Diversity and Inclusion is More Than Just a Trend
By Beth Hoad
Fashion brands are slowly recognizing that developing diversity and inclusion is not just a trend, but a celebrated norm that is here to stay. This shift creates a new standard in fashion by understanding, accepting and breaking down stigmas around body types and identities.
With fashion being at the forefront of many conflicting ideologies, brands creating products with “anybody and everybody” in mind are continuously pushing boundaries within the fashion industry. Not only does this drive individuals to embrace change, but it also encourages fashion brands to do more and seek equality. This new narrative glorifies differences and fosters change throughout an industry.
You might wonder how does a brand showcase diversity and inclusion? By highlighting people regardless of shape, size, ethnicity, age, gender and sexual orientation, brands are shifting new fashion norms. We’re not all one and the same, and it’s time that more fashion brands set higher values. Like Thirdlove, a company who encourage women to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin. From creating a wide range of sizes, to incorporating clothes that complement skin tones, inclusion and diversity in fashion has many faces.
As consumers, our choices can change the future from what was once a dated standardization of fashion. Inclusive brands such as ONE432 not only make non-confirming gender clothing, but work with artisans of different cultures and backgrounds to produce products. Brands are listening and aligning their values with consumers, and it’s paying off. GRANT BLVD is a brand which is much more than a clothing store. Not only are they producing sustainable clothing, but they are sharing a voice from women who have been left behind, incarcerated and ignored. Inclusion standards should always be evolving, and with great brands like these, I’m hopeful it will only increase.
I consider myself a body positive woman and at times I feel misrepresented by brands. If these thoughts cross my mind, I can’t even fathom the thoughts of individuals who are underrepresented and invisible to fashion brands every day. Diversity should be celebrated, respected and seen; Sotela focuses on “radical inclusivity”, by no longer defining their customers by a label.
Hold Brands Accountable
Holding companies accountable as consumers is a great way to cultivate change and keep the pressure on brands who perpetuate dated beliefs. As you shop new brands, ask yourself, “Is this inclusive, does this reflect my thoughts, values and lifestyle?”. As brands continue to evolve, we should be asking more from them to create change and be proud of human differences. Everyone deserves to feel represented and valued, and at D.O.B we strive for everyone to be included.
D.O.B believes we should only spend our dollars on brands with a true commitment to a more diverse and inclusive culture, production process and end-product. We will continue to question the norms and push for making real change.