Target: Emma Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch, MP Harriet Harman
Goal: Protest feminist clothing campaign that places profit above women’s rights
The makers of a feminist clothing brand are currently investigating terrible working conditions in their own production factory. Elle Magazine UK, clothing brand Whistles, and women’s advocacy group The Fawcett Society teamed up to create a line of t-shirts and sweaters reading “This is what a feminist looks like.” After the shirts were worn by politicians and prominent celebrities all over the media, it was discovered that the clothes were produced in a sweatshop in Mauritius, a small island country off the coast of Africa.
During a guided tour of one of the island’s clothing factories, an investigative reporter uncovered numerous human rights violations, including a pay of about $1 an hour. The factory employed mostly women in a work camp, and these women slept 16 to one bedroom each night. According to factory managing director Francois Woo, there are six of these factories across the island, each with identical conditions.
While clothing store Whistles took the shirts off store shelves immediately, The Fawcett Society is standing by the clothing line. As the UK’s largest women’s advocacy group, the organization should be focusing on fairness and equality rather than continued profits for its group.
Celebrities such as Emma Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch have been seen wearing the campaign shirts, as well as politicians such as British MP Harriet Harman. Continuing to support this campaign would be counterproductive to “feminist” ideals such as equality for women. Sign the petition below to demand that these public figures renounce their support for this greedy and manipulative campaign.
Dear Emma Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch, and MP Harriet Harman,
It has been discovered that women in sweatshops made the t-shirts and sweaters being sold as part of the “This is what a feminist looks like” campaign by Elle Magazine UK, Whistles Clothing, and The Fawcett Society. Women in work camps earn around $1 an hour working for long days, and sleep in camp dormitories on thin foam mattresses 16 to a room. Many of these women are struggling to survive and cannot afford to return to their impoverished families.
Rather than supporting this exploitation, perhaps a more “feminist” approach to the campaign would be to demand an improvement in these factories, which The Fawcett Society has stood by during the scandal. We, the undersigned, demand that you remove your public support for this counterproductive campaign.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Marrissa Orton via Creative Commons