Feminist politics cause action for Swedish fashion industry

Facing the socio-cultural challenges will help the Swedish fashion industry to move forward towards a more sustainable future. As a fast-growing industry, focus must be on all sustainability aspects – environmental, economic and socio cultural. Minister for Foreign Trade, Ann Linde, is backing the industry with a new feminist trade policy discussed today at Stockholm Fashion District.

At Stockholm Fashion District, Minister for Foreign Trade, Ann Linde, participated in a round-table discussion on feminist trade policies and its relevance for the Swedish fashion industry. Ms Linde will meet with representatives of the fashion industry, media, government agencies, organizations and academia. She will highlight the socio-cultural sustainable challenges of the fashion industry by discussing internationalization and exports connected to Sweden’s new feminist trade policy.

The tariffs should be equal in a sustainable perspective. Of course, there should be no difference in buying women or men’s wear. Exports should be equally easy regardless of gender. Therefore, new trade agreements will contribute to create decent work for women too. But the fact is that today, trade policies benefits men more than women,” says Ann Linde.

An ongoing study by the National Board of Trade highlights significant differences in US tariffs on certain womenswear and menswear items; for example, the tariff on silk shirts for women is six times the tariff on silk shirts for men. Furthermore, the effective tariff on sportswear designed for women is 21 per cent; for sportswear designed for men the tariff is 7 per cent. For underwear, the figures are 13 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

Generally speaking, as consumers, exporters and employees, men benefit more than women. It goes without saying that, as a feminist, I will always work to promote economic development that benefits both women and men. That’s why I am stepping up our feminist trade policy efforts,” says Ms Linde.

Stockholm Fashion District salutes having a Minister of Foreign Trade that is so passionate about goal 5 of the UN Global Goals, gender equality, and realize that the fashion industry, an industry that employ 60,000 people of which 73% are women in Sweden, is helped by such a strong standpoint. We are confident that Ms. Linde will succeed in her cause to make trade more equal and we will back her all the way”, says Helena Waker, CEO of Trade Partners Sweden and Stockholm Fashion District.

Related to this, Stockholm Fashion District initiated Encouragement for Action in 2018 to highlight and encourage the Swedish fashion industry to make a movement towards a more sustainable industry, connected to the global agenda goals, whereas gender equality is one of the key sustainability aspects. Yesterday, Encouragement for Action 2019 was awarded to the fashion companies Bite Studios, Re:newcell, ATACAC and Nudie Jeans for their sustainability work. The companies are pioneers and have, thanks to a strong conviction, creativity, courage, new business models, new technology, an innovative power, an interest in developing new ideas and communicating their values, caught the attention of the fashion industry in Sweden and abroad.