For International Women’s Day 2023, #embraceequity is here to ignite conversations around the difference between equality and equity, and how equal opportunities are no longer enough to address the complex issues within society. Inclusivity requires a deep understanding of diversity amongst individuals and communities, including their lived experiences, perspectives, and unique challenges that they may face. The campaign introduces a new lens behind the definition that equality in its simple form is to treat everyone the same, regardless of their differences. Embracing equity recognises that people have different needs and experiences, and therefore require different levels of support to achieve the same outcomes. With a better understanding of the difference between both, it helps shift conversations around inclusivity where the individual as a whole is recognised.
In light of the campaign, we take a look into the stories behind female-founded brands that have partnered with The DOM. Through each of their individual journeys, we embrace beautiful stories behind how our brands have been established to be inclusive of not only body shapes but the beauty of different cultures and lifestyles.
With each brand encompassing its own journey, we spotlight a group of successful female founders and their work to bring change into the world of fashion.
9 months pregnant in 2000, Lee Mathews established her business with clothing made of natural textiles that were not fashionably recognised. Attracting a unique collective of women particularly involved in the arts and creative fields, women found a brand to express themselves through fashion that stood outside the box at that point in time.
“In the early 2000s, I was very unfashionable. Which didn’t bother me. I just stuck to what I wanted to produce. We did not fit in with what was going on. No one was wearing linen or cotton. We attract customers who are looking for an alternate point of view.
However, there has been a shift, and we now have many customers from the corporate sector. There has been such a change in the way women present themselves in the workplace, and I think that’s really great. This woman doesn’t want a corporate uniform, but something beautiful, and that allows her to be a bit more expressive.”
With a beautiful change in the way, women expressed themselves in the workplace, Lee Mathews sought to break barriers to traditional corporate uniforms and provide a design for women to embrace individuality and creativity.Shop the latest from Lee Mathews
Merging her African culture with her Australian bohemian-beach lifestyle, Kerryn Langer, founder of Arms of Eve, paths the way to celebrate the inherent power of all women. Arms Of Eve came from deep within Kerryn's history and heritage, where from a young age she was influenced by the two important women in her life—her mother and grandmother.
“Her adornments are a celebration of truth that crosses culture, defies trends and spans seasons. We are an Australian-based label that has come to fruition through the numerous travel journals of our designer and creative director, Kerryn Langer. Our pieces are designed to honour traditional women's artisanal handwork and weaving techniques to embrace the modern woman, empowering her to feel confident and radiate femininity.”
Utilising the beautiful beads, gems and colours from traditional African jewellery, Arms of Eve has beautifully harmonised modern design into jewellery.
Shop the latest from Arms Of Eve
THE UPSIDE is a beautiful story to showcase the power behind how brands can elevate lifestyles, informed by fashion. Jodhi Meares, founder to both THE UPSIDE and Tigerlily (sold to Billabong in 2009), brought to life a colourful alternative to feed the nascent cult of athleisure. “My vision for THE UPSIDE came to me when I was spending time between NYC, Hawaii and Sydney. While deepening my yoga practice I was witnessing the powerful infancy of the athleisure movement, that was taking over studios in a global sweep. This Lycra flavoured evolution would put any 60’s era cult to shame and I was beyond hypnotised. Women of every age were under the spell of these magical pieces.”
Bringing colours, prints and crop shapes into the original offering of black staple activewear, THE UPSIDE speaks to a contemporary, fashion forward woman. “To be well and feel gorgeous in your pursuit to a joyful and healthy life – this is THE UPSIDE's greatest wish for our customers.”
Shop the latest from THE UPSIDE
Co-founders Julia Ritorto and Kathryn Forth launched Significant Other in 2015, bringing a fresh perspective to French and Scandinavian designs into Australia. Significant Other was brought to life to reimagine the use of fabrics and colours to create luxurious loungewear for the ‘modern woman’ to embrace relaxation in style. Changing the way women went from ‘beach to bars’, the brand empowers women to dress without conforming to adherent styles behind ‘ a night out’.
Their collection enables women to dress comfortably without compromise, facilitating the change within the fashion world that talks to effortless design. With a focus on classic silhouettes, clean lines, and natural fabrics. Through their versatile approach to design, they incorporate trends in a subtle and timeless way, making their collections relevant for years to come.
Shop the latest from Significant Other
Something for the new generation
These amazing founders have not only achieved great success in their respective industries but have also paved the way for other women to bring a modern touch to the culture of our communities. They serve as role models and inspiration for aspiring female entrepreneurs and demonstrate that with individuality, creativity and inspiration, women can bring to life the beautiful stories of heritage and their influence, opening up conversations for a more inclusive society. In their collective power to effect change, when women come together to support and empower each other, they have the power to transform society and create a more just and equitable world. So let us all embrace the divine feminine push for an open-minded world.