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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 Natalija of eco fashion brand Natalija The Label:

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

Becoming a mother has made me aware that my present actions will affect my daughter, her generation, and all those to follow. So for me, I #choosetochallenge the status quo and learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Silencing the noise of negative self-talk and self-doubt. Learning to celebrate life and my purpose. Helping women everywhere develop a positive relationship with the way they look and dress, to improve their self-esteem is my priority.

It’s about providing them with quality, better-fitting wardrobe essentials they can customise, and make distinctively theirs. I want to build a brand with sincerity, producing ethical fashion whilst making a positive impact on women and our community.

From a business perspective, we see a responsible future for fashion and we #choosetochallenge by disrupting the fashion industry and contributing to the world in a more positive way. We advocate a slower, more mindful model of consumerism by adopting a made-to-order practice in which garments are only produced when they are required, one at a time, rather than in large quantities.

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

The fashion industry has a reputation for being competitive, even catty. This stereotype of catty behaviour is usually attributed (not always) to women. Speaking from my own experience, I do feel that one of the challenges women face in the fashion industry is other women.

It’s not uncommon for women to make judgement or have a certain perception of others, after all it is part of what makes us human. Coming across people like this can have a profound impact on your well-being. What’s important for women to realise, is that you need to become more aware of those negative emotions and not let them command our relationships with female co-workers and friends.

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

Every woman deserves to feel empowered. If last year taught us anything, it is that now is the time for us all to unite and make significant changes for a better future of fashion, to create equality and ensure all women feel included. It is the idea that when you help another woman rise, we all shine. It’s the power of community.

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

As we are a brand with a female founder and a mostly female team, we see an importance to listen to, support and uplift the women that dwell in and out of our community.

We actively seek to work and partner with women-led businesses and philanthropic causes that contribute to a fairer future for women. For instance, we work with i=Change and donate $1 from every purchase to Australian charities supporting women that help them make powerful life changes to take back their confidence.

Our goal as we grow and evolve as a brand is to invest in women-led initiatives centred around female empowerment, leadership, creativity and purpose.

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

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Things take time. Every day is a new day. Learn from the past but keep moving forward. See rejection as redirection. Stay positive and optimistic. Be proactive. Be thoughtful. Challenge, question and ask why. Embrace change. Listen to, respect, and support others. But most importantly, one must always be gentle and kind to oneself.

Written by Natalija Bouropoulos

Instagram address: @natalijaofficial_