Black in Fashion Index uncovers widespread racial discrimination across the fashion sector
The survey, organised by the Black In Fashion Council, highlights a lack of inclusivity in today's fashion industry.
Despite brands promising to put inclusive policies into practice, black people working in fashion are still facing widespread racial discrimination. But thanks to a new annual report that aims to highlight where employers can improve, the first steps are being taken towards genuine equality.
Published last month, the Black in Fashion Index presents the findings of a survey of 30 fashion firms of various sizes and financial stature. Each company was polled anonymously on four key areas: workplace non-discrimination, building an inclusive culture, engaging the black community and corporate social responsibility.
The report uncovers a lack of racial equality in the industry, from black creatives being paid less than their white counterparts to models being forced to style their own hair during shoots because stylists aren’t trained to work with textured hair.
Spearheaded by the Black in Fashion Council (BIFC) in partnership with The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the index’s aim is to highlight and challenge racist policies and the corporate structures that impede the progress and acknowledgement of black people. This monumental survey will now take place annually, with those taking part making a commitment pledge to participate for the next three years.
BIFC is the brainchild of The Cut editor Lindsay Peoples Wagner and leading PR exec Sandrine Charles, whose purpose is to advocate for systemic change in the fashion industry. Its executive board has members from all areas of the sector, including GQ’s deputy fashion director Nikki Ogunnaike and Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniel.
In a statement, Lindsay Peoples Wagner said: “So many companies have realised in the past year that it is not enough to post a black square or quote on MLK Day — the work that we are invested in requires an infrastructural and culture change from companies to intensely interrogate their values and priorities when it comes to DEI.”
Read the full report here.