I recently learned that H&M has collaborated with African fashion label Mantsho (which means "black is beautiful), and the line is now available for purchase. I think it's awesome when designers, artists, and creators of color have the opportunity to share their art with a wider audience. But I think back to H&M's past controversies and wonder, at what point, if ever, should communities who have been offended or marginalized by large corporations, forgive and move on?
When news of the "coolest monkey in the jungle" debacle first broke, I was incredulous! It was hard for me to comprehend that these types of "faux pas" continue to happen.
H&M is not the only offender in the fashion industry. Burberry, Gucci, and Prada, have all recently found a way to incorporate offensive imagery into their fashions. Even outside of the fashion industry, companies continue to make these gaffes, and I wonder if it's premeditated, accidental, or if they just don't care.
As a lover of fashion, I was broken-hearted because I've shopped at H&M for many years—I also have a few Gucci and Prada pieces—so I had a decision to make. I decided to no longer give those brands my money. Now I didn't burn or get rid of my existing merchandise from those brands, because I'm not throwing away my money. And I have largely honored that commitment to boycott those brands, except for that one time I needed some cheap tank tops and darted into H&M real quick, because I knew they'd have what I was looking for. :-(
But that $20.00 is the only money they've gotten from me since January 2018.
I think using the power of the purse is a great way to protest. It can make a difference...but how much? What is the best way to express our discontent with the nonsense that goes on with these companies? Is there a statute of limitations on boycotting?
Is it enough for the offending companies to say sorry, create a "diversity taskforce," throw money at the problem and embark on a PR campaign to absolve themselves from their mistakes?
I don't know the right answer.
Comment on my Facebook page and let me know what you think.
Thank you for reading.