We all know that actions speak louder than words, so now that you have posted links to articles and statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to your social media, what tangible work can you do? We, as shoppers, hold the purchasing power to amplify the voices of Black-owned brands, so here are a few labels to support.
Available on ASOS Marketplace, Daughter of a Bohemian upcycles existing garments to create unique pieces. Their ethos recognises the importance of culture and aims to create “a community of people who come together to collaborate, inspire and share their skills”, through a calendar of workshops and open studios.
Then there is AAKS, a collection of colourful woven bags that incorporates Ghanaian weaving techniques. The bags are handcrafted in Ghana, creating sustainable jobs, and promoting ethical values.
Nubian Skin is a lingerie brand that launched natural coloured bras for darker skin tones. Ade Hassan, founder of the company, decided to create “a different kind of nude” after being frustrated by the limited range of skin tone choices available. The brand has been championed by notable WOC, with Beyoncé even choosing to use their products on The Formation World Tour in 2016.
Currently, all profits from contemporary clothing brand Chelsea Bravo are being donated to BLM organisations, and many other labels are following suit. Look out for statements from your favourite brands on social media. Many have stayed quiet on the matter, or have posted a vague, emotional statement without any substantive action. Beware of companies like Celine, who performatively posted on #BlackOutTuesday, despite failing to feature a Black model on their feed since June 2019.
It seems that, within the fashion industry, the Black Lives Matter movement has not generated the same response as the Australian bushfires, or the Covid-19 crisis. Antoine Gregory, a New York based fashion consultant commented that “until Black consumers make a loud enough effort to be heard, brands will absolutely remain silent”.