Does your favorite brand pass the feminist test?

April 6, 2016

 

 

 

 

We all have our favorite stores, brands, or online retailers. Their style speaks to us, we like their aesthetic or brand story, and we've probably been shopping there for years. I'm an anthrogirl, but I also tend to shop at Banana Republic and Nanette Lepore for my workwear, Athleta for my workout clothes, and Macy's for the general stuff. As a feminist I believe that my shopping choices matter - how I spend my money says something about my values - which is why I try to avoid fast fashion like H&M and Zara.  When modcloth announced their sale to Wal-Mart *sob* I unsubscribed from their mailing list. But have you ever wondered how your favorite brands stack up? You've heard of the Bechdel test, well, we're launching a new metric. Feminists Grading Fashion.

 

Each week we'll be analyzing the past five years of information for an given company. We'll look at ethical production, labor issues, obvious gaffes like sexist t-shirts, the number of women on their Board of Directors and in senior management positions and more. While we're going to provide a nice and easy chart we'll also tell you why the company received the grade that they did. This way you can become more informed about your fashion choices!

 

This post is to introduce you to the metric we've created. Companies will be graded on the 100 point A-F grading scale similar to most Americans. We've divided what we consider to be important issues to feminists into four categories; Ethics, Cultural Sensitivity & Diversity, Corporate Leadership and Sexism & Sexual Harassment. In each category a company can score a possible 25 points. In each category we'll look at their website, corporate filings and news articles from around the web for the past five years. While we're aware that there are other causes - such as no animal testing or vegan leather - that feminists consider important we've decided to focus on the big picture stuff mainly because we're all volunteers with limited hours in our day. If you think there's something obvious that we've missed (highly possible), please let us know! Below is the scale we'll be using. 

 

Ethics

- Number of negative articles about garment production

- Number of positive articles about garment production

 - Number of negative articles about wage/labor disputes

- Number of positive articles about wage/labor disputes

- Does the company have any charitable giving and women's initiatives?

- Is any of their production in the United States?

 

Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity

- Number of models of color and plus size on 1 page of products

- Number of models of color and plus size on homepage

- Number of scandals involving cultural appropriation

- Number of people of color on the company's Board of Directors (BoD) and senior mangement team

 

Corporate Leadership

- Number of women on the BoD

- Number of women in senior management (according to website)

- Does the company have a mentorship program?

- Have there been any scandals related to executive compensation?

 

Sexism & Sexual Harassment

- Does any of their current advertising appear to be sexist?

 - Have there been any problems with sexism in past marketing campaigns?

- Any lawsuits related to sexual harassment in the workforce?

- Any complaints about sexism in the 1st ten reviews on glassdoor.com?

 

 

 

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