Photography by Tiffany Tsang, words by Ellen Tirant.
WOMEN - A collaborative collection by Dorsu & SHE Investments, in support of women lead businesses and organisations throughout Cambodia.
Disclaimer: this is not just another feminist tee.
This is the real deal.
At Dorsu, we celebrate all women, everywhere. Whether that be you, our reader, or our customers, staff, suppliers or our vegetable lady. Every woman matters to us, and we want them to matter to you, too.
You may have noticed that feminism has become kind of a trend lately, with feminist t-shirts being used as a vessel to fight for women's rights, speak out against domestic violence or to visually say 'f**k the patriarchy'.
Clothing is used and worn as a form of expression, a symbol of our innermost thoughts and feelings. As a clothing company, we are all about this. We absolutely believe in the power of expression, in the art of fashion. However, we are not so supportive of the in-balance that has been created between the women who purchase the tees and the women who make them.
The women buying the tees, who walk the streets with their feminist agenda printed across their chest are not the only ones who matter in this fight. What about the women making the tees? The women who are most likely working in unsafe and/or exploitative conditions to produce that t-shirt?
In recent years, there have been numerous accounts of blatant exploitation in the production of female empowering clothing lines. See Beyonce’s activewear line, The Spice Girls charity t-shirts and the ‘This Is What a Feminist Looks Like’ tees. This disconnect between consumer and producer needs to stop.
We are all for women and men alike to rep their passions in the form of a well designed t-shirt graphic, however, it’s time we considered the impact our purchase actually makes - beyond the response we aim to elicit by wearing the tee itself.
To quote a basic definition of feminism, the concept is about “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. By choosing to remain ignorant of where your feminist tee was made, how and by whom, you are choosing to exclude an entire group of women from the rights in which you are seeking for yourself.
Globally, women account for 80% of the garment workforce, with the majority located in the South East Asia region. Cambodia is one of the largest producers of clothing globally, employing over 700,000 workers and accounting for over 70% of the country’s total export revenue. Most of these workers are women, who are subject to harsh and often dangerous working conditions, with long working hours, low pay, minimal job security and unsafe transport to and from factories.
As a clothing producer within this context, it’s our responsibility to provide an alternative for workers, to redefine the norm and break the pervasive cycle. We don’t believe any business should be run the way factories tend to be, and no human being should be exposed to such working conditions.
By choosing to support WOMEN, you will be actively contributing to a shift in awareness, opportunity and education for Cambodian women in the workforce. You will be supporting skills development, mentorship and business opportunities for female workers and business owners, indirectly supporting bigger and brighter futures for their daughters, communities and their country.
Click here to see more about how the sale of each WOMEN piece will directly support Cambodian women.
Be a feminist - get involved.