Feminist fashion can sometimes feel cynical – but these products genuinely give back.
Wearing your political beliefs emblazoned across your chest (or dangling from your ears or neck) isn’t a 21st century idea. But over the last few years, feminist mantras have crept into our wardrobes like never before.
This is no bad thing, because political fashion is important. It can be a celebration, a protest, an identifier and a mission statement all at once. Move through the world wearing a T-shirt bearing a feminist slogan, and you’re sending a message to every misogynist who glances your way: we’re here, taking up space, and we’re not going anywhere.
On some occasions, however, feminist-branded products can leave us feeling a little queasy; a bit like major corporations have spotted the swell of interest in the movement and thought, “There’s an opportunity here.” Modern feminist fashion can sometimes seem strangely de-politicised – and you don’t need us to tell you that if your ‘feminist’ T-shirt is made by women working in a sweatshop on the other side of the world, it really isn’t very feminist at all.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a selection of feminist fashion pieces that actually benefit other women. Some of the items listed here benefit women’s charities through donated sales profits; others are ethically made by female cooperatives around the world, meaning that every purchase helps provide marginalised women with a safe, reliable income.
Go forth and shop with your conscience clear – and do your bit for the feminist movement.
ALEXACHUNG ‘Divine Feminine’ T-shirt
Industry tastemaker and all-round style icon Alexa Chung has brought her style to the masses through her eponymous label, ALEXACHUNG. For International Women’s Day 2019, Chung is one of six designers who have teamed up with Net-a-Porter to create T-shirts for the occasion. With 100% of the profits going to Women for Women International, this deserves to be added to your basket now.
Phine gold 'Feminist' necklace
Swedish brand Phine has created a range of bold, gold and utterly desirable jewellery, all stamped with the word ‘Feminist’. Not only do the pieces look amazing, they support a worthy cause, too.
£10 from every gold-plated necklace sold is donated to The Girls Network, which aims to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a mentor and a network of professional female role models.
Olivia Palermo is delving into her wardrobe and pulling out her chicest pieces to auction off on eBay. All proceeds will benefit Dress For Success – a charity that empowers women to achieve financial independence by providing them with mentoring support and a new professional wardrobe. Palermo’s pieces include an iconic Dior book bag, Manolo Blahnik jewel-encrusted shoes and a Tiffany and Co bracelet.
Dior bag currently stands at £1,750, ebay.com
Mata Traders gold and green beaded bracelet
Ethical design company Mata Traders partners with fair trade organisations in India and Nepal to provide women in marginalised communities with a stable source of income.
This gold and green beaded bracelet is the perfect addition to your T-shirt and jeans look – or use it to add a splash of colour to your go-to black dress.
Roksanda x The Outnet tiered mint green dress
British designer Roksanda has teamed up with The Outnet for an exclusive capsule collection of beautiful pieces, all in the name of a good cause. From brightly-coloured silk separates to stylish takes on modern dressing, your wardrobe will never have looked (or felt) as good as this.
For every item sold a percentage of proceeds will be donated to Malaika, a charity that aims to empower young girls and their communities through education and health programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Mantra Jewellery ‘Empower’ necklace
For each of these necklaces sold, a quarter of the price will be donated to Care International, a global charity supporting women and girls in poverty. The delicate pendant comes in silver, gold and rose gold and bears the word ‘Empower’ across the front, in a beautifully gilded script. The term was inspired by the mantra, ‘I am an empowered woman who empowers others’.
From £45, mantrajewellery.co.uk
Lululemon 'Love Crew' t-shirt
In honour of International Women’s Day and every day that follows, activewear giants Lululemon have created the perfect workout T-shirt. An amazing 100% of profits from the sales of this top go to Ourmala, a non-profit organisation that uses yoga as a tool for social change. They offer specialist yoga classes, practical support and community for people seeking asylum or with refugee status in the UK.
MyTheresa x Maria Grazia Chiuri T-Shirt
In support of International Women’s Day, online retailer MyTheresa has partnered with 12 of the fashion industry’s most prominent designers to auction off personal pieces. Sales will raise funds for Mothers2Mothers, a charity working to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Our pick? This knock-out T-shirt from Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first collection as creative director at Dior – a knock-out piece that undoubtedly set the tone for her collections to come.
Starting price for Maria’s personal T-shirt is £1,950, mytheresa.com
Ninety Percent rollneck sweater
London-based contemporary fashion label Ninety Percent splits 90% of their profits between charitable causes (they even call out to customers to ask who they should donate to) and the people who make the collections happen.
A cool take on the classic fisherman’s jumper, this chunky rollneck is an easy addition to your work and weekend wardrobes. For ultimate cool points, wear with a satin slip skirt and hiking boots.
£250, Ninety Percent
Rosie Assoulin International Women's Day printed cotton-jersey T-shirt
New York designer Rosie Assoulin has collaborated with Net-A-Porter on a cotton T-shirt for International Women’s Day. The black and red numbers printed on the t-shirt translate to “Happy International Women’s Day” in binary code. 100% of profits from the collaboration will go to Women for Women International.
Pandora International Women's Day silver charm
20% of the price of this sterling silver, enamel and Cubic Zirconia charm from Pandora goes to Ovacome, a national UK ovarian cancer charity. The charity currently supports around 18,000 women and their families every year.
Isabel Marant International Women's Day printed cotton-jersey T-shirt
French designer Isabel Marant is known for dressing women for their real lives. This ‘You Go Girl’ T-shirt design highlights her encouraging attitude towards women – and like the other T-shirts produced for Net-A-Porter for International Women’s Day, profits will go to Women for Women International.
Barbara Malagoli for Coppafeel T-shirt
To celebrate International Women’s Day, breast cancer awareness charity CoppaFeel! has teamed up with 10 brilliant female illustrators for a capsule T-shirt collection. Half of all profits will go directly to CoppaFeel!’s vital work educating young women about the importance of checking their breasts, while the other 50% will go straight back to the artist. Our favourite is this Matisse-esque design by Barbara Malagoli.
Souvf Women Empowerment T-shirt
YOOX has collaborated with up-and-coming responsible brand Souvf to create six statement T-shirts. The tops have been designed as a rallying call to support gender equality and women’s empowerment. All of the proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts will benefit the newly established Souvf Foundation, which aims to promote feminist ideals, empower gender equality, and achieve and protect equal rights.