Many brands have been vocal with their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but are also being scrutinized by the public for how they have handled systemic racism in the past. To help them move forward, a new organization called The Black in Fashion Council is teaching brands how to increase representation for Black individuals and make strides in becoming more diverse and inclusive.
The Black in Fashion Council pertains to brands in the fashion and beauty industries, calling for action and representation in all business forms, including marketing, hiring, and modeling. The council has partnered with the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, to establish a benchmarking index that reports annually on a brand’s commitment to fostering representation of Black employees. Fashion and beauty brands that have signed a three-year pledge to change corporate policies and practices will undergo an analysis based on an equality index similar to one already created by the Human Rights Campaign about brand’s policies for including LGBTQ employees and individuals with disabilities.
Spearheaded by Teen Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner and consultant Sandrine Charles, the Black in Fashion Council includes members of luxury fashion labels and beauty brands, as well as employees of fashion publications like Vogue and GQ. The group has designed an industry standard for what diversity and inclusion should look like, and plans to publish yearly reports regarding the progress being made towards these goals. Instagram serves as an information hub for the council, where users are also encouraged to voice their ideas. By driving awareness to its cause on Instagram, the council could reinforce its message through engaging content and images, according to a Gartner report. Using social media could also help develop a loyal audience, particularly as platforms like Instagram and Twitter continue to emerge r as go-to spots for public connection during the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Black in Fashion Council could inspire fashion and beauty brands to implement long-term change in representing and including Black people in their organizations. As consumers demand action from brands, joining the council’s three-year pledge could help brands sustain consumer loyalty and inspire companies in other industries to undertake similar commitments.