Ethical fashion and preventing violence in Bangladesh

This project examines the role of ethical fashion enterprises in Bangladesh in the primary prevention of violence against women.

While Bangladesh’s garment industry employs over 4 million women, exploitation and abuse in this sector is rife. In recent years there has been growing interest in ‘ethical fashion’, which aims to produce garments in ways that avoid dangerous or unfair labour conditions. Many ethical fashion producers are social enterprises and NGOs for whom women’s economic empowerment is a central aim. However, evaluating the impact of women’s economic participation and defining criteria for their empowerment in this context is not straightforward. This research asks how ethical fashion production might generate greater autonomy for women and less vulnerability to gender-based violence.


Rimi Khan [School of Culture and Communication, UoM]

Firdous Azim [Department of English and Humanities BRAC University, Bangladesh]

Alex Devine [Nossal Institute for Global Health, UoM]

Ben Neville [School of Management and Marketing, UoM]

Research Outputs


Khan R., ‘“Be creative” in Bangladesh? Mobility, empowerment and precarity in ethical fashion enterprise’. (2019) Cultural Studies. Special Issue. ‘Mobilities, Borders and Precarities in Asia’s New Millenium’, University of Melbourne.

Khan R., "Doing good and looking good? Women in 'fast fashion' activism" (2016)  Women and Environments International Vol 96-97: 7-9.