How to Identify if an Eco-Brand is a True Ally for Black Lives
July 9, 2020 • 4 min read
This post has been written by our guest contributor: Peyton Cordero
As we have all seen, racial justice activism has been flooding our social media timelines over the past few weeks. While the popularization of this movement has been incredible for activists and allies who have been trying to create change for decades, many companies and brands have tried to capitalize on this movement in order to retain support from younger consumers. On its face, this can seem like a good thing—like these brands are transformative, socially aware entities that deserve your money. However, this is not always the case. Based on what I have seen, here are some ways you can parse out the true change-makers from those who are just trying to save face:
You might also like: How to Have Productive Environmental Discussions
1. Money talks.
If your favourite eco-brand hasn’t donated to any racial justice organizations, then, unfortunately, they aren’t really serious about the Black Lives Matter movement. It is more important than ever that companies invest in what matters to them, and this can and should go beyond an investment in product and materials. If a brand is really serious about advancing racial justice and creating a more sustainable future, then they would absolutely divert some of their funding back into marginalized communities.
2. Where’s the diversity at?
Beyond a company’s investments and marketing decisions is an executive team that has the power to diversify their company. It is impossible to truly support BIPOC communities without giving them a seat at the table. Girlfriend Collective recently released the composition of their leadership team and publicly recognized that there was a glaring lack of diversity. Sharing this information shows that this brand acknowledges where they have failed and proves that they have a commitment to doing better in the future.
3. Did their post come a bit late?
Timing is everything, and it says a lot about a brand’s willingness to support BIPOC. If a brand waited weeks to comment on the demand for justice for the loss of Black lives, then they probably feared losing some of their consumers by speaking out. As many activists have pointed out, the Black Lives Matter movement was never a political movement—it was a human rights movement. It should not be debatable or something a company is afraid to speak in favour of. If a company was hesitant to comment, then I would question their commitment to climate justice as that is directly related to racial justice.
4. What are they doing to amplify melanated voices?
One of the best ways to show your support for the Black community is by highlighting Black-owned businesses and brands. Eco-friendly companies that sell a variety of different brands have an obligation to partner with and empower Black-owned brands. If a company has very little-to-no Black brands as a part of their marketplace then they are seriously failing to drive change. Companies like BLK+GRN who feature 100% Black-owned products are always a fantastic option.
While all of this may seem a little overwhelming, and even this list is completely non-exhaustive, the bright side is that this information can always be found through a company’s website or social media. Remember, the harder you have to look for the answer you want means it is less likely that you will actually find it. Never forget the power that you hold as a socially-conscious consumer.
About the Author
Raised in San Diego, California, Peyton Cordero is a climate action and social justice advocate. Committed to making positive social change in the world, Peyton has spent the last two years earning her M.A. in Peace and Justice from the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. She has served as a volunteer for various nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego, and she is currently a volunteer on San Diego 350’s legislative committee. Through intersectional activism, Peyton puts her love for people and the planet at the core of her work toward creating a more equitable and sustainable future.
Save this post for later on Pinterest