Brands Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021
From initiatives tapping the female sneakerhead boom to women-led e-commerce aimed at redressing the disproportionate harm to female-led businesses caused by Covid-19, brands across fashion, sport, alcohol and even social media networks are celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8). We examine the most impactful rallying around this year’s #ChooseToChallenge theme.
eBay Celebrates Female Sneakerheads: eBay is helping women enter the traditionally male-dominated sneakerhead space with its month-long ‘Sneakerhead’ campaign. A collaboration with Esther Wallace of American Black-owned sport and streetwear brand, Playa Society, will include limited-edition merchandise, a rotating curation of hard-to-find sneakers and social media content featuring female sneaker influencers.
The initiative dovetails with eBay’s findings that its women’s sneaker category has seen an 80% increase in the past year, and sales of men’s sneakers bought by female shoppers doubling.
Pinterest’s Female-Owned Business Showcase: Pinterest has launched a Pinterest Shop collection that exclusively features female-founded small businesses, such as Estelle Coloured Glass (American) alongside hundreds of products made and designed by women. It aims to help rectify the disproportionate hit that female-owned businesses took from Covid-19; in 2020 the IMF revealed women’s economic progress has been impeded by the pandemic with unemployment among American women two percentage points higher than men from April-June 2020.
Pinterest has also established an IWD fund for women’s charities and will match its own employees’ donations throughout March.
Mango Spotlights Female Artists: Spanish fashion brand Mango has released a capsule collection celebrating IWD with Mexican artist and illustrator Ana Leovy, renowned for colourful depictions of sisterhood and nature. The collaboration is shown via an extensive editorial featuring a Q&A with Leovy and profiles of female painters throughout history – Suzanne Valadon (French), Tamara de Lempicka (Polish), Emily Kame Kngwarreye (Australian Aboriginal), Amrita Sher-Gil (Hungarian Indian) and Japanese sculptor and installation artist Yayoi Kusama.
Profits from the tie-in will go to Mango’s charity partner of over 15 years, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, an NGO which promotes women’s development in rural Indian communities.
Smirnoff Supports Black Female Entrepreneurs: Diageo-owned vodka brand Smirnoff has partnered with Black woman-owned Washington D.C-based fitness studio SideBarre on a series of free workouts, educational classes and Q&A sessions in support of Black female entrepreneurs. Celebrities featured include actor Laverne Cox and soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
Despite the tenuous link between vodka and workouts, Smirnoff’s riff on the bar/barre connection is backed by a $50,000 donation to Black female entrepreneurship organisation Black Girl Ventures.
& Other Stories Honours Grandmothers: Following its 2020 campaign (see The Brief), Swedish fashion brand & Other Stories is encouraging its Instagram followers to respect their heritage by posting their grandmother’s story using the hashtag #MyGrandmaMyIcon. It will donate €1/$1 to female-focused poverty-fighting organisation Care for every post during March.
Asic Launches Women's Sound Mind, Sound Body Sunrise Tutorials Programme: Japanese sports brand Asics has used the day to launch a series of female-led tutorials conceived to marry mental and physical fitness.
The women include Swedish professional middle-distance runner Sarah Lahti who provides guidance on moving to relieve self-inflicted pressure, German hormone coach and personal trainer Rabea Kieß who focuses on movement according to our monthly cycles, and England netball international (and new mother) Eboni Osoro Brown who is also delivering cues for "moving your body to release your mental load".