Fashion and Discourse: A Fashion Revolution

The fashion revolution will be live.

Hello everyone! I can not believe it has been a month since my last blog post. There are a lot of exciting things happening in my life right now, including recently graduating with my doctorate degree in Public Health (Health promotion and Behavior)! It is a surreal moment. Also, Fashion Revolution Week was from April 23rd through April 29th, and it aligns with a project I am developing. For this post, I wanted to  reflect on what a Fashion Revolution means for me and my work as a public health professional. It is also a great time for me to introduce myself to my new subscribers and to share an exciting project that I am developing. Read until the end to see how you can  provide some input!

A bit of background information. I am a public health professional and most of my work centers on women’s health, maternal and child health, and nutrition. After a few medical mission trips to Haiti to provide medical care in the Central Plateau, I realized that while we were bringing necessary services to communities who have limited access to health care providers, without the infrastructure (health and economics), the work we were doing may not lead to meaningful progress or long term improvements within the lives of people we served.

Haiti Trip in 2011

That’s why organizations like Partners in Health are critical. They support communities, not only through charity services, but in building the infrastructure through which they can make long term impact. Income along with other social determinants are related to health.  Unfortunately, income inequality continues to grow worldwide with a smaller portion of the world’s population holding the majority of wealth, thus preventing the acceleration of human development among a large portion of the population. I understand the value of charity, but I also believe that more than charity, we need to dismantle oppressive systems and recreate sustainable systems that allow for economic resilience among our most vulnerable populations. This process further requires participatory and culturally relevant approaches with stakeholders providing input at each stage of the process.

More than charity, we need to dismantle oppressive systems and recreate sustainable systems that allow for economic resilience among our most vulnerable populations.

Back to fashion.  I longed to create intersections between what at first seemed like disparate passions, in public health and fashion, especially in a way that connects my love for working on issues related to women’s health and empowerment. I delved into this topic in a previous post, Shopping with Change, but seeing how companies are using fashion to create meaningful impact on the livelihoods of women around the world to me is the best of both worlds.

We know that lack of income, lack of access to resources, and poverty are issues that lead to cascading and generational challenges. Furthermore, income inequality can reinforce inequalities experienced in health, education, and work.  One of the tenets for the Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution is that “Fashion lifts people out of poverty, creates thriving societies and fulfills aspiration.”  When we invest in the social and economic development of women, like artisan women and other workers in the fashion industry who make our clothes, women are able to invest in the health and education of  themselves and their families.

One of the tenets for the Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution is that “Fashion lifts people out of poverty, creates thriving societies and fulfills aspiration.”

I am developing a project to improve the livelihood of artisan women and would greatly appreciate your feedback! You can access my brief survey HERE.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post! Thank you for reading! Share you thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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Public Health Scientist meets Personal Style & Fashion Blogger

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