The women empowerment move is still in its nascent stage. The bud is yet to flower, and women are yet to realise their true potential, let alone establish it. Trending #feminism on the social media is just a part of it. Talking about trends, even the bullies put up hashtags to create an image. Sharing collages of coloured women and black animals with the message of equality is like saying, "Oh you are so fat, but obesity suits you." Or, forcing someone to drink bitter juice with sugar. One doesn't need that kind of motivation.
While we happily beat the drums of women empowerment on International Women’s Day, the low-wage female workers in the supply chain struggle every day to make ends meet. That is not equality, but hypocrisy.
The empowerment of all women, irrespective of race, colour and ethnicity, should be our primary objective. And one way to achieve that is by promoting sustainable shopping.
We, the humans, have a strange mind. We tend to go by trends and not merely some cause. It is because we love to show off what we can do.
"Everyone is supporting the beauty of coloured women, so let's get tanned."
"Everyone is talking about women rights and freedom, so let's start supporting adultery."
And end up increasing the number of divorces? Well, we are going round and round in the same loop of superimposed superiority. Only the gender has changed. If a snake bites you, do you bite the snake in return? There are numerous ways to end oppression, and being oppressive is not one of them.
To show that you care, believe and want to promote a cause is a big thing these days. Social media is as much a part of our lives as oxygen. You can't seem to be a part of anything if you do not support it on social media. So, if someone is convinced that a cause is in trend, s/he will start promoting it relentlessly. Show support for animals? Go vegan! Show support for women? Switch genders! No, this won't work. The right way is to establish neutrality and not emphasise the difference.
Currently, #NatureLove, #Sustainability and #WomenEmpowerment, #Feminism, are a few trends making it big on social media. However, they need not be separate trends if you can club the causes. Are you wondering how? Scroll on!
Support organic farming
Women make up quite a good percentage (about one-third) of the farming sector in the UK. From raising cattle to harvesting crops, they are everywhere. Besides, you can also find women working in the organic farming industry to promote sustainability and love for nature.
In short, if you want to empower women, you need to encourage their contribution to sustainable development. Shopping for organic goods, recyclable and biodegradable materials will help achieve that goal. You can also switch to organic foods to support the women farmers directly. Thus, you will be serving two different causes - to support women and preserve nature - simultaneously.
Shop online more
Many women small business owners feature their products on the leading e-commerce sites, like Amazon, eBay and the others. They also create boards on Pinterest and other social media platforms to exhibit their handiwork online. You may shop online more to show your support for their creativity and talent. After all, they are trying to serve a genuine purpose besides earning an income. From organic clothing to eco-friendly essentials, everything is way affordable when bought online.
So let us give those big brands a break and try the new stuff for a change.
Numerous online organic stores are not exactly sellers. Well, they do sell eco-friendly products, but their mission has something to do with the greater good. While some of them take part in environmental preservation activities, some others strive to empower women. They use parts of their revenue to distribute food and sanitary pads to the women in developing countries, educate girls and employ more women in the industrial sector.
You can make a list of such stores and buy from them regularly. A portion of their net profit will go into social welfare, and you will feel proud to be of some help. And you are going to get good content for your social media posts (wink)! But be aware of fraudulent activities and tall claims. Check the site’s registration and get an idea about its authenticity before buying.
Fashion and women empowerment
The fashion industry is one of those few places where nature preservation and women empowerment go hand in hand. The industry’s supply chain employs a lot of women, and you can support them by promoting their brand. The more the sales, the greater will be their earnings. As everyone likes to wear fashionable outfits, this is one industry that will never go down (unless the world decides to give us another pandemic).
Sustainable fashion brands are popping up like mushrooms everywhere. The fashionistas are well aware of excessive waste and greenhouse gases that the textile industry is generating to meet the ever-increasing demands. Hence, sustainability is the need of the hour for environmentally-conscious fashionistas. By promoting responsible fashion and employing more women, these brands are setting examples big time. Look for them and support them to satiate your hunger for social servicing.
Whatever may be your reason, it is the action that matters. When you shop from a sustainable online store, you are automatically contributing to the green movement and supporting the women who are involved in it. So take time and choose your favourite brands wisely. Read their mission and vision statements before purchasing anything. Also, see if they use their profits in philanthropic causes.
Let #ResponsibleShopping be your new trend!