Black is the new Black

By now I think you all know that I’m only reading books written by Black authors for a year. I celebrate it almost every day on Instagram and do a little dance every time I discover a writer of colour I wouldn’t have otherwise heard of. I’ve read some brilliant books and have at least three on the go at any one time nowadays.

Well, it’s got me thinking about other areas of my life, where I’ve followed the crowd, and the crowd has followed the norm, and the norm has been White. There are plenty of areas that could do with a little Black equity.

When I’m in the mood to treat myself, there are two shopping categories I gravitate towards. Number one, books (no surprise there) and number two, fashion.

How many items of clothing do you think I’ve bought from Black fashion designers? Please, please, please don’t let this be true……but I have a horrible feeling it might be none.

And so begins my next promise.

I’m going to actively seek out, invest in and promote clothing from Black designers.

This shouldn’t be difficult. It shouldn’t be something I have to consciously decide to do. If we lived in an equal society, this would be happening naturally.

Realistically, the reason I’m so excited about this is because I think it’s going to be a real challenge. I almost feel nervous about it, which feels crazy to admit, but I don’t really know where to start. Isn’t that so telling of society? Even I, a woman of colour who loves her clothes, am White centred when it comes to fashion.

A particularly fabulous friend of mine shared this beautiful brand with me recently,

I’ve been following her on Instagram ever since, enjoying her bold colours, strong style and confident vibe. Her stuff is not cheap, but why should it be, if you don’t like your clothing mass produced with cheap labour?

Kemi Telford has become my springboard… hasn’t taken long to discover more gorgeous brands on social media. With just a little bit of effort, I’ve already found ways to invest in Black businesses and support creative talent that has been previously marked as “niche” because it’s not White. If it’s not hard for me, it’s not hard for journalists, influencers, fashion bloggers, multi-brand retailers either. But instead of feeling frustrated about why this isn’t happening, I’m looking forward to taking myself on a little fashion journey of fabulousness. I can’t wait.

I’ll be reporting back on this one….cue excuses to take pictures of myself posing in new clothes…….

All of you who are already much more clued up on this than me, please hit me up with your recommendations. As always, I love hearing from you.

Published by clairebale

Mixed-race Brit on a journey to learn, explore and understand more about society, equality and race. A marketer, educator and feminist, and a committed ally to everyone wanting to do more to make positive change in the world.

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