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To celebrate this years International Women’s Day we interviewed some of our favourite female founders to get their scoop on what this years theme #ichoosetochallenge means for them and their business.

Read our interview with founder Montana Lower of ethical skin care brand BlueM:

Tell us what this year’s IWD #choosetochallenge means to you and your business?

It means focusing on creating tangible impacts in our own backyard while amplifying and identifying women’s voices with every breath or strike of a finger tip on a keyboard.

Our products raw materials are ethically and sustainably sourced directly from Indigenous communities in WA, and through this we choose to challenge fair trading practices, cultural preservation and support equality & inclusion across BIPOC communities. BIPOC women are by far the most significantly impacted from equality injustices.

What are the greatest challenges women face in the fashion industry?

Having experienced the fashion industry from many angles now (through engineering an ethical washing facility, modelling and now being a business owner) I have found the greatest challenge is being undervalued & underestimated.

Women are asked to prove themselves at every corner, no matter the industry. But instead of treating it as a challenge, I let it motivate me and try as hard as I can to create my own standards.

In your opinion what needs to change to create equality in the fashion industry?

Embracing the femininity that comes with owning the Matriarchy.

How is your business contributing to a fairer future for women?

We’re owned by a woman, 75% of our staff are women – ALL paid in according to skill level and not influenced by gender.. and on a personal note, Bluem empowers me to be at home and raise my little girl hands on under our value system that creates true empowerment. This transcends from my personal values to the values of my brand.

Our little Blue’s first protest was the march for climate change action while I was pregnant and she’s been to two for IWD.. she has sat on my lap while I speak at panels for equality & environmental justice (her first one was at 3 months old), in my pouch while I paint murals and hangs on set with daddy while I run in and out of photoshoots. I love getting to share my world with her and show her and that anything is possible. Blue inspires every decision we make here at Bluem!

What advice would you give young women wanting to get into the fashion industry?

Stay true to yourself. The oldest piece of advice in the book, I know. But it’s true. So many people get caught up in a game of trying to copy/outdo each other.. You don’t have to compete when you’re running your own race.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The fashion industry is no different to any other. Trust your intuition, be yourself, and remember you are enough.

Written by Montana Lower

Instagram address: @bluem_au