Over the last week, many fashion and beauty brands have spoken out about the role that both industries can play in combatting racism. From donations to diversity training and more, here are just a few ways the industry is stepping up to create a more inclusive environment.
The trendy store is donating $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ACLU and Color of Change and will be assembling a task force of black leaders to help advise them on internal matters.
“We also acknowledge our past mistakes and they have made us acutely aware of how much we still need to learn. As a company, we are growing, but we can and must do better. We re-commit to taking tangible steps to challenge racism and support our colleagues, customers and communities. Symbolic support is not enough – we will take action,” the brand wrote in a letter on its website.
The fashion designer and former Spice Girl member spoke out about the role the fashion industry has to play in combating racism, arguing that it starts with representation.
“At Victoria Beckham, we’ve set up an internal working group as a first step and will provide additional support to ensure that we are listening to each other, discussing the issues, identifying unconscious bias in ourselves and ensuring our short and long-term actions reflect all our learnings,” Beckham shared in an Instagram post, adding that she is “absolutely committed to being better and doing more, both personally and professionally.”
The beauty store has partnered with the National Black Justice Coalition and is allowing customers to turn their Beauty Insider reward points into donations for the group. In addition, Sephora president and CEO Jean-André Rougeot addressed the events of the past week in a letter to employees and customers and promised to make Sephora an inclusive company: “We have made a commitment as a company to create a more welcoming and inclusive beauty community. In these times, I am reminded that we still have a lot of work to do. But we will do our part to ensure our employees and our clients feel a sense of belonging in store, online and in our workplaces.”
Along with a donation of $25,000 to Color of Change, the makeup brand is focusing on ways they can make their own employees confront unconscious biases they might have.
“Inside our company, we are hosting forums to allow for the safe expression of feelings, encouraging an ongoing open dialogue and providing our employees access to resources and ways to get informed and involved,” the brand wrote on Instagram.
Ulta Beauty announced that they will be donating to the Equal Justice Initiative and will also focus on ways to open up the conversation about race and inclusion in their own company. “We’ll also continue diversity & inclusion trainings for associates—with a series in response to current events to have honest conversations about privilege, systemic racism, and ways to create meaningful change,” the brand shared on Instagram.
On Friday, Ulta also shared a breakdown of their workforce demographics and said they “recognize that we have work to do, and we will.”
Nike Chief Executive John Donahoe addressed the events of the past week in an internal memo to employees on Friday and acknowledged that the brand has to be a leader in creating change. “While we strive to help shape a better society, our most important priority is to get our own house in order,” the letter reads.
“Nike needs to be better than society as a whole. … While we have made some progress over the past couple of years, we have a long way to go,” the letter continues.
Last week, the brand put a spin on their mantra “Just do it” and released a short video with the following message: “For once, Don’t Do It. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us.”
Like many other brands, Tommy Hilfiger is donating to organizations that fight social injustice and the company plans on being “more intentional about creating impact and mandating change” in the fashion industry. The brand will be evolving their Fashion Frontier Challenge to “identify and support minority entrepreneurs who aim to create a more inclusive fashion landscape.”
Anastasia Beverly Hills
The beauty brand has pledged one million dollars towards “the fight against systematic racism, oppression, and injustice,” beginning with a donation of $100,000 to the following organizations: Black Lives Matter, The Innocence Project, The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Visions Collective and The Marshall Project.
In addition, the company is internally discussing new initiatives to financially support black-owned businesses and artists in the beauty industry. “We vow to remain constant and vocal supporters of equality. We vow to use our platform and our privilege to amplify the voices of marginalized groups that deserve to be heard,” the brand’s Instagram statement read.
Rent the Runway
In addition to donating $100,000 to organizations combating racial injustice, the popular fashion service is putting aside $100,000 to support black designers in its wholesale, platform and co-manufacturing initiatives. Rent the Runway is also pledging that 15% of the talent it features and supports moving forward will be from the black community.
“We want our actions as a business to be substantive and systematic, so we are doing the slow work to build a clear and sustained long-term strategy to fight systemic racism and make Rent the Runway, and the wider fashion industry, more diverse and anti-racist,” the company wrote in an Instagram post.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA) spoke out on Instagram, promising action that will help maintain a racially balanced industry. Plans include an in-house employment program, a diversity/inclusion training program and mentorship/internship programs to place black students and recent graduates with established fashion companies.
“We urge each and every member of the CFDA to take stock of their corporate structure to ensure that they have a racially balanced workforce and we challenge the retail sector of the fashion industry to ensure that their roster of brands and their product assortment is representative of the Black talent in our industry,” the group’s Instagram statement read.