Although in the United States we have taken great strides toward closing the gender gap, there’s still much work to be done to truly empower women. We are the only member country of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that doesn’t mandate paid family leave. Less than 7% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs, and women in the States earn $0.82 to every $1 earned by a man. Many of the industry’s top companies selling fashion and beauty products to women are actually owned by men!
Globally, less than a third of senior leadership roles are held by women. Caregiving responsibilities disproportionately fall to females, with the average time women spend on unpaid work at least double that of men in almost every country. Mothers have the most difficult time maintaining fairly paid, consistent work, as they take on the bulk of unpaid household responsibilities. (Source: Catalyst.org)
When women are able to live fully into their power, the world is better. And the stats prove that. According to Women for Women International, for every 10% increase in the number of girls educated in a country, the GDP goes up 3%. Women are also more likely to reinvest their income into their families – on average 90% as compared to 40% of men’s income.
So what can we do to help? One of the most accessible ways we can support the rights of women everywhere is by shopping from female owned brands. Let us introduce you to a few of our favorites that not only are owned and led by powerful female forces, but that also go above and beyond in the movement for women’s equality.
Some of these brands partner with nonprofit organizations to champion women in the global workforce while others focus on creating supportive local communities and inclusivity in their product assortment. What they all have in common, however, is their unwavering commitment to not only creating beautiful products, but also to positively impacting the lives of the women within their realm of influence.
Meet the Brands That Focus on Female Empowerment
When Cary Vaughan and Janna Wilson set out to create Ace & Jig, they took full responsibility over the impact of each and every facet of their business. Long celebrated as a sustainable fashion brand, Ace & Jig also takes careful measures to ensure the empowerment of women. Their partner, Projecthrive, supports women in New Delhi by employing the at-risk population. This empowerment initiative teaches women essential marketable skills including sewing, cutting, and more, then provides them with stable jobs, fair wages, benefits, healthcare, and flexible hours. Ace & Jig works with these women to create their garments in addition to female weavers throughout India, preserving artisanal handicrafts for future generations.
Did you know that craft-based work is the second largest employer of women around the world? Yi-Mei Truxes, founder of Bembien, realizes how important it is to provide these women with fair wages, economic opportunity, and safe spaces, which is why she partners with Nest. Through the strategic partnership, Bembien donates a portion of their proceeds back to the local community of Balinese women artisans who weave their bags. As Truxes says, it’s all about the artisans.
This apparel brand partners with a female-owned-and-run factory in New York City’s historic garment district to produce all of its apparel.
Did you know that Farm Stand not only has a female founder (We love you, Becky!), but our team is a rock star group of women, also? We consider ourselves beyond lucky to collaborate with and be inspired by such a hard working, talented team. Inspired by her two teen daughters and their advocacy for causes they believe in, Becky founded Farm Stand with a mission to build community and provide a platform for education, inspiration, wellness, and fashion that has a mission, a voice, and a clear sense of values. The inspiration doesn’t stop there. Our food truck, Tess & Co., is named in honor of Becky’s incredible, multi-talented House Manager, Tess.
Because we’ve been so blessed by a community of amazing women, we created The Farm Stand for Love Project – our heartfelt way of giving back to the community and empowering women to stand up for and love themselves. For every purchase at our store, we donate one of our heart-shaped, handmade, natural soaps to a women’s shelter in need.
The one-size-fits-most brand holds the motto: Made by women, for women. So when asked who the Hunza G woman is, co-founder and creative director Georgiana Huddart says, “...Everybody and anybody — that's what's great about the brand. It has no exclusive type. It's such a range of ages, backgrounds, sizes, and ethnicities. I love the idea that it is about empowering women rather than setting them against one another.” We’re all for radical inclusivity!
In addition to inclusivity, the brand donated portions of their 2020 gift cards to StreetSmart, a nonprofit dedicated to tackling homelessness in the UK. A tragic issue for all people groups, homelessness is particularly rough on women, who often experience sexual abuse and violence.
This female-founded brand is all about tradition. They partner with women in India who still weave by hand, preserving this skill, and tell the story and share the process behind the clothing they create. Chinar Farooqui, the founder and designer, utilizes chikankari, a delicate embroidery customarily sewn by women, in her designs. She also incorporates Bandhani, a tie dye textile which women create at home by pinching the fabric, binding pieces together, and creating intricate patterns and designs.
Mara Hoffman creates fashion items that celebrate international women, but she doesn’t stop with the aesthetics. By working with artisans and farmers in India to produce her organic cotton garments, she successfully empowers the women in those communities by expanding the audience for their work and skill set while paying fair wages. Mara also holds a position on the advisory board of the popular nonprofit, Nest, the organization dedicated to improving the wellbeing of women in the global workforce.
Composed of an all-women team, this fashion label creates clothing that fits and flatters women’s bodies at all stages in life – from pregnancy to postpartum and beyond, creating versatile, long-lasting investment pieces that become the cornerstone of a wardrobe.
They take their core value of honoring women and treating them with dignity a step further – the Studio exclusively manufactures products in house and on site in order to maintain the safest working conditions, the best benefits, and the most competitive wages for their (remember, all women) employees.
With a truly holistic approach to female empowerment, Miranda Bennet also brings Mother Earth into the equation, designing sustainable, eco-friendly products. This work is especially groundbreaking in the beauty industry, as Miranda Bennett has managed to create plant-based nail colors free from all of the harmful chemicals prevalent in polishes.
Artist and owner, Meghan Navoy, knows that community holds the key to success when running a business. She credits her local collective of strong, female entrepreneurs as her main source of support and inspiration.
When conceiving this activewear brand, Eleanor Haycock quickly pulled in the help of designer, Alejandra Hernandex, creating a feminine force of business and design. Their mission is to empower women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and beliefs.
Ashleigh Miller and Sandra Zhao, co-founders of Zuri, bring the people behind their supply chain to the forefront of the brand. And those people, most often, are talented women around the globe. Zuri also has a trusted staff of women in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, and Senegal who source their fabrics, making sure that the artisans are compensated directly at higher-than-market rates.
In addition to the women Zuri directly employs, they carefully chose their production house partner – SOKO. SOKO battles prositution and human trafficking in Kenya by creating alternative, sustainable career paths. This is accomplished by teaching women how to sew and giving them the resources needed to become entrepreneurs. SOKO also employs women and provides free childcare for their team. Their focus on women’s empowerment extends into general community outreach, including a program where women make and sell reusable sanitary napkins.
Women Owned Brands You Can Shop at Farm Stand
Another way to empower women is to shop female-owned brands – and they don’t have to exclusively be social enterprises. Why? Every purchase you make from one of these companies is a step towards overcoming gender inequalities in the business world. Only 13% of US investment capital goes to women-owned businesses, and the average small business loan is 31% lower for female entrepreneurs when compared to their male counterparts. Worldwide, only 20% of startups raising funding have a female founder. There’s still a ways to go in closing the gender gap – show where you stand on the matter when you shop these women-founded brands:
- Gigi Burris: Founded by Gigi Burris
- MACON&LESQUOY: Founded by Marie Macon and Anne-Laure Lesquoy
- Maria La Rosa: Founded by Maria La Rosa
- Shaded by Lizzy: Founded by Lizzy Benchoff
- Swedish Stockings: Founded by Linn Frisinger and Nadja Forsberg
- The Book Club: Founded by Maggie Allingham
- Abacus Row: Founded by Christine Trac
- Aesa: Founded by Randi Mates
- Catori Life: Founded by Holly Takoda Rhoads
- Dadybones: Founded by Lola Abbey
- Girls Crew: Founded by Jina Chang
- Hattie Banks: Founded by Hattie Gilpin
- Mirit Weinstock: Founded by Mirit Weinstock
- MM Druck: Founded by Molly Zimmermann
- OLWEN: Founded by Corrin Carr
- Prickle People: Founded by Amy Quinn
- T Marie Designs: Founded by Tiffany Custard
Beauty and Skincare
- Angan: Founded by Iris Laxdal
- Equestrian Wellness: Founded by Valeria Breslow (their advisory board is exclusively made up of women, too!)
- Everyday Oil: Founded by Emma Allen
- Rootfoot: Founded by Laura Huth
- SiO Beauty: Founded by Gigi Howard
- Suntegrity: Founded by Tricia Trimble
- Tammy Fender: Founded by Tammy Fender
- Taza Ayurveda: Founded by Divya Viswanathan and Amy Engel
- Atelier Delphine: Founded by Yuka Izutsu
- Domi: Founded by Ali Blankley
- Ética: Founded by Chelsey Santry
- Janessa Leone: Founded by Janessa Leone
- HVN: Founded by Harley Viera-Newton
- Lindsey Thornburg: Founded by Lindsey Thornburg
- SKIN: Founded by Susan Beischel
- Unemployed Denim: Founded by Sydney Izen
Our Favorite Products That Empower Women
Annys Toile Blouse by Mara Hoffman make every day International Women’s Day when you don one of these beautiful pieces. Wearing this beautiful blouse empowers women artisans in India, providing them with consistent work and pay.
Own your female power when you wear this confidence-boosting Baby Blue Kimberly Bra by Year of Ours – which easily transitions from gym to a day of errands when paired with a high waisted skirt.
Rest easy knowing that the women who made your Black Sisal Tote by Zuri are being paid above-market prices, so they can support their families and their communities.
When you carry this chic Capri Bag by Bembien, you’re reinvesting into the Balinese artisanal community who created it.
Trust us, when wearing Char Bagh Shirt by Injiri, you’ll feel good, and you’ll look good. These artisans know how to create a textile masterpiece.
One size fits – and looks good on when it comes to Jean Bikini by Hunza G. an inclusivity and empowerment for the win.
Consider this Johnny Jumper by Ace & Jig your women’s power suit.
This gorgeous Nico Packable Visor by Janessa Leone is proof of the beauty created when women come together in support and encouragement of each other.
Give crucially needed basics to a woman in need when you buy one of our from-the-garden soaps like the Rose Garden Aromatherapy Bar Soap by Farm Stand.
White O'Keefe Dress by Miranda Bennett is the dress that flatters every body, and it will take you through every season of life.
With the global COVID-19 pandemic, there’s more pressure than ever on female entrepreneurs. As these resilient business owners have been forced to blend work and home, bouncing from boardroom meetings to educating their children, shopping from their brands means more than ever. Please join us in supporting women business owners.