These 15 Female-Founded Brands Want You To Vote—Here’s Why


This year has brought many new trends into our lives, from facemasks to at-home workouts, but there’s one that seems to outshine all the others, and that’s voting. Despite a long history of voting in the United States, this November’s election has brought a newfound sense of importance to exercising our civic duty as Americans and making our voices heard at the ballots. Indeed, it’s become cool to vote and even cooler to encourage others to do the same, so it seems only fitting that brands from coast to coast would hop on the bandwagon and help shine a light on voting with their designs. For many female-founded brands, though, the impending election is much more than a chance to sell some t-shirts or jewelry. Rather, they feel it’s a crucial time to fight for the protection of their rights as women, and they see this election as an opportunity to promote the same attitude in others. Now, with November 3 just days away, these 15 female designers are sharing why they believe voting in this election is so important and why they hope you will agree.

Rebecca Minkoff

“Voting has been important to the brand, and to me, since the beginning,” says Rebecca Minkoff, the company’s founder and namesake. “We have the power to change the decision makers of our country and what our country stands for. We should use it.” The designer has been a champion of the cause for many years and has previously collaborated with actress America Ferrera and hosted fundraisers to help politicians like Catalina Cruz get elected to New York State Assembly. Ahead of this year’s presidential election, Rebecca Minkoff has released a limited-edition Vote Tee to encourage people to make a plan to vote, and for every shirt sold, the brand is making a donation to Vote Run Lead, a non-profit organization that empowers and trains women to run for office. “I am all for voting and encourage people to get out to the polls, but I also want more women in office,” Minkoff says of the partnership. “I can only hope that with more women in office and the balance of power being more equal; decisions that affect 51 percent of the population will be fair and with women’s best interests in mind.”

Lingua Franca

Uber-popular embroidery brand Lingua Franca has never been shy about its political leanings or its activism, especially under President Trump’s reign during the last four years. “From day one, with our ‘I miss barack’ sweaters, we’ve been disgusted with the mockery he’s made of our highest office,” says founder Rachelle Hruska. And with the election now just days away, Lingua Franca has been more vocal than ever. “I truly believe that we are living in a time when the very essence of what it means to be ‘an American’ is at stake,” Hruska explains. “We are more divided than ever before, and I fear what another four years of #45 in office and Republicans in the Senate will mean for our democracy and our civil liberties.” It was with that fear in mind that the brand created several election-driven collections, including ‘Biden 2020’ and ‘USPS Forever,’ but the one Hruska feels carries universal import is the ‘Vote’ collection. “It only made sense for us to celebrate and highlight our desire to inspire our fellow citizens to use their voice in this incredibly important election,” the founder says. With cashmere ‘Vote’ sweaters in every hue and several button-down shirt options for those who aren’t yet in sweater weather, there’s a way for everyone to share Lingua Franca’s passion for voting and help get the word out. 10 Percent of the proceeds from the ‘Vote’ collection will be donated to Higher Heights Leadership Fund, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping Black women leaders get elected to office. “We know how important it is to be an ally to black women, and having them in political offices is crucial to impacting real changes in policy,” Hruska notes of the partnership. “A democracy can and should look like its people!”

Modern Picnic

Known as a chic alternative to the classic lunchbox, Modern Picnic’s handbags are adored by modern women everywhere for their blend of style, function, and sustainability. Now, with Election Day right around the corner, the brand is adding yet another job title to its lunchbox-cum-purses: voting activist. With its limited-edition “Voter” bags, available as a Luncher or a Mini, Modern Picnic is proving that the best way to encourage others to vote is by taking pride in your own active voter status. “Collective change stems from individual actions, and we must vote for the country that we want and believe in,” says founder Ali Kaminetsky. “Our limited-edition Voter collection helps amplify this extremely important message, and I hope it helps to inspire this generation of voters.” For every one of the hand-painted, custom bags sold, Modern Picnic will make a donation to I Am A Voter to further encourage voter participation in this year’s election. “Whatever it is you stand for, it is your responsibility to show up and advocate for it,” Kaminetsky adds, “—this election more so than any other.”

Brother Vellies

Aurora James, founder of Brooklyn-based Brother Vellies, has always been vocal when it comes to politics, but the many issues brought to light over the last six months have led the designer to be more outspoken than ever. As the brains behind the 15 Percent Pledge, which she created in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, James knew this election carried particular importance and was committed to doing anything she could to support participation in it. In support of When We All Vote, Brother Vellies partnered with Keds to release a canvassing sneaker that features a special handwritten message from James herself, as well as a limited-edition ‘Vote’ crew sock to encourage everyone to use their voice. “This isn’t just a product offering,” says James. “It’s a blend of our hope, passion, and belief in a world that can look a light brighter than it is today.” Notably, the brand didn’t stop at voter awareness and has gone as far as to create merchandise in support of the Biden-Harris campaign, including special designs available on the campaign website. “I stand by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and I believe they will restore the soul of our nation,” James explains. “Anything that I can do to support this ticket and inspire excitement amongst people to get out there and vote, I am here for it.”

Dannijo

Jewelry brand Dannijo has always been a go-to destination for playful necklaces, colorful earrings, and bold cuffs, but more than that, it’s been a place for pure, uncomplicated sisterhood. Founded by sister Danielle and Jodie Snyder, the company seeks to build a bond with all of its customers by giving them permission to wear their hearts on their sleeves—or in the case of Dannijo’s Vote Friendship Bracelet, their wrists. The bracelet, a collaboration with Doloris Petunia, serves as a reminder to exercise your right to vote, and a portion of the proceeds are being donated to When We All Vote to get everyone voting. “As a mother to be, this election matters more to me than any before,” notes Danielle Snyder. “I want my future daughter to be raised in a world that celebrates equal opportunity and has leadership that embodies compassion and humanity first and foremost.” A focus on the future is also what fuels Jodie Snyder Morel, already a mother of two, who thinks voting is more important than ever. “As a mother, I’m voting for my kids’ futures and the important issues that will impact their lives for years to come,” she says. “We need to vote for the change we want to see in the world.”

La Ligne

Since La Ligne, the effortlessly cool brand founded by friends and fashion-industry powerhouses Molly Howard, Valerie Macaulay, and Meredith Melling, launched in 2016, just ahead of the last presidential election, speaking out about timely issues has been an integral part of its DNA. Over the last four years, the brand has shone a light on Black Lives Matter, Covid-19 relief, and myriad other causes and has raised money for them all; but when it came to the 2020 election, La Ligne knew it had to use its platform to the fullest. In addition to two other voting-centric capsule collections, the brand partnered with long-time friend and artist-poet-author-activist Cleo Wade to bring limited-edition ‘Vote’ t-shirts and facemasks. “It came out of basically a shared admiration for what the other one does and a shared understanding of how important everything that’s happening at the moment is,” Howard says of the collaboration. “We both knew that we all need to do whatever we possibly can do with whatever size platform we have to encourage people to vote and be vocal about the fact that this is something we all need to care about.” The t-shirts and masks feature drawings by Wade herself, and 100 percent of their proceeds are being donated to Fair Fight, an organization dedicated to protecting voting rights and fighting voter suppression. “I just felt like, we sit here with a platform and an ability to create a product, so why would we not use that?” explains Howard. In addition to the collection, La Ligne has added a voter registration page to its site to remind visitors to register or check their registration, and the brand is committed to creating content around the importance of voting. “We’re three entrepreneurs and three women who do not ascribe to stereotypical standards of how women should be,” Howard notes. “We are really passionate about women’s empowerment and women’s rights, including women’s right to choose and many other issues that are at stake right now, and that definitely drives us. It’s part of what we find so vital and important right now.”

Starface

Self-expression has always been at the core of Starface, a skincare line that seeks to normalize acne with its signature hydro-star pimple patches, and co-founder Julie Schott knew that the brand’s launch last fall would inevitably touch on this year’s election. “We knew we wanted to have this conversation with our audience because so many of them are young and first-time voters,” she says. “And I can’t imagine a world in which we don’t engage with this because to not engage with this is the ultimate sign of privilege.” To highlight the importance of voting in the upcoming election, Starface created Vote Stars, a limited-edition version of its hydro-star patches in collaboration with the Alliance for Youth Action, a network of organizations building the progressive political power of young people across America. “The way that people wear Vote Stars is the same way that people have always worn the ‘I Voted’ stickers after voting,” Schott says. “But it’s as much about the decisions we make after the election as it is before. We have to continue doing the work.”

Read Receipts

For one-woman show Read Receipts, politics has always been something to face head-on and was, in fact, a part of its very start. “In 2016, I put Obama’s words ‘Don’t boo, vote’ on my first T-shirt to remind myself that complaining is a waste of energy—it’s casting a vote that will make a difference,” says Chantal Strasburger, the brand’s founder and so-called Chief Embroidering Officer. “I had no doubt in my mind that Trump’s vile campaign would die after he was caught on tape saying, ‘You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.’ But instead, I watched the United States (including 47% of white women!) elect an unabashedly racist and sexist demagogue, who has since worked tirelessly to strip away the rights of women, immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ communities.” For the last four years, Strasburger has created clothing and accessories that capitalize on the issues of our time, and when it came to the 2020 election, she knew it was her time to shine. “Embroidering voting merch is my way of channeling my anger, disgust, and frustration into helping others express their desire for change,” she explains. “But it also allows me to donate to vital political organizations and campaigns that echo each shirt’s design.” With her wide-ranging designs, Read Receipts is helping its customers voice their collective frustration whilst also pushing for reform and funding organizations that do the same. The ‘V is for Vote’ t-shirt, for example, reminds people to “vote like the right to make decisions about your own body depends on it” with its leggy illustration, and a portion of its proceeds are donated to She Should Run, a non-profit working to dramatically increase the number of women considering a run for public office. Other designs highlight the importance of voting by mail, quote Biden’s applauded debate line “Will you just shut up, man?,” and even feature the now-infamous fly that stole Pence’s thunder during the VP debate, and they benefit organizations like Emily’s List and Swing Left, as well as the Biden-Harris campaign. “My hope for this election is that our country has grasped the importance of voter turnout and will finally show up to the polls,” Strasburger says. “I know we are better than this.”

Studs

Earring-forward brand Studs may be primarily focused on decorating your lobes with the latest and greatest styles, but it’s also all about embracing your identity and sharing it with the world. It’s with that brand mission in mind that Studs created its Vote collection, which features three voter-centric designs to help encourage everyone to exercise their civic duty this election. “Studs stands for bold self-expression, and we want to encourage our audience to stand up for what they believe in and make their voice heard,” says co-founder and CMO Lisa Bubbers. “This year there is no better way to do this than voting.” Studs knows that the majority of its customers are Gen Z and millennials, which means they are among the 47 million people between 18 and 29 years old who are eligible to vote during this election. “During the midterm elections in 2018, even with the largest youth turnout for a midterm election in decades, two-thirds of young people still did not vote,” co-founder and CEO Anna Harman notes. “So, We felt we had an opportunity to convince our audience that their voice and participation matters.” The Vote Studs are part of a collaboration with When We All Vote, and 20 percent of the purchase price of every item sold will go to the organization. “Their goal is to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap, especially with young people,” says Bubbers. “We know our donation dollars help them get the word out that voting this election is crucial.”

JIGGY

It’s been a big year for puzzles, with seemingly more people taking advantage of the entertainment they provided during quarantine than ever before, and millennial-friendly puzzle company JIGGY has decided to use its popularity for good. Ahead of the 2020 election, the brand teamed up with three diverse female artists from around the country to create art that speaks to the importance of this moment and what voting means to them. The result was three unique, special-edition puzzles that highlight the importance of voting and support voter registration and turnout this November. 50 percent of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to I Am A Voter, while 25 percent will go to the artist herself in order to support independent, female creators. “We’re so excited to partner with I Am A Voter, an organization founded by Sophia Bush and Mandana Dayani that is leading a movement, unifying around a central truth that our democracy works best when we all participate,” says JIGGY’s founder Kaylin Marcotte. With the release of these puzzles, she hopes the takeaway is: “Use your voice, use your vote, and then relax and manage stress with a puzzle!”

Studio 189

Politics has long played a role in the life of Studio 189, which has always used fashion as a social agent, but it’s also played a large role in the lives of its co-founders Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson. With the November election imminent, Erwiah founded Fashion Our Future 2020, a campaign made up of various fashion designers and the larger fashion community that seeks to engage underrepresented communities in the political process and facilitate voter registration, education, and turnout. “Fashion can do more than sell clothes,” she says. “It creates cultural moments that inspire movements, so let’s make celebrating our right to vote the biggest movement of 2020.” The campaign features limited-edition designs from a number of participating brands, and Erwiah’s own Studio 189 is among them. With several colorful facemasks that encourage people to vote while protecting them from the spread of Covid-19, the brand hopes that highlighting the importance of voting this year will help make a difference and indeed make history. “As we approach the most critical election of our lifetimes—when the core principles of Democracy are at stake—Gen Z, Millennials, people of color, latinx, immigrants, and women will make up the vast majority of eligible voters in 2020,” adds Studio 189 co-founder Dawson. “Their voices matter more than ever, and the weight of their collective impact starts with a single action: registering to vote.”

Also, Freedom

From the get-go, freedom has been a crucial part of Dahlia Hage’s apparel brand Also, Freedom—so much so that it’s even in the name—and her embroidered t-shirts seek to motivate people to pursue freedom in their careers and lives overall. “Since I started Also, Freedom, a duel source of confusion and inspiration has been the impact huge clothing companies omit, often based on a fear of alienating customers,” Hage says. “I could never understand why the power of words was rarely harnessed responsibly in clothing, so I started to do it myself.” With this year’s election, the Also, Freedom founder knew her responsibility to use fashion’s real estate for good was greater than ever, so she created two limited-edition pieces to draw attention to voting. The Vote Tote may look like a simple tote bag, but the QR code it prominently displays allows wearers and onlookers alike to register to vote with a quick scan directing them to vote.gov, while the I Am A Voter tee allows you to proudly share your voter status with the world, and 20 percent of the proceeds from both will go to I Am A Voter. “This election is a humanitarian issue,” says Hage. “And we don’t have to worry about being ‘on-brand’ to do our part in this election.”

Birdies

Founded by women for women, Birdies was created as a marriage of comfort, style, and quality in shoes, but beyond that, the brand is all about sharing its customers’ dreams, challenges, and values. To build on these values, the brand has launched a special-edition VOTE collection in the lead-up to this year’s election with the goal of raising awareness and encouraging all women to register to vote. The capsule features five designs, including ‘Words of Strength,’ which sees “The Future is Female” and “I’m A Voter” written atop a pair of taupe shoes, and ‘Yellow Rose,’ which displays the classic suffragette symbol across black flats. “We believe in the power of uplifting women’s voices, brought to life through a collection of hand-painted symbols that represent women’s journey toward their right to vote,” says co-founder and CEO Bianca Gates. “Together we can go far when we each step up and vote—because all voices deserve to be heard.”

Maisonette

It may seem counterintuitive to create voter merchandise for children, who obviously do not yet have the right to vote, but for online children’s marketplace Maisonette, there’s no better place to start. “While they may be too young to vote, it’s never too early to teach our children the power of showing up,” says co-founder and CEO Sylvana Ward Durrett. With in-house brand Maison Me’s recently launched VOTE collection, the retailer is on a mission to go just that. Vote facemasks that are cute for all ages are available for adults and littles alike, and for every mask sold, one will be donated to Good+Foundation to benefit an underserved child in New York City or Los Angeles. “We wanted to create a fun assortment for parents and their little ones to raise awareness and encourage all to use their voice, now more than ever,” adds Ward Durrett.

Haverhill Collection

As Michelle Obama made clear with her memorable appearance during August’s Democratic National Convention, there’s no better way to get the word out about voting than to wear it around your neck. Luxury jeweler Haverhill Collection couldn’t agree more, and with the brand’s 14k-gold ‘VOTE’ necklace, it’s easy and fashionable to encourage others to vote. “This election is more important than ever, as the freedoms we often take for granted are in jeopardy,” says founder Haverhill Leah. “The VOTE Necklace, which Debra Messing proudly wears, holds an understated yet impactful reminder of the power and importance we each hold in our democratic process.” For every necklace sold, Haverhill will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Vote.org in an effort to increase voter turnout, simplify political engagement, and strengthen American democracy.



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