Black Lives Matter and how the industry is reacting.

On May 25, 2020, George Perry Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Another cancer our beloved country suffers from is being brutally exposed. It’s always been there, it’s just been hidden under a big, fat rock that reads “The Greatest Country in the World”. Protesters don’t look like happy people living the American dream. They’re angry, hungry, and are being treated unfairly, abused and violated over and over again. This is the United States of America we refuse to see, or we forget to see until things get ugly, again.

Women fought long and hard for us to have the right to vote. Are we even trying? We HAVE the right to vote! I don’t think we fully grasp this. And I say this to myself even louder today. Am I really, truly educated about who and what I’m voting for? The answer is no. And I’m not talking about democrat or republican. I’m talking about legislation.

We tend to be comfortable, passive, social media angry, citizens.

If we want change, we need to become active citizens, activists. Probably a good first step would be to educate ourselves more.

Men and women have fought to have access to the same spaces as white people. I can’t even believe this sometimes. Let’s be honest, white people hardly understand what the black community has endured for centuries. The atrocities, the pain, the belittling, the trauma.

We owe it to ourselves and to each and every United States citizen, resident and illegal immigrant who is suffering right now to do our due diligence. If racism, police brutality, white privilege, inequality, mass shootings, opioid crisis, and so on, keep happening then there’s a hell of a lot of work we need to do. Or we can stay comfy while cities across the country burn in anger.

Black Lives Matter. Yes, all lives matter, but right now we need to support our black community.

Now, the fashion industry, for the most part, usually chooses to not be involved in controversial topics, including police brutality and racial injustice. But as we've been speaking about, the consumer is now in the front seat and is demanding brands to get involved and share their values.

Brands have benefited hugely from their stand on social justice and other topics as they build a stronger community. 

Remember when Nike signed former NFL player and activist Colin Kaepernick in 2018. Kaepernick started kneeling down during the National Anthem protesting police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.This caused immense controversy, his been unemployed since then.

Colin Kaepernick has set up a fundraiser to pay for the defense of any Minneapolis protesters who may be in need of legal assistance.

The ”Know Your Rights Camp” Legal Defense Initiative, has teamed up with top defense lawyers nationwide to provide legal resources for those in need. 

As a response to recent events, Nike has launched the campaign “Don’t Do It”.

In solidarity, competitor brand Adidas retweeted Nike’s video, with the message: "Together is how we move forward. Together is how we make a change."

Nike’s campaign reads "Don't turn your back on racism. Don't accept innocent lives being taken from us. Don't make any more excuses. Don't think this doesn't affect you," in which white words appear across a black background. 

Nike and Adidas AG are in a rival battle to sign star athletes. The combined marketing spending of the two companies is expected to hit as much as $10 billion USD by fiscal 2020.

Here are what some personalities are expressing via Instagram in regards of recent events:

Jane Fonda is supporting a call to defund the police and give this money to black communities. 

Katharine Hamnett, an English fashion designer best known for her political t-shirts and her ethical business philosophy, is calling on the vetting and monitoring of the Police Force.

Elizabeth Cline, a New York-based author, journalist, and expert on consumer culture, fast fashion, sustainability and labor rights, posted on Instagram, "I learned that NYC City Council will vote on two pieces of legislation aimed at increasing transparency and accountability at the NYPD".

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988 and artistic director for Condé Nast wrote: "We should understand that the violence against black people in this country—including the appalling murders of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota—is a shared national tragedy, one we all need to reckon with. The need for change should fall especially on those of us who enjoy incredible privileges; we need to listen and learn and take action to ensure social justice and basic human rights for people of color in this country".

Chanel denounces racism and stands in solidarity and empathy with those devastated by the tragic loss of lives.

"Alongside our continued commitment to furthering diversity and equality of opportunity within Chanel, we are expanding our reach to foster these values within the communities where we live and work".

BOF, the London College of Fashion and Camera Moda Italy are also some Fashion companies on board with the movement.

Fridays for Future Mexico wrote: "There is no climate justice, without social justice".

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said: "In every society, diversity is a richness - never a threat. Racism is an abhorrence that we must all reject".

Fashion For Good shared some pages to follow in support of the Black Community: