Press for Progress: International Women's Day 2018
Celebrated since the early 1900s and with roots in progressive socialist movements, International Women’s Day (IWD) has transformed into a worldwide day of reflection and commemoration of the achievements of women. While the specific demands for inclusion and fair treatment associated with IWD events have changed over the years, one thing has remained consistent: the commitment to solidarity and recognition that all of our struggles are connected.
Recently, in the US, many of us have felt bombarded by polarizing messages and unsettling events. It can be easy for us to lose sight of the transnational scope of the rights that we have - and are still fighting for. At Feminist Apparel, IWD serves as an annual reminder to connect with others, pay homage to those who have come before us, and be mindful of our positions -- privileges and disadvantages alike -- in the grander landscape of the feminist movement and ongoing struggles for justice.
This year, we were particularly inspired by the IWD theme, Press for Progress. As a company that is exploring the best way for us to create great value for you (while also providing security for our team and broader support for our community), we are continuously asking ourselves "how can we more fully engage in the activism that fights for the progress we demand and represent?" This year’s theme does not shy away from how difficult the continuing battle for equality will be but instead embraces it and empowers us each to play a role -- no matter how big or small -- in the ongoing push for gender parity.
With this message of “taking action” fresh in our minds, our team discussed what that challenge means for us, a growing t-shirt company. ...you guessed it! We immediately knew that we wanted to make a new design to add to our shop in honor of IWD and the activists - past, present and future - who have played a role in gaining access to human rights for all people. We ended up with a clean design that presents just a handful of the freedoms many people are still fighting for. We hope the design serves as a reminder to keep perspective on the privileges you do have and to (re)commit yourself to fighting for the advantages that you - and many other people like you - may not yet have fair access to.
We also knew that we are eager to be more proactive in embracing our role as an international retailer that reaches a wide community of multilingual folks and non-English speakers. It made sense for this design to mark the first time that we make an item available in three different languages: English, French and Spanish! These are the three most common spoken languages amongst our current community; and while we understand the translations are just a small step towards greater inclusivity, we find it important for us to continue pushing ourselves to be more representative of the people we serve.
Once we selected the main design, we also knew that we needed the funds we earn from it to go back to those who embody the IWD values of global collaboration and hope. We’ve chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds that we earn from the sale of these designs to the Malala Fund, an organization born from the passion and activism of Malala Yousafzai that is dedicated to building access to quality education for all girls, particularly in the global south.
Finally, we felt as though our contribution to the IWD celebration would be incomplete if we only offered items for purchase - leaving many of our valuable community members unable to share in the day with us. That’s why we created three free printable coloring sheets that are available for download!
Click here to take a look at our IWD-inspired designs and get your own free coloring sheets now! Then, we invite you to share pictures of your beautiful artwork and new threads on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #PressForProgress and tag us @FeministApparel so that we can see how you’re pushing for change along with us!
Interested in other ways to participate in International Women’s Day 2018?
Check out this list of things you can do to help press for progress today!
- Find a local event to attend and connect with others in your community!
- Take the pledge to commit yourself to the Press for Progress
- Join in the global conversation and share how you will Press for Progress on social media (bonus points of appreciation for tagging us @FeministApparel when you do!)
- Show the world what the press for progress looks like with these free downloadable signs! (even more bonus points of appreciation for rocking your FA gear in your #PressForProgress selfies!)