BLACK LIVES MATTER | a commitment to allyship
photo : MICHAEL J SPEAR
Maria Stanley was built on a strong social mission to empower women throughout the manufacturing process and provoking a much needed change in the fashion industry by starting difficult conversations. There’s no need for me to tell you the “good” that I think I’ve done at this time, because right now, I know I’ve failed my own damn social mission. I’ve failed by not speaking out on a predominantly white fashion industry I’ve worked in and revolved my life around for 14 years.
As a decidedly non-essential business — through a pandemic and now through a past-due movement for change — I’ve asked myself, “Why the heck am I doing this?”. I honestly can’t answer this right now, but I sure as hell am going to take some necessary steps to give my non-essential business more meaning.
I promise to do my part in sustaining the momentum of the movement and hold systems of power accountable by showing up, using my voice and my signature where it matters, having difficult conversations, campaigning and VOTING for officials supportive of change.
I will understand if I am dropped by a store, who is making room on their racks for black designers The 15 Percent Pledge. My goodness, I am overwhelmed by the black talent I have discovered over the past two weeks, and overwhelmingly ashamed it took me so long to find.
I must celebrate all bodies by showing all shapes, sizes, and colors. I have fallen embarrassingly short on this one. I promise to do better.
I promise to promote and share self-care and self-love; not just through clothing, but through food, storytelling, music, and reading.
I promise to deepen my connection to my community by supporting local organizations and activists. Not just with funds or a percentage of sales (too easy) but with my time, my hands and body, and my knowledge. I have a few initiatives up my sleeve, and I promise to transparently share as they unfold.
I promise to be a resource, an open book, a mentor. I promise to share my knowledge and my experience of the fashion industry as a female small business owner with BIPOC who have interest in the industry or are just getting started with their own business adventures. Seriously. Email me - email@example.com.
I promise to educate myself on systemic racism in order to address and dismantle it. I promise to have uncomfortable conversations.
I will accept criticism with love and understanding.
I will listen with open ears and a full heart.
Lots of love and good vibes. Always.