by Elizabeth Flading
Consider your average workday. You might be thinking of a 9 to 5 office job, a 12 hour evening nursing shift, or even 24 hour mom duty. For many in the fashion manufacturing industry, though, it consists of a 14-hour shift, earning less than 3 dollars in total compensation, and unsafe working conditions. The hardships for these people deal with everyday are unimaginable for most. When a shirt costs $8, there is no way the person making that top is adequately compensated (consider this realist cost breakdown). While some brands create and support these working conditions, we do not.
Given that about 85% of garment workers are women, fast fashion is both an issue of feminism and human rights. If you want to support, love, and empower women globally, you as a consumer must also address this issue. For all of us at lur, empowering women is essential to our work because we know how disruptive the fashion industry can be on individuals working in it. We want to not only provide a safe work environment for everyone in our supply chain but improve their living conditions by providing educational and career opportunities.
In doing so, we have partnered with two amazing organizations, Friendship Bridge and CECAP. Friendship Bridge is a Guatemalan-based nonprofit that empowers women by giving them the tools to become economically independent. They combine microcredit loans and education to give women the boost they need; to become business owners, cultivate skill sets, and achieve a better understanding of health and wellness. CECAP, Centro de Capacitacion, is a local product development initiative located in Santa Cruz. At this vocational education center, the focus is on training individuals and students (primarily women) to gain the skills necessary to produce products that will be marketed both locally and internationally. CECAP offers programs for students and adults in sewing, computer education, carpentry, welding, and foot loom weaving.
When purchasing from our online retail site, you’re providing 25 hours of valuable, vocational training to a Guatemalan in need. These women, in turn, learn the skills they need to support themselves and their families and break the cycle of poverty. We are proud partners of Friendship Bridge and the CECAP, and support their missions with the help of your ethical fashion choices.
What other ways do you empower women in your own life? We would love to know! Leave a comment below or join the conversation on our facebook page.