The current social unrest in our country has many parallels to the inequity we see in the fashion industry. In both cases, the entire system is not working for many, but rather, set up to benefit a few. These problems are exacerbated by inequity and injustice, and there are strong connections between how our political economy and the fashion industry gain wealth and power over others — that is, on the backs of black and brown bodies. We unpacked this topic and the future of fashion in depth on our June Community Call hosted by Rebecca Blake Thompson.
Whitney McGuire led us through her bold vision of the future she imagines in which we invest in cultural capital and think of spirituality in terms of what we wear. She believes our hearts are expanding and that as white people are becoming more uncomfortable with the status quo, great change will come.
Moderator Whitney Bauck agreed that our spirituality is increasingly informing our actions and that we are continuing to make stronger connections between fashion, race, and sustainability.
Ayesha Barenblat encouraged us to use our voices to hold brands accountable for their actions and to push for the changes we want to see in the fashion industry as she spoke to the incredible power we’ve all had in getting brands to #PayUp and unlocking more than $7.5B in orders globally because of consumer advocacy and pressure.
Mara Hoffman talked about her role as a leader in sustainable fashion and in the human experience. She talked about how this current pandemic has been a reset that has allowed us to reestablish our relationship to material things and to question the messages that the fashion industry sends women that they need to purchase more to fill a void.
We encourage you to never get comfortable — but rather, to always look for what needs to be addressed next as we work towards a better future of fashion.