11 ethical brands that are empowering women

The garment industry employees over 60 million people worldwide, and over three quarters of these employees are female. Considering the fact that over 45 million women and girls work in garment production, supporting apparel brands that provide opportunity for women instead of exploiting them is a very practical way to elevate the cause of female empowerment. 

In celebration of International Women's Day, I've rounded up 11 brands that are leading the way in empowering women around the globe:

ethical brands that empower women

I've been a fan of Sseko for a long time and personally own multiple pairs of their amazing sandals and bags

Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women in Uganda to continue on to university. In addition to their university-bound team, Sseko also employs women from all walks of life. By creating an environment of dignity, honor and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society.

You can purchase from Sseko online, or host a party with your girlfriends for a fun experience that gives you a glimpse into the story behind Sseko! 

2. Sudara

Sudara makes some of the comfiest and cutest loungewear around. I reviewed a pair of their pants on the blog and still wear them frequently! What is even cooler than the comfy design is what this brand stands for. 

Sudara specifically focuses on empowering women in India to remain free from sex slavery.Since 2006, Sudara has provided safe employment to over 300 women who are working to remain free from the grim alternative. Beyond that, it's estimated that about 500 children have directly benefitted from the employment of their mothers in Sudara's sewing centers. These families are provided with fair wages, access to medical care and job training which created pathways to other vocations in the future. 

ethical sustainable jewelry

3. Liberti USA

Look beyond Liberti's stunning designs, and you will see new beginnings for resettled refugees here in the United States. In line with their passion and ethos, they are devoted to cultivating a more compassionate, transparent, and sustainable jewelry company. 

They stand by ethical luxury. 

Each collection is designed and handcrafted to order within the US. Liberti believes collaborating with passion-based business owners and artisans across America contributes positively to our culture and economy.

Female Empowerment shirt

The "Women Are Sacred" shirt is an ethically made garment that is so timely in our society. I shared my review of it here.

 Our Sacred Women is a social enterprise founded on the belief in the healing power of relationships. Their mission is to cultivate meaningful connections with women and between women through the intentional gifting of specialty products that help women feel seen, valued, and honored. For every shirt that's purchased, Our Sacred Women donates 10% of the proceeds to The Breathe Network - a national 501(c)(3) organization leading the way in empowering survivors of sexual violence. 

ethical sustainable bags

Malia Designs was formed to increase economic opportunity for women in Cambodia and to support organizations that fight human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Their products are made by Fair Trade producer groups that employ disadvantaged people in Cambodia. By bringing their crafts to Western markets, they can expand their access to sustainable income. 

Malia Designs also aims to help victims of Human Trafficking by donating to organizations working in this arena. Human Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar illegal trade affecting millions of people every year. Malia Designs believes that one way to counteract this global issue is to increase access to economic opportunity in the most affected areas.

ethical tee

A Beautiful Refuge produces lovingly-handcrafted screen printed items with a mission to embody fair trade and environmentally
responsible principles throughout the production process.

They believe that the best products are good for everyone involved – from
the factory to the checkout line – so they source their materials from ethical manufacturers in India and produce their designs
under fair trade guidelines in the Philippines.

I purchased a t-shirt from A Beautiful Refuge recently and absolutely love it! You can see photos of me wearing mine in this post. Not only are the shirts ethically produced, but the messages on them are also so uplifting.

7. Naja

ethical lingerie

Naja aims to disrupt the way lingerie is marketed towards women by creating a company that seeks to empower women instead of objectifying them. Naja's garment factory primarily employees single mothers or female heads of households where they are paid above market wages and given healthcare benefits.

It's Naja's goal to provide single mothers with a job that doesn't force them to choose between caring for their children and making a living wage. Every child of a Naja garment worker receives books, school supplies, uniforms, and school meals all paid for by Naja. 

ethical shirts

Elegantees mission statement is to provide hope to survivors of sex trafficking in Nepal. A positive source of income that reinforces independence, a healthy self-image, and confidence restores lives one elegant tee at a time.

They've specifically located themselves in Nepal (a beautiful kingdom between China and India) because it’s one of the least developed countries in the world and ranks high for sex trafficking.

Their nonprofit partner rescues over 20,000 women and children each year who have been pulled into trafficking.

You can find a variety of stunning Elegantees dresses, shirts, and tunics online, or you can apply to become an ambassador that hosts trunk shows for the brand! 

ethical brands that empower women

9. Fashionable 

Fashionable was born out of the desire to give women in developing countries an opportunity to earn a living, rather than establish a dependency on charity. 

This brands offers high quality jewelry and accessories that are created by women who are being given the chance to build a future for themselves. Fashionable goes into great detail on their website to explain their method of providing jobs for women instead of charity for sustainable livelihoods.

ethical female empowerment shirts

10. My Sister

My Sister's mission is to prevent sex trafficking, educate communities, empower the population, provide after-care for survivors and offer growth opportunities to at-risk women through the sales of our statement-making, ethically-sourced apparel and accessories.

They have a storefront in Minneapolis, or you can peruse their fantastic selection of product online

ethical women's brands

11. Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily was created to alleviate poverty among women. They currently help employ over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education, and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. They are proving that it is possible to scale a fair trade, fashion forward brand while making an impact for good.