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“Fighting Stigma with Style”: New campaign promotes inclusion in the fashion industry

The rights and needs of persons with disabilities, specifically women and girls, will be promoted this autumn as part of a campaign launched by UNFPA to promote inclusion in the fashion industry. The campaign “Fighting 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.

‘In the Republic of Moldova, people with disabilities, specifically women and girls, still face discrimination in the society, in all spheres of life. We have to team up to change harmful perceptions and ensure that people with disabilities are fully included in the public space. The fashion industry offers multiple opportunities in that regard, to set up inclusion standards, and ensure equal rights and choices for everyone. The revolution is inclusion. Let’s be brave enough and bring these revolutionary changes in the society”, said Nigina Abaszada, UNFPA Resident Representative in Moldova.

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 national statistics, about 7% of the country’s population have a disability and such elementary things as clothes, underwear and footwear are not adjusted to their needs. Most of the producers are not aware of these issues and tend to 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 awareness of brands, the project “Fighting Stigma with Style” will include such events as fashion shows involving women with locomotor disabilities during the Moldova Fashion Days on September 25th, a Fashion Hackathon on the inclusion subject and a Fashion Show of clothing items adjusted for the persons with disabilities.