Sexual harassment and assault allegations have been at the top of the headlines since October of last year. The Time’s Up movement has proven that when powerful women band together for the sake of good — the world listens. Now the fashion industry takes a step towards protecting models who’ve experienced misconduct firsthand. On Wednesday, Model Alliance which was founded by former model Sara Ziff announced its “Respect Program.” Created in 2012, Model Alliance focuses on “fair treatment, equal opportunity, and sustainable practices in the fashion industry, from the runway to the factory floor” according to its official website.
In the newly penned plan, the organization sets out to hold perpetrators of abuse accountable for their actions. The initiative as explained in an open letter “provides a blueprint for protecting models and their colleagues from harassment.” By shedding light on the dark side of the modeling industry, Model Alliance presents a positive step which other companies in fashion should follow and take notice of.
Later in the official open letter, the “Respect Program” further expresses why the initiative is necessary:
“Every company in our industry says it abhors sexual harassment and wants to protect those at risk of abuse. We believe that if a company is serious about protecting us, it will be willing to go beyond mere premises to do better and embrace enforceable standards, with real teeth.”
Over 100 models, including Doutzen Kroes and Edie Campbell, signed the initiative in solidarity with the actions expressed in the statement which was released to the public. For more information, head over now to Model Alliance’s website.