Sustainbility Through Womens Rights: Lexington Line

Sustainability in fashion has been an ongoing topic amongst many. Whether you’re a part of the fashion industry or not, this is truly an important issue.

First of all, what is fashion sustainability? A few months ago, I can honestly say I didn’t know much about the topic. I honestly didn't know much about it either. It was until I attended the Sustainability Conference at the United Nations in November that I learned all the components that are a part of fashion sustainability.

Sustainability in fashion isn't just about using eco-friendly dyes and material to produce merchandise without leaving a huge “environmental footprint.” Sustainability also includes the people who are a part of the production process and how well they are being taken care of. When I visited the conference at the UN in November, this was discussed thoroughly by the panelists.

“How can we make sure these workers are getting paid a wage they can live on?” “How can we make sure that factory workers are healthy and that the work climate is safe?” This is when I learned that sustainability also means human rights.

An exhibition at the United Nations that opened in the beginning of March also helped to elaborate on the importance of sustainability by displaying the lives of the women who live in rural areas, and how they are giving back to their communities. The exhibition is called “Rural Women, Human Rights.” One quote that I saw at the exhibition was that,” Woman’s Rights is Human Rights.” Statistics show that most of the people who work in clothing production factories are women. Everyone has a right to an education, a safe environment, and a livable wage. Aside the laws that are now trying to be put in place to protect factory workers, this exhibition shows how some women are becoming the business owners themselves.

I firmly believe that with more women becoming more independent in their craft or becoming business owners, we will be on track to finding one more solution to help with the sustainability movement. Buying locally from rural business owners not only helps the environment, but also helps to provide the workers of that company a wage they can live on. Because of laws and discrimination towards women, they often fall worse than men.

However, with this rising movement of women being independent and employing woman around them, they are ending the struggle that woman often face. If this continues, we can have hope for a brighter future for women's rights and sustainability by working together with local business owners and ending the ill treatment of women when it comes to clothing production.