This is what Women of the Future look like: empowered, diverse and determined

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Historically, women have been depicted a certain way in the media. In the 50s, we were perfectly primped housewives. In the 90s, we were blonde and skinny bombshells. Today, we are empowered, diverse and determined – and none of that has anything to do with what we look like.

With feminist campaigns like #metoo and #thisgirlcan, women have never been more empowered, more heard, and more supported, but we have a long way to go.

According to the World Economic Forum, it could still take another 100 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears entirely. For The Australian Women’s Weekly 2018 Women of the Future Finalists, they’re not happy sitting back and waiting for that to happen, so they’re making it happen.

I’m one of those women, and as one of three Entrepreneur and Business Finalists, I couldn’t be prouder of the impact I’ve had thus far in raising awareness of inequality in the fashion industry. It’s not something a lot of people think about; fashion is generally known as an all-powerful, all glamourous, all fabulous industry, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In Bangladesh, some women are paid 39 cents an hour, and across the board in the fast fashion industry, ethics are left on the cutting room floor.

It’s never been enough for me to sit back and watch injustices happen and think that someone else will fix things. When I launched my business to promote ethical and sustainable fashion, I had a mission to change my industry for the better, and The Fashion Advocate is slowly doing just that.

It’s not the biggest online store for fashion, it’s not the most well-known destination for trends, and it’s not making millions of dollars as a business (in fact it’s not even making thousands just yet), but what it is doing – is making a positive impact.

Every reader that visits The Fashion Advocate blog is one more person who now knows why ethics and sustainability is so crucial in the fashion industry. Every new follower on Instagram is one more that now knows where they can shop when they want to wear their values. Every order I send out in our biodegradable plastic-free packaging, supports a local label who designs with intent to drive positive social and environmental change. One by one, we are slowly building our community, and creating a ripple effect of positive change. It's not just about having the voice of the independent Australian fashion community heard, it's also giving a voice to the disadvantaged women and children who are trapped in the modern slave labour fast fashion system.

I’ll be having lunch in two weeks with Lisa Wilkinson, Julie Bishop, Ita Buttrose, Lisa Harrington, Tanya Plibersek, Nicole Byers and Ronni Khan to find out who the winners are for this year’s The Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future Awards. Regardless of the outcome, I won’t stop fighting for ethical living wages in the fashion industry until we have equality across the globe.

The Fashion Advocate x

In the 90s, we were blonde and skinny bombshells. Today, we are empowered, diverse and determined – and none of that has anything to do with what we look like.

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Well done for your nomination Claire! That’s tremendous. Keep on changing the game 🙌

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