Fashion has the challenge to fight racism in terms of visibility, aesthetics, and power.
Fashion’s industry has faced growing consumer and regulatory pressure to move toward responsible practices. Issues include environment, workforce and suppliers, material processes, climate change, and racial tension. Beyond that, overcoming racism and racial injustice is a relevant pending signature to grapple.
The pandemic uncovered the challenges that the industry faces to become more sustainable, to respond to new global risks, and to prepare for crisis. Its intersection with the protests against racial injustice followed by George Floyd’s death proves to be a perfect timing to redesign and transform the structure of the industry and fight racism, in terms of visibility, aesthetics, and power.
An urgent wake-up call that promises to re elaborate and create new brand’s agendas and new brand’s behaviors.
George Floyd’s death scrambled the United States. High-end fashion brands were under pressure to react in a proper time to a painful demand from society. For the first time or one more time, they recognized that their brands are not aligned with the current social conversations around the world.
Vague statements through social media -clearly scripted in a diplomatic way and not credible at all to their audiences- evidenced how much fashion has been responsible for the racism structure and the whiteness of its purpose. It showcases that fashion is not ready to have this conversation with consumers.
Racism in fashion doesn’t end with words and doesn’t happen overnight. More than words, fashion has a great power to provoke new conversations around society sentiments and how that reflects in their leadership structures.
The Council of Fashion’s initiatives to fight racial injustice alleviate the current reality and open new opportunities to shape inclusive corporate structures in fashion companies. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that racism is over with mere representation of Black people within them. It requires a deep and coherent intersection among people, design, and business, positioning people at its core and embracing diversity as an asset.
Over centuries, the fashion industry has been widely seen as exclusive and superficial. However, fashion by itself has proven to be a catalyst and to reveal cultural moments in history.
Societies have found in fashion a political and social way to express their identities. Fashion represents so many symbols in our societies and holds an incredible power to help reinforce identities. In that regard, fashion brands cannot ignore they are an extension of their consumers and their leaders.
This is an excellent company! I personally enjoyed the energy and the professional support the whole team gave to us into creating website.
Brands are an extension of humans, and so they are called to become responsible corporate citizens by educating themselves and standing up to racial injustice, racism, discrimination, police brutality, and other causes, regardless of how controversial they be.
The fashion industry has to know better to do better, by coming up with tangible plans for how they will address any controversial issue.
Fashion’s purpose, at the end of the day, is to help people feel seen.
Young man with beard and piercings
Latin man with beard and piercings