Our Actions & Commitments
Commitments moving forward - 2021 and beyond
Create workplace inclusivity
Prior to 2020, we did not employ any Black team members full-time; therefore, one of our immediate goals has been to diversify our team and hire more Black and non-Black POC into the business. While the UK’s population is currently 86% White, 7.5% Asian. 3.3% Black and 2.2% Mixed Ethnicity (2011 Consensus), our team needs to reflect our wider community.
Since June 2020, our internal representation of Black and POC has seen an 8% increase, and we are running annual equality monitoring reports to continue tracking our progress. Although we have made improvements in this area, our work is ongoing. We now liaise with non-mainstream, diversity-focused recruitment platforms, where all external vacancies are published exclusively for a period of time before they open to wider channels. We also include an addendum with our external adverts, stipulating that we seek to work with people based on an equitable model*, and actively encouraging people from marginalised and maligned groups to apply for these positions. It is now also a requirement that all interviews for external vacancies include non-white candidates.
*Equitable models are designed to compensate for the lack of a level playing field in the fashion industry at-large given the structural and systemic injustices that disproportionately affect marginalised and maligned groups. These groups are vast, but include Indigenous people, Black people, People of Colour, women, queer & LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, people living in poverty, and immigrants & refugees.
In 2020, we launched our dedicated Advisory Panel, made up of individuals who are able to authentically and openly discuss topics such as race, inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, ethics and sustainability with an intersectional lens. We meet and work with the panel regularly to discuss both previous and upcoming brand campaigns and collaborations. This ensures that our initiatives are both in keeping with our brand mission and align with wider, ongoing social justice issues. You can read more about our wonderful board of panelists here. All panel positions are paid, and our work together will be ongoing.
3. Champion and invest in creatives and businesses owned by People of Colour
We work with many amazing artists and creatives, from print designs, to models and content creation, and last year we made it our goal to actively seek and collaborate with more Black and POC creatives.
Over the past 12 months, Black and POC artists have accounted for 37% of our print/design collaborations, and we have an ambition to increase this moving forward. If you’re a budding artist, we would love to hear from you! You can contact our Production team directly at email@example.com*.
Our Creative team have been working even harder to ensure that we have a more diverse portfolio of models that we regularly collaborate with, and have increased our representation of Black, POC, plus-sized, and Disabled models.
With regards to social media and digital marketing, we are mindful of always ensuring that we are representative of as many experiences, voices and talents as possible. We always welcome new opportunities to work with fantastic individuals; if you’re a content creator, creative, activist, dancer (and anything else in-between) you can reach our Marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org* - be sure to give us as much info as you can on your collaboration idea!
* Please note that we receive a high volume of requests at this address, and this inbox is monitored by a small team. We’re so grateful to everyone who reaches out to us, but we are unable to respond to every request we receive.
Use our voice and provide our platform
Lucy & Yak was founded on inclusivity and the empowerment of all individuals. We are committed to supporting community-led projects at every level, and we will continue to champion, actively participate in, and amplify the efforts of grassroots initiatives wherever possible.
We always welcome the opportunity to do better, and have implemented our Positive Change team who collect any feedback from our community to share with relevant departments, as well as our Advisory Panel. You can reach the team via email@example.com.
2021 also sees the start of some really fantastic projects, including the implementation of an ongoing, quarterly book club that encourages our team and community to get comfortable with “uncomfortable” topics and conversations - more on this to follow very soon. We are also excited to be partnering with musician Kyan Kuatois on an upcoming video series, and later in the year we are releasing a capsule collection in support of the Black Queer Travel Guide; an upcoming digital resource that will help Black queer travellers navigate the globe safely, connect with others, and signpost Black queer-owned/queer-friendly businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and cultural hubs.
If you’d like to read more on our other initiatives, please head over to our Positive Change hub, which can be found in the navigation bar at the top of our homepage.
Anti-racist work is an active rejection of racism in all its forms. Anti-racism is not a destination; it's a journey. To be anti-racist as a company, we must collectively continue this work and prioritise these conversations, using our platform to increase awareness. Education is one of the best and most important ways we can continue to do this, and to keep challenging ourselves and empower our employees.
We now work with a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, and host ongoing internal Diversity & Inclusivity training on a variety of topics, including, but not limited to: anti-racism, LGBTQ+ advocacy, sustainability and ethics, and anti-fatphobia. We also have an internal Slack channel specifically dedicated to sharing anti-racism learning and resources, as well as a separate channel that encapsulates wider social justice awareness.
In the coming weeks, we are also excited to launch an ongoing, quarterly book club that will be open to our entire community, as well as our internal team. We will be sharing more information on this very soon, and we hope to see you at our first discussion!
One of our priorities as a brand is to provide ongoing charitable donations and champion initiatives supporting anti-racist work. Last year, we set up a dedicated charitable giving fund that we use for extemporary donations; alongside this, we currently give ongoing, monthly donations to Loveland Foundation and Black Minds Matter UK.
We are still listening, and always learning. Sometimes this will feel uncomfortable, and sometimes we’ll get it wrong, but we are committed to the journey and to doing better.
If you have any feedback, ideas or suggestions, we value every contribution! Please get in touch by sending us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for Black-owned businesses to support? Check out our Indie Brand Directory of Black-owned businesses, and our directory of Black Creatives, Platforms, Consultants and Educators. For notable charities, petitions, and incredible individuals to follow on social media, we’ve compiled a directory of resources here.
April 2021 Update - Stop Asian Hate
In light of the increasing number of horrendous attacks on Asian, South Asian and South East Asian people, our anti-racism work must address and include the experiences and struggles of these communities. We denounce all forms of racism and xenophobia faced by Asian People. We would like to thank our customers for holding us to account for this. We are making a conscious effort to improve our ESEA representation through meaningful collaborations, ongoing modelling opportunities and future projects. We hope to expand our Advisory Panel over the coming months to increase representation in this regard.
As an immediate action, we donated to an organisation that works to tackle the racism faced by South Asian and South East Asian Communities in the UK. We have also been sharing resources with our staff on Asian Hate and have been discussing these matters via our internal anti-racism education space.
To learn more about the challenges faced by marginalised and maligned communities and how you can help, plus resources for reporting race-based harassment and hate crimes, please take a look at the links below.
Stand Against Racism and Inequality - A service user/community-oriented agency that provides support and advice to victims of hate, and promotes equality and good relations between people with protected characteristics as defined by law.
Kick It Out / @kickitout - English football’s equality and inclusion organisation. Working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change, Kick It Out is at the heart of the fight against discrimination for everyone who plays, watches or works in football.
Show Racism the Red Card / @showracismtheredcard - The UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity. It was established in January 1996, thanks in part to a donation by then Newcastle United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.
Runnymede Trust / @runnymedetrust - The UK's leading independent race equality think tank. They generate intelligence to challenge race inequality in Britain through research, network building, leading debate, and policy engagement. Runnymede is working to build a Britain in which all citizens and communities feel valued, enjoy equal opportunities, lead fulfilling lives, and share a common sense of belonging.
The Black Curriculum / @theblackcurriculum - A social enterprise that aims to deliver black British history all across the UK. They run a variety of virtual and in-person programmes to schools, young people and corporations to promote the importance of Black history. They also have a curriculum and develop free and licensable resources for schools to teach students about Black history.
End the Virus of Racism / @endracismvirus - A broad, independent, diverse, and cross-party coalition of British citizens and residents calling for zero tolerance to racism following an increase in hate crime towards people of East and Southeast Asian heritage during the coronavirus crisis.
DAYLDN (Dear Asian Youth London) / @dearasianyouthlondon - DAYLDN’s aim is to educate and empower British Asian youth and communities, to uplift the British Asian identity, and ultimately to fight our misrepresentation in mainstream media.
How to be an Active Bystander