What are your thoughts on International Women’s Day?
For some it’s a day to celebrate the women in their lives, send them flowers, a nice card or an appreciative message. For others it’s a day to remember famous women and things they have achieved or a day to take stock of where we are in the fight for women’s equality.
For me, personally, it has always been a call to action. A day to reflect on my own contribution towards furthering women’s representation in public and professional life and a day to think of ways I can do more.
It is with that in mind that I chose IWD last year to release a special edition of silk scarves featuring quotes by amazing women in history. It’s an idea I first had as a student of fashion design and which finally took shape late in 2018.
My original idea was to develop a printed lining with facts and statements about the legal rights of women around the world. I imagined professional women wearing my designs with this lining inside – a reminder to work hard and lift others up with them. Gradually this idea shifted to honouring the voices of women who have gone before and to being inspired by their words of wisdom, wit and will.
Whilst researching textile printers I found one who not only prints fabric but also specialises in making silk scarves. That’s when the idea of developing this special edition first took seed…
A scarf is such a versatile accessory. Whether you choose to wear it round your neck or simply tie it to your handbag, it’s a great way to add colour to an outfit. Even when the dress code is quite formal and restricted, a scarf is a way to show your personality and style.
The Inspiring Women scarves are available in three designs featuring over twenty quotes that inspire, empower, uplift or make you laugh. Here are a few of my favourites:
‘We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.’
‘I do not believe in sex distinction in literature, law, politics or trade – or that modesty and virtue are more becoming to women than men.’
‘Death and taxes and childbirth. There’s never a convenient time for any of them.’
It is my hope that wearing these will make you feel part of a sisterhood of women. Women committed to lifting as they climb, to helping those less fortunate and also towards making the workplace better for the next generation of girls. It is why the design includes a quote by my seven year old daughter: ‘Act like a rose, shine like a star’. Seeing me work on the design inspired her to write her own quote. It serves as a reminder that we are all role models to her generation.
The scarves also help women in a more tangible way – 10% of each sale goes towards the charity Women’s Refuge. Keeping women and children safe from domestic abuse is something I have always felt passionate about and following government funding cuts additional support is needed more than ever.
So whether you’d like to gift one of these scarves to yourself or an amazing woman in your life I hope you’ll enjoy reading the quotes and that the one you needed to hear will jump out at you.
Wishing you an inspired International Women’s Day!
About the author:
Dara Ford is a women’s tailor and designer based in West London. You can find out more here www.daraford.com or follow her on social media @daraforddesigns.