The past two weeks have been a period of intense reflection for us. We hear, see, stand together with and thank everyone who has taken to the streets and brought their anger and activism to the forefront to protest police brutality and the senseless, state-sanctioned murder of innocent black people in America, because we believe BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Bird was founded over twenty years ago with the mission of bringing a joyful, diverse collection of independent designers to Brooklyn, before e-commerce and at a time when New York fashion was almost exclusively centered around the borough of Manhattan.
Independent fashion collections are often self-funded, built-from-scratch, and created predominantly by women, many of whom are POC. As such, they are less likely to receive support, funding and outside investment. Over the past two decades, Bird has featured and supported hundreds of local, sustainable, women-founded brands and businesses. We seek out and champion new voices and unknown artists.
We also recognize that this is not enough. There is always more to learn in order to grow and foster a more just and equitable society.
To this day, we have not actively nor adequately addressed the inherent racism in our industry, and the implicit biases we have as individuals. To that end, we will dedicate ourselves to finding and supporting BIPOC and POC-founded fashion brands, as well as reevaluating our recruiting, hiring and employee retention efforts. As always, we will continue to pay staff members equal wages for equal work, ensuring that everyone is compensated equitably. In terms of visual representation, we believe in art direction that is inclusive and representative and we will continue to feature models of all races, ethnicities and sizes, as well as employing women and POC photographers to help shape and create our brand identity. And, we will continue to use our social platforms to amplify BIPOC voices.
Positive social impact has been and always will be at the core of our mission. We believe there is always room for more constructive dialogue, more hard conversations that ultimately lead to more progressive change. In solidarity with the current protests, we have set up ongoing monthly sustaining member contributions to the following organizations: Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, NYCLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The Marshall Project, Democracy Now, and the Brooklyn Bail Fund. We will donate 10% of our sales in June to the Brooklyn Community Foundation.
This is just a start. We will continue to research, explore and support local, national and international organizations fighting for progressive change.
We are open to hearing your ideas, building strong relationships and community connections, fostering an environment for women to thrive and find joy, and holding space for nuanced and meaningful conversations. We thank you, we love you, and we couldn't do any of this without you.