A bystander video that captured the horrific death of 46-year-old African American man George Floyd in the hands of the police has cast a spotlight on issues surrounding racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.
On the streets, supporters of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement have been staging anti-racism protests and demonstrations in major US cities and beyond. On social media, many brands and corporations have also joined the conversation by sharing their views and actions towards the matter, and in contributing to the hashtag #blacklivesmatter which continues to trend worldwide. Read on as we round up five brands that have helped to raise awareness and pledged major donations in the fight against racism.
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Renowned beauty brand Anastasia Beverly Hills is not only claiming its number one spot in the Brow Game, but is also leading the pack amongst brands that are helping to fight against racial injustice. The brand has pledged a whopping USD1,000,000 towards the fight against systemic racism, oppression and injustice. The donation will be made in phases and will go towards several organisations to support marginalised communities.
To kickstart the initiative, the brand has shared in an Instagram post that it will be donating USD100,000 towards five organisations this weekend. It has also expressed its intentions in financially supporting Black-owned businesses and artists in the beauty industry.
Beauty brand Glossier, which was founded in 2014 by former Vogue fashion assistant Emily Weiss, shared on Instagram that they have pledged a total of USD1,000,000 to help ‘fight against systemic racism, white supremacy, and the historic oppression of the Black community’. Furthermore, the brand also went on Instagram stories to share links which their followers can easily gain access to if they wish to take action and to educate themselves on anti-racism.
The brand stated that half of their donations will go towards various organisations that are focused on combating injustice, including Black Lives Matter, while the other half will be allocated in the form of grants to support Black-owned beauty businesses.
Passionate in their purpose in bringing independent designers and creative entrepreneurs from all around the world in one place, Etsy has brought its community together once again by donating USD1,000,000 in support of organisations that are ‘working tirelessly for criminal justice reform and those that assist Black-led institutions.’
Half of the donations will be going towards the Equal Justice Initiative, a private, non-profit organisation that is committed to ending mass incarceration, excessive punishment and racial inequality in the United States, while the other half will be given to Borealis Philantrophy’s Black-Led Movement Fund, which aims to educate and mobilise people in addressing state violence and injustice in Black communities.
The billion-dollar sportswear brand is not one to shy away from taking a political stance on major issues. Four days ago, Nike published a short video message on social media which called on their fans and followers to stand up and take action against racism. The video featured a number of short yet impactful sentences, such as “Don’t sit back and be silent” and “Don’t make any more excuses”. Its most impactful words though could be found in its opening line which simply said, “For once, don’t do it.” Nike is known for its slogan "Just do it."
In September 2018, Nike ran a bold campaign which featured American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked outrage in the U.S. in 2016 after choosing not to stand for the national anthem during a football game to protest racial injustice. The brand’s video commercial for the campaign has also won them an Emmy as “outstanding commercial” last year.
Rounding up this list is New York-based prescription glasses and sunglasses retailer Warby Parker, which has also pledged USD1,000,000 to ‘organisations and initiatives focused on combating racism’. In its Instagram post, the retailer also took the opportunity to share that each of their employees is committed to living the brand’s core values, which include “[treating] others as they want to be treated” and “[taking] action.” The retailer further added that it will be sharing more details after seeking feedback from their team and from leaders in the field to effectively drive action and change.
Next, read about this woman’s story on overcoming racism and becoming a voice for change.