awards for her work from the communications industry. She describes herself as a Spiritual Entrepreneur, Conscious Explorer, and Futurist. She enjoys helping others, paying it forward, and being a mum.