The Boss Babe, the activism and the fast fashion empire

If you spent any time on social media (and even a minute of scrolling on Instagram would count) on the 8 March, 2022. You’ll have seen that it was international women’s day and the slew of pages, brands and influencers supporting the fairer sex.

From the likes of Glamour to Boux Avenue, it seemed everyone and their mother were posting about the female empowerment day. This has grown in popularity over the past years and has since opened up conversations about feminism, equality and the light of women in all walks of life.

Image credit: Signs at a London March. Alamy

But some were criticised for their celebration of the day. Brands like PrettyLittleThing called out for their posts about supporting women and a campaign called ‘#mydressdoesntmeanyes’. Shoppers called out the tonne-deafness of underpaying female garment workers while preaching quality and often mocking the ‘boss babe’ lifestyle.

Comments on the brand’s Instagram post read: “What and an absolute joke. You abuse women for profit” and “nothing about PLT (PrettyLittleThing) is feminist.”

Image credit: Alamy images

Other brands have also been criticised for using International Women’s Day as a marketing opportunity, offering coupons, discounts and free products in the name of the movement, which began in 1911 as part of the fight for votes and freedom for the female gender.


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A post shared by Cheer Up Luv (@cheerupluv)

Charity and online community, Cheer Up Luv took to Instagram to debase the holiday and the response of fast fashion brands, calling the day and its manifestations in a capitalist economy “dystopian”.

It raises questions over the real meaning of IWD and the wider feminist movement, calling into consideration the way our economy monetises and thus trivialises such important issues.


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A post shared by boohoo (@boohoo)

Brands supporting the movement through such explicit marketing ploys screams performative activism and strip all meaning from the day, which is intended to highlight the injustice women still face and celebrate the genders achievements.

Share your thoughts on the response of brands to IWD at @Fashion_North.


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