How the #TimesUp Campaign Is Proving the Power of Fashion

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By now, you’re probably aware of the outfit blackout that happened at the Golden Globe awards earlier this month. In an inspiring act of solidarity, actresses at the awards show wore black gowns to show unity in standing up against sexual harassment, which has recently been brought to light not only in the fashion industry, but on a global scale. After the #MeToo campaign, an increasing amount of women came forward to share their stories and reclaim their power against harassment in the workplace.

The aim of the black dresses to draw attention to the initiative was undeniably successful, as #TimesUp became a movement almost immediately. As reported by The New York Times, the #TimesUp movement includes a $13 million defense fund for less privileged women, as well as legislation aimed at penalising workplace harassment. While the outfit blackout at the Golden Globes succeeded in informing the public about the campaign, and the power of a common cause, the efforts have not stopped after the awards show.

Following the event, many of the suits and gowns worn by celebrities have been placed on eBay for auction. Partnering with Condé Nast for the occasion, eBay has made a statement that all of the proceeds from the sales will go to the #TimesUp legal defense fund, “which helps individuals who face workplace harassment connect with legal representation and public relations assistance.” In addition to being able to bid on items, customers can also donate as little as $25 to be entered in a raffle to win a number of the history-making gowns.

Already having made a powerful statement of unity in standing up against these issues, the dresses are continuing to have an impact. Not only was the blackout a great symbol of solidarity, but now it is also generating funds with which to represent women in legal cases against harassment. It will be interesting to see the impact that the #TimesUp campaign will have as it grows and evolves.

While fashion is fun to follow and appreciate for aesthetic reasons, it does have the potential to be a much more powerful tool. As the gowns have shown, fashion can be a catalyst in solving problems, not only through representation but also in very tangible ways, such as this auction.

It is inspiring to see such an influential group gather around one cause, especially with such nuanced awareness of their privileged position. While these women are lucky enough to have the finances and platform to voice their mistreatment, many women don't, and that is where the auction comes into play. By using their prestige and transforming it into actual, monetary aid for those less fortunate, the women behind #TimesUp are showing that every woman—no matter their profession or status—deserves a chance to stand up for herself.  

Keep scrolling to see some of our favourite dresses up for auction and how much they're currently going for eBay.