New UNFPA campaign promotes inclusion in fashion industry

The rights and necessities of women and men with disabilities will be promoted this autumn as part of a campaign launched by UNFPA to promote inclusion in the fashion industry. The campaign “Combating Stigma with Style” aims to sensitize the fashion industry and the general public to the special needs of persons with disabilities in terms of clothing, accessories and footwear and to also fight discrimination and offer equal chances and opportunities, engaging persons with disabilities as models, IPN reports, quoting a press release of UNFPA.

UNFPA Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova Nigina Abaszada said the persons with disabilities, especially women and girls, still face discrimination on the part of society, in all the spheres of life. “We must combine forces to change these harmful perceptions and to ensure all the persons with disabilities are included in the public sphere. The fashion industry offers multiple opportunities in this regard as it can set inclusion standards and offers everyone equal chances and opportunities for asserting themselves. We are doing the inclusion revolution. Let’s be courageous and bring about these transformations in society,” stated Nigina Abaszada.

The project is launched in partnership with ZipHouse, the Light Industry Employers Association (APIUS) and “Motivație” Association, which promotes the rights of persons with disabilities.

According to statistics, about 7% of the country’s people have a disability and such elementary things as clothes, underwear and footwear are not adjusted to their needs. Most of the producers ignore these aspects. “These are small, but very important details for us, which would make us feel well, safe and equal, such as natural fabric, correctly places imprints, simpler sand correctly arranged seams,” explained Ludmila Iachim, “Motivație” executive director.

At the first stage of the project, there will be identified local producers that will be instructed about the specific needs of persons with disabilities. These will make and sell adjusted articles of clothing.

“The mission of ZipHouse is to discover and adjust such opportunities for all the enthusiasts of the fashion industry. That’s why we fully support this initiative of inclusion and are ready to develop it together with our colleagues from the light industry,” said Carolina Tulgara, ZipHouse director.

Together with the training and sensitization of brands, the project “Combating Stigma with Style” will include such events as fashion shows involving women with locomotor disabilities during the Moldova Fashion Days on September 25, a Fashion Hackathon on the inclusion subject and a Fashion Show of clothing items adjusted for the persons with disabilities.

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