Rent the Runway Allocates $1 Million to Support Black Artists: ‘This Is Just the Start’

Rent the Runway Allocates $1 Million to Support Black Artists
Courtesy of Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway is pledging to do its part to support black artists.

On Tuesday, June 2, the subscription service announced that it will not only be donating $100,000 to the NAACP and Black Visions Collective, but it will also be allocating $1 million to support black designers through its company.

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How exactly? In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the company clarified, “through our wholesale, platform and co-manufacturing initiatives, which includes providing design resources, data, mentorship and financial support to create collections for RTR.”

The post continued, “It is critically important to us that a significant portion of our $1M goes towards launching fashion brands from Black designers who have not had the investment capital to launch on their own,” the post continued.

 

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We want our actions as a business to be substantive and systematic, so we are doing the slow work to build a clear and sustained long-term strategy to fight systemic racism and make Rent the Runway, and the wider fashion industry, more diverse and anti-racist. ⁣ ⁣ Today, we are donating $100,000 to immediately support organizations combating racial injustice, including @NAACP and @blackvisionscollective. We will also be allocating an additional $1,000,000 to support Black designers through our wholesale, platform and co-manufacturing initiatives, which includes providing design resources, data, mentorship and financial support to create collections for RTR. It is critically important to us that a significant portion of our $1M goes towards launching fashion brands from Black designers who have not had the investment capital to launch on their own. ⁣ ⁣ For too long, the fashion industry has co-opted the style, inspiration and ideas of Black culture without ensuring that Black people are economically compensated for this. Therefore, we will also support @aurorajames’ #15PercentPledge. We are committing today that at least 15% of the fashion talent that we feature and support moving forward are from the Black community, inclusive of the models in our marketing, the ambassadors we use, and the styling talent, photographers, videographers and crews behind the camera. ⁣ ⁣ We know that the Black community is tired of the long-standing racism and violence. We also acknowledge the cyclical nature of society’s attention to moments of such injustice, so we vow to take systematic actions as a business that will last beyond this current moment in time. This is just the start, and we look forward to sharing further details on other plans soon. Our work has just begun.⁣

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But RTR is not stopping there. The brand also said it will join Aurora James’ 15 percent pledge, committing that at least 15 percent of the fashion talent hired will be black, from models to ambassadors to photographers to videographers to all the crews behind the camera. “For too long, the fashion industry has co-opted the style, inspiration and ideas of Black culture without ensuring that Black people are economically compensated for this,” the post noted.

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“We know that the Black community is tired of the long-standing racism and violence. We also acknowledge the cyclical nature of society’s attention to moments of such injustice, so we vow to take systematic actions as a business that will last beyond this current moment in time,” the post concluded. “This is just the start, and we look forward to sharing further details on other plans soon. Our work has just begun.⁣”

Rent the Runway is on a long list of fashion brands working to lift up the black community amid the George Floyd protests. For instance San Francisco-based Lisa Says Gah acknowledged that it needs “more Black-owned brands in our assortment,” so it is “putting aside $10k to purchase from Black-owned bands and designers.”

Check out these lists of other fashion and beauty brands joining the Black Lives Matter movement.

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