It is impossible to have a conversation about sustainable fashion without discussing race. After all, as Hoda Katebi
best explained it in her Q&A
, clothing is
political. Much of the fashion industry's extremely unsustainable business model is only made possible by exploiting the earth and disenfranchised communities of garment workers, most of whom are BIPOC (Black, Indienous and People of Color). So if we as a company and as people want to address human rights issues in the fashion industry, we must also speak up for black rights in America and demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and so many other lives taken too soon. As Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
wrote in her Op-Ed for the Washington Post
"Stopping climate change is hard enough, but racism only makes it harder... Even at its most benign, racism is incredibly time consuming. Black people don’t want to be protesting for our basic rights to live and breathe. We don’t want to constantly justify our existence. Racism, injustice, and police brutality are awful on their own, but are additionally pernicious because of the brain power and creative hours they steal from [Black folx]."
So just as Black folx have had to constantly justify their own existence for their entire lives, we as non-Black folx have to commit to doing the work
for the rest of our lives. For those of you who don’t know what the work is, where to start, or what else to do, this post is for you.