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Centring justice in fashion

Our latest FashMash Pioneers event saw Ayesha Barenblat, brains behind the PayUp campaign, talking gender and climate justice.


"Taking a justice centred lens brings people and planet together," Ayesha Barenblat, founder and CEO of Remake, and the brains behind the #PayUp campaign, told us during our latest FashMash Pioneers event. Speaking in #FashionRevolutionWeek, she expressed the importance of considering the women who make our clothes and how the pressure of the fashion system is forcing them to work "sooner, harder, faster", all the while they face gender-based violence and shrinking wages.


Ayesha's work has seen over $15bn recouped from the industry's $40bn of cancelled orders during COVID-19. She is continuing to centre women in her work, pushing for living wages and smarter regulation.


Watch her full interview with Rachel Arthur back via YouTube above. Some highlights:


ON PAYING UP

"I think [PayUp] struck a nerve because people were really starting to see how the inequalities baked in the fashion system were affecting all of us. There was this solidarity that we all felt. This is not charity, we are just asking for basic good business practice. The goods had already been stitched. The work had already been done. You need to pay up."


ON THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE

"The Leicester example [with Boohoo], is really interesting as it shows that this is not really about failed nations or corruption... The fact that it can happen in Leicester and Los Angeles goes to show that the fundamental business model is broken."


ON REGULATION

"If you look at where we've made inroads in the fashion industry, it often has been because of legislation, not because of consumption patterns. In the long term, we know that what we have to push for and really be razor focused on pushing for is living wages and better regulatory reform.”


ON CITIZEN ACTION

"PayUp has really debunked that myth that we have to somehow deal with market-based solutions, address all of these inequities and wicked problems in the fashion industry through just buying responsibly. What gives me hope is a lot of us coming into our activism and citizen power, rather than thinking that somehow we're going to consume our way into a sustainable fashion future.”


FashMash Pioneers is sponsored by Klaviyo.


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