BLACK LIVES MATTER
Let’s start by saying it. Inequality is a systemic issue that sadly comes in a lot of forms – the refugee crisis, the tragedy at our borders, developing countries without basic needs and the injustice and systemic inequality in our own neighborhoods. And today, we are here to talk about the issue of Black Lives Matter and our duty to hear black voices and honor black stories and ensure police brutality has no place in our society. We wake up each day with thousands of people without the privilege that we have, struggling to survive or living with fear and forced to teach lessons of caution to their loved ones at an age where they should only be worried about eating their vegetables. Many feel that because it isn’t our knee, we weren’t part of the problem. We thank each of you who have taken our hand and invited us to the table, showing us that silence is acceptance and that is something we do not want to be part of.
As part of our core mission, we built a company to support sustainability. Most people think of sustainability in terms of the planet, which is partly accurate. But sustainability includes at its heart equality. Equity in dividing up the earths resources in a way that supports human life equally and only in a way that the earth can regenerate. It’s this equity that placed philanthropy at the forefront of our mission and we’ve supported many charities over the years and were poised to launch a new initiative focused on this social equity when priorities shifted due to COVID-19. And again on May 25 when George Floyd was murdered by use of excessive force by a man employed to protect. This terrifying incident is part of a system, not an isolated incident, and we are shifting our business to support black and brown communities that need to be heard. Their lives not only matter, they should be cherished. As a start, but certainly not a solitary campaign, we will be donating all proceeds from June 1 to June 7 to the Color of Change fund. If you have no need for our products at this time, that is fine, please donate directly to this or any other fund that champions black equality. The important thing is we need to support those fighting for progress.
Aside from funding change, we know it’s also up to us to be part of that change. We need to change behavior, send the right messages and dismantle acceptance.
We have been humbly researching, reflecting and absorbing information this past week and are grateful for the voices we’ve heard during #iammuted. We are emerging from the purgatory of discovery and feeling optimistic that things will change and want to ensure the momentum continues in the right direction.
Please add comments below to help us learn, grow and be the right allies in this journey.
Intentional Media Choice
As a small company, most of our imagery puts our community at the forefront. We borrow the beauty of your salons, your teams and your missions. We share your stories. We use product imagery more than we use people, and we rarely use stock imagery, but we have asked ourselves whether this is truly serving our community. While we often go with what we are tagged in, or what is sent to us, it’s become clear to us that we are falling short of representing who makes up our industry. We need to be more intentional in our representation on all platforms. And we vow to do so. We’ve pulled out all of our plans, the social grids and we are scrapping them and starting over with a new lens.
We’ve always taken pride in doing our due diligence when choosing partners, whether it’s our supply chain and factories or our industry partners. We only do business with those that align with our sustainable standards and ethics. We are taking that a step further and ensuring our partners also align with our social code. Our partners must also have equality at the forefront of their mission and ensure that their sustainability mission includes equity of resources and the active pursuit of eliminating oppression.
Elevating Melanated Voices
Like many we’ve had a common fallacy shattered this week: While we’ve never intentionally excluded anyone, we’ve not been going out of our way to include everyone. And there’s a difference and it’s not a good representation of our industry. We need to be direct, intentional and active in inviting people to the table. That’s inclusion. We are small and don’t have a huge platform. We don’t do tradeshows or stage events, but we can control what we can and support our salons, stylists and artists by seeking ways that we can help elevate artists of all backgrounds, color, ethnicity and gender. This is our wakeup call that we need to be intentional about how we help elevate all voices.
Our small team has had a foundation shattering contemplation since May 29. And we are embarrassed that this country, ourselves included, needed a list of tragedies this long to feel combustible. And now we understand that outrage isn’t enough. We need to show up and be active in our intentions. We may never understand, but we will stand together with you and pledge to give you the voice you deserve.