As consumers with serious spending authority, gaining breadwinner status and 51 percent control of wealth in 2015, women drive economies that do little to support them in return. Before you make a purchase on March 8 (International Women’s Day) and the rest of the year, think about your how your decision affects women economically. In virtually all industries, women earn at least 20 percent less than men, a structure that imposes limits in many forms, from (the obvious) lower socioeconomic status to the imbalanced workplace dynamics that cued a global chorus of #metoo and #timesup. In rural economies, pay gap and power affect women even more. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress, and you can contribute to the fight for gender parity in how you spend—or don’t. When you open your wallet, know your purchasing clout and choose vendors who support a female economy. To get you started, we found retailers that do work for women as leaders, owners and creators.
Bulletin.co and Its Female-Run Retailers
Choose women-led businesses. Carry the weight of the patriarchy in a canvas bag that talks back, like the “Stop Taxing My Vagina” screen-printed tote by alternative tampon and condom brand Sustain Natural. Women-fronted feminist shop Bulletin stocks this and hundreds of gloriously girl-powered products every femme will want to pin to her lapel, stock in her office or stow in her nightstand’s sexy drawer. The defiant dot-com and feminist flea partners with small, harder-to-find, female-run vendors to sell quotable apparel, accessories (“I Believe in Science,” “No Means No”) and sex toys online as well as in Manhattan and Brooklyn brick-and-mortar locations. The best part (besides store décor that looks like it could be the sparkly pink universe inside a well-insured cervix)? This budding ecomm business donates 10 percent of proceeds to causes like Planned Parenthood. Check their Hot List for product specials and promos, like their International Women’s Day collab with non-profit Dress for Success through March 9: Drop your gently worn workwear at Bulletin’s Williamsburg or Nolita location and shop the Working Girl crewneck: 10 percent of your purchase will go back to Dress for Success and you’ll take home a freebie feminist keychain.
Support working women—and their access to fair wages. Named by its Ugandan work force, this non-profit jeweler translates to “she works” and calls its geometrically pleasing pieces 100 percent socially re-invested because profits go entirely to empowering women and families in poverty. Purchasing Akola stacked bone-and-horn earrings, multi-strand beaded necklaces or raffia tassel bracelets contributes to quadrupling the wages of 450 Ugandan women who source, carve and hand-roll the materials (and earn four times the local minimum wage for the work).
Applaud inclusive brands. Shop a body-posi, woman-owned lingerie brand designed for women with a full cup. Some lacey and all lovely, Claudette’s varied range of bra styles come in cup sizes D, F and G, like this sheer lilac scoop-neck cut, delicately shaped and reinforced with mesh layers for support. The LA-based, UK-manufactured line’s founder Robin Levitt created the line for consumers who want pretty lingerie that actually fits.
Beyond these retailers, don’t forget to check the C-suite. How visible are women on your favorite brands’ executive roster? A quick of search of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list before you swipe your credit card can hint at how well companies represent women in strategic leadership—and affect company culture.
Scouted is here to share practical, entertaining, and sometimes unexpected ideas for products that you might like. Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts, The Daily Beast may collect a share of sales.