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Joan Smalls launches #ChangeFashion initiative

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Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls has helped launch the #ChangeFashion initiative to tackle systemic racism in the fashion industry.

The 32-year-old model has teamed up with racial justice organisation Color of Change, media group IMG and the Black in Fashion Council on the new partnership, which is focused on fighting racism.

The group has created a set of key recommendations to help support Black creatives in the fashion industry, including create a fair and equal workplace, funding anti-racist training, investing in more safety measures, and engaging with Black communities.

“The #ChangeFashion road map is the resource we’ve been needing, for both my industry peers and the brands and executives we collaborate with,” Joan said in a statement on Thursday. “We have to start putting actions behind our words. We cannot sit back and hope that change will come, we must be the force that makes it happen.

“Making changes can be difficult but the purpose behind the #ChangeFashion road map is that no one person or organisation has to act alone. This resource will push the boundaries of what fashion is capable of, empowering all of us to be the force for good we desperately need,” she added.

The model and activist, who donated 50 percent of her salary to organisations pushing for racial equality last year, also criticised those luxury brands who have only paid lip service to the ongoing battle against racism in the industry.

“I think it’s about continuing to apply pressure. I think sometimes they feel if they’re inclusive one season, it’s enough. I think it’s always important that the change comes from within the company, not just the visuals or the narrative that the rest of the world is seeing,” she told WWD.

– Cover Media