The convergence of fashion and human rights

Wear Your Values is a program by Human Rights Foundation to engage the fashion industry in the human rights movement and promote transparency in the fashion supply chain. Through campaigns, events, and exhibitions, Wear Your Values uses fashion as a tool to draw attention to human rights issues in closed societies and aims to highlight the power of fashion as a tool for free expression.

Garments, like words, are a powerful means of expressing ourselves. We use them to stand up to tyranny.

 

A traveling exhibition of fashioned banned by tyranny across the world.

Garments, like words, are a powerful means of expressing ourselves. What we wear can reflect our culture, beliefs, political views, and values. Authoritarian leaders around the world have also understood the power of fashion. And just as they abuse the media, the courts, and electoral systems to manipulate public opinion and prolong their rule, authoritarians view fashion as yet another weapon in their arsenal for oppression. Simple items of clothing are banned by regimes that see them as threats, while others are imposed as a form of social control. But on the other hand, fashion is used by the people as a tool for expression, for protection, for nonviolent activism, and to galvanize human rights movements globally. This collection of garments, gathered from different regions of the world, highlights the role that fashion plays—as a powerful tool of both expression and oppression—and invites you to rethink the relationship between fashion, freedom and human rights.