In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, individuals in fashion and media are banding together to push for actionable change to help dismantle systemic racism in the fashion industry. It's not enough for brands or organizations to provide lip service on the topic of diversity in the workplace; there has to be trackable accountability, too. The Black in Fashion Council, founded by Lindsay Peoples Wagner (editor in chief of Teen Vogue) and Sandrine Charles (owner of Sandrine Charles Consulting) aims to spearhead and track these changes.
Part of the Black in Fashion Council's mission statement reads: "As a collective, we envision a world in which black people in fashion and beauty spaces can be open and honest, guaranteed equal rights, and be celebrated for our voices."
According to Vogue, Peoples Wagner and Charles have partnered with the Human Rights Campaign to create an equality index score that will provide "benchmarking around corporate policies and practices pertinent to the inclusivity of Black employees." (The first equality index score will be released June 2021.) On the council's agenda is the production of a yearly public report that will track the work of companies—who will sign a three-year pledge—to foster representation of Black employees on all levels.
"The Human Rights Campaign already has a Corporate Equality Index for people with disabilities and the LGBTQ community that companies like Kering are already a part of," Peoples Wagner said to Vogue. "This would be a way to continue to give companies a report card of accountability without them feeling like they’re being shamed into it, and giving them the actual resources of what people are saying they want to see changed." The council will also create a "digital directory of Black fashion and beauty professionals that brands can purchase to assist with diversifying their staffs."
Currently, the Black in Fashion Council is made up of 400 individual stakeholders, but will soon expand to include businesses and other entities the council will partner with. Follow along the council's journey on its Instagram here and read up on the latest materials, below, on how you can be an active ally to the Black community.
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