Last week, millions of people across the globe came together to celebrate women and their achievements as a part of International Women’s Day. Here at Fashion ComPassion, we were inspired to think of the innovative and influential women who have played a part in the history of fashion, bringing positive change to the catwalks, and to wardrobes worldwide; here's our Top 10 Female Fashion Heavyweights.
1. Livia Firth
Livia Firth - Creative director of Eco Age and co founder of the Green Carpet Challenge. (Image via My Green Style)
Livia Firth is the creative director of Eco Age, an online magazine and boutique which combines glamour with ethics. Since teaming up with eco journalist Lucy Siegle to launch the Green Carpet Challenge in 2009, Livia has been championing sustainable style and innovation at some of the world’s biggest red carpet events. Firth claims that fashion has an important role in promoting social justice, environmental integrity and brilliant ethical design with a conscious. As a bonus, she gets to be married to Mr Darcy...
2. Lucy Siegle
Lucy Siegle - Journalist and broadcaster specialising in environmental and social justice. (Image via Daisy Green Magazine)
Lucy Siegle is an journalist and broadcaster specialising in environmental and social justice. As well as writing her weekly ethical living column in the Observer, Lucy is a regular contributor to ‘Grazia’, the ‘Guardian’, the ‘New Statesman’, ‘Elle’ and ‘New Consumer’ magazine. Her recent book, ‘To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?’, offers readers an unflinching look at the darker side to the fashion industry and its environmental and social impact on the planet. A must read!
3. Orsola De Castro
Orsola de Castro - Founder of ethical fashion label From Somewhere and Estethica. (Image via the Guardian)
Orsola De Castro is an internationally recognised innovator and opinion leader in sustainable fashion. Her revolutionary label, From Somewhere, was the first fashion brand to address the issue of reproducibility in recycling and pre-consumer waste for the fashion industry. In 2006, Orsola, along with her partner Filippo Ricci, founded Estethica - the sustainable fashion exhibition at London Fashion Week. Estethica has gone onto become one of the industry’s leading showcases of eco sustainable design.
4. Bibi Russell
Bibi Russell - Bangladeshi fashion designer and former international model. (Image via Images of Asia)
Bibi Russell is a former international model and Bangladeshi fashion designer. In 1994, Bibi opened her own fashion company, Bibi Productions, in Bangladesh with the desire of infusing indigenous Bengali cultural elements into her designs. Her aim was to demonstrate the immense skills and expertise of local artisans, to preserve the heritage and foster creativity, to provide employment opportunities and to contribute towards the eradication of poverty.
5. Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney - award winning British fashion designer and supporter of PETA. (Image via Financial Times)
Stella McCartney barely needs an introduction; an award winning British fashion designer, she is best known for her signature style of razor sharp tailoring, natural confidence and sexy femininity. As a lifelong vegetarian and supporter of PETA, Stella does not use any leather or fur in her garments or accessories. In 2006, she launched her vegan-friendly line of accessories that fuse natural and man made materials with high quality construction.
6. Vivienne Westwood
Vivienne Westwood - Iconic British fashion designer and political activist. (Image via MyZeroWaste.com)
Vivienne Westwood is one of the most iconic British fashion designers of the last 30 years. Her influential designs and merchandise have often been linked or inspired by her many political causes such as CND, climate change and the civil rights group Liberty. A definite fashion matriarch!
7. Safia Minney
Safia Minney - Founder of Fair Trade and environmental fashion label People Tree. (Image via People Tree)
Safia Minney is founder of Fair Trade and environmental fashion and lifestyle label People Tree. Safia’s lifelong interests in social justice, trade and environmental issues lie at the very heart of her Fair Trade business and, as a result, she is regarded as one of the world’s foremost commentators of Fair Trade in the fashion industry. Her label, People Tree, aims to improve the lives and environment of the artisans and farmers in developing countries who work to make the products whilst providing their customers with desirable high quality fashion.
8. Ali Hewson
Ali Hewson - co-founder of Edun. (Image via Victoria Mary Clarke Wordpress)
Ali Hewson is the co-founder of Edun, a global fashion brand created to encourage trade in Africa. Ali’s label aims to bring about positive change in Africa through a fair trade-based relationship rather than by direct aid, helping to build long term, sustainable opportunities by supporting manufacturers, infrastructure and community building initiatives.
9. Sass Brown
Sass Brown is a full-time professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York who specialises in ethical design practices in fashion businesses. Sass has created collections for a number of manufacturers, from urban clothing to her own signature collection of women's designer sportswear. She has also worked with women's cooperatives in Latin America, most notably COOPA-ROCA in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and taught workshops to manufacturers and fashion enterprises in Peru. Sass's book, Eco Design, showcases some of the best expressions of eco fashion around the globe.
10. Summer Rayne Oakes
Summer Rayne Oakes - Co-founder of Source4Style and managing Editor of Above Live. (Image via summerrayne.net)
Summer Rayne Oakes is a model-activist and TV media host. She is one of the co-founder of Source4Style, a B2B online marketplace for sustainable materials; and the Managing Editor and EVP of Sustainability of Above Live, a digital platform highlighting global influencers and their environmental passions. Her 2012 environmental short film, eXtinction, highlighted some of the greatest environmental challenges happening in the world right now and recieved critical acclaim from critics.