Nov 18, 2020
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Fashion Makes Change steps up to empower women workers and protect the environment

Nov 18, 2020

As calls for meaningful change in the fashion industry grow louder, Tuesday saw the launch of Fashion Makes Change (FMC), a brand-led community platform with a dual focus on promoting women’s empowerment and tackling the climate crisis.

Textile worker Shaheeda Khatun participates in HERproject, an initiative run byBSR, one of the NGOs that makes up Empower@Work - Photo: BSR

Described as a “transformational ecosystem,” the organization aims to create a community of brands, non-profits, consumers and supporting industries, who will work together to drive action on key social and environmental issues facing the fashion industry.
The platform is a response to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and seeks to accelerate the fashion industry’s progress towards these targets over the next ten years. Initially FMC will focus on goals related to good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, and decent work and economic growth.

As part of its efforts towards women’s empowerment in the industry, the organization will support the Empower@Work Collaborative, a joint initiative run by the UN’s ILO-IFC Better Work, BSR’s HERproject, CARE International, and Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E program.
Empower@Work coordinates collective action in favor of women workers and gender equity in global supply chains and has created a Worker Training Toolkit featuring educational materials on topics such as leadership, financial literacy and planning, and decision making.
FMC has also brought together a network of brands and retailers who are mobilizing to educate women in the global supply chain at scale by 2030. On March 8, International Women’s Day, the organization will hold its first activation, encouraging consumers to donate to Empower@Work through the companies that make up this network.
According to the FMC, it is hoped that “this unprecedented collaboration among brands, customers and non-profits will amplify, scale and accelerate a global shift towards meaningful change.”
“The truth is that the old way of doing things is not solving the problems. Incremental change isn’t good enough. We are moving too slowly,” explained FMC chair Cara Smyth in a release.
“Education is the great equalizer. In particular, investing in women builds resilient communities. Catalytic ecosystems that foster profound collaboration are powering the next generation of sustainability and are the only sensible path forward. We have a finite number of days before irreversible global warming. Fashion – and the world – are racing against the clock.”
FMC is a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and also has the support of Avery Dennison, PR Consulting, and the Accessories Council.

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