With the turmoil that has taken over the world in the past few weeks, our entire team at Crow has made it a conscious and intentional decision to educate ourselves, to unlearn our possibly shadowed notions and learn the importance of being alert to racial and social discrimination.
We realise that we will never be able to understand the pain that our fellow Black community has suffered. Still, we acknowledge our responsibility towards racial groups and are practising various methods to improve ourselves.
We have devised a compilation of goals that we promise to carry out sincerely, which will bring about change both in the short and the long term.
Opportunities for Women of Color
Crow has always wished to provide a helping hand in closing the gender gap and giving women further opportunities and being a voice for them. We have been working with organisations advocating for women’s equality, and numerous of our weavers are women, who gift us with their skilled art and get their deserved dues, without the thought of a pay gap.
Although we have concentrated on bringing about a change in the inequality that women face, we now recognise that we need to do better, in terms of women in the community of other women. We need to understand the struggles of women of colour, especially dark-skinned women who face unmatched maltreatment. Not only this but by understanding their conflicts, we hope to provide a better array of opportunities.
Creative content representation
We understand that the creative content that we put out on our social media pages are viewed by a majority of people - whom we have the power to influence. This comes with great responsibility to show inclusivity and diversity through our means. Crow has always been honest with its photographs, by putting out unedited and untouched pictures of real skin, with flaws that we choose to embrace as beauty. We have also been welcoming of all skin colours and body sizes. We love showing the diversity of real beauty, by portraying dark-skinned models as well as plus size models wearing our garments. We appreciate and take every chance to celebrate diversity. One way we do this is by providing representation to what society would refer to as ‘unconventional’, and eradicate the notion of aesthetic norms.
Inclusive Hiring guidelines
Crow stands for the rights of equality - especially in the circumstances concerning employment, we believe equal opportunities should be available for everyone. Although India has been expanding in several fields and excelling, the proportion of women in the workforce is declining, and we are doing our very best to provide employment opportunities that are equal and non-discriminatory.
When going down the path of hiring a new employee, Crow has specific guidelines in place which cover inclusivity and help tackle inequality. We are proud to employ unique individuals without any concerns or prejudices against their gender, caste or religion. We love working with creatives that challenge us to be better, that bring their skills as well as their morals to the table and have a good sense of ethics that align with ours. Our hiring guidelines are all-embracing, and this decision has allowed us to enjoy a diverse team, who work together to design and create garments that we are honoured to call a part of Crow.
Internal awareness and education
We realise that some of our staff may not have the appropriate recourses to understand and comprehend the gravity of racial discrimination fully. To undertake this, we have started offering training for our employees, by publishing various guidelines for them to read through, highlighting what is acceptable behaviour regarding the current situation and how we can be better.
Our supply chain and the impact of COVID-19
While COVID-19 has created unparalleled trauma for friends and family all over the world, it has also affected communities in indigenous regions, who are involved in our supply chain. Seeing work take a halt in honour of safety, it has also led to malpractices by brands, which involve not paying their workers and exploiting them.
Crow does not condone any of those behaviours. We are empathetic towards the struggles of our craftsmen and recognise our privilege, especially in times of world trouble. Although orders slowed down, here at Crow, we have always paid workers their due and on time. We understand what the lack of resources can do to a livelihood - and choose to help as much as we can.
We not only look out for our studio and workshops but for our supply chains and artisans in rural towns of India as well. We have tried our best to track our supply chain as accurately as we can, to investigate the ethical treatment of artisans and labour, and we assure virtuous conduct.
More ways to help
To understand the agony of being judged for your skin colour is not easy. We need to work together to create a different environment for our people of colour and be inclusive of all races without judgement and embrace our differences.
Below we have provided a list of resources through which you can show your support and stand in solidarity with the anti-racist movement. Crow promises always to keep learning and developing better to fit the needs of oppressed and marginalised communities.
Organisations to donate to:
The activist movement which advocates for Black lives, especially the injustice and violence that African-American people face with the police.
A family of numerous donors who aim to provide financial support and bailout innocent victims who do not have the funds to do so themselves.
This organisation is trying to raise funds for bails in order to ensure the health and safety of inmates, given the violence and lack of the ability of social distance during COVID-19 in jail cells.
Donations from here will go into re-building businesses and areas that have severely been affected by the protests for the Black Lives Matter movement.
This is a safe space for women of colour and children, providing them with reparations through donations.
Black-owned businesses to support:
Dana Jackson makes products entirely using natural ingredients that are non-toxic to the skin and includes a range of hair products as well.
Nancy Twine creates hair products that cater to all textures of hair, substituting chemicals for natural vitamins and oils.
- Clothing and accessories:
This brand provides underwear in a wide variety, with 12 different shades of nude to suit every skin colour.
Originated from Nigeria, Oke-Lawal uses ethically and locally sourced fabrics to create everyday wear.
- Home Decor:
Owned by a Jamaican native, this brand is a source for all plant needs, from actual plants to their care-takers like fertiliser and soil. On top of this, it is also actively working during the pandemic.
- Malene B
This designer creates imaginative art in the form of rugs, sculptures and more, which are all inspired by her African heritage, mixing elements of traditional African art.
Books to learn from:
- ‘Assata’ by Assata Shakur
An autobiography about the justice system in the ’60s and ’70s. The book provides an insight into how Black activism began.
- ‘Breathe: A letter to my sons’ by Imani Perry
This book goes into the details about the struggles of Black parenting and how the outer world would consider it ridiculous to take drastic measures.
- ‘I’m Still Here’ by Austin Channing Brown
Brown reflects upon the conflicts she faced growing up as a Black Christian, outlining how religion played a role in her story.
- ‘Me and White Supremacy’ by Layla F. Saad
Saad digs into how the world has many layers of white supremacy, hidden in crevices that seem regular to those that are not affected by it.
- ‘One Person, No Votes’ by Carol Anderson
Focusing on elections, this book describes how racial discrimination is present more than ever, at elections and what impact this has on the outcomes of presidential campaigns.
Movies and Podcasts that provide insight into the lives of POC:
- ‘When they see us’ directed by Ava DuVernay
This series touches upon five teenagers of colour who navigate their way through a false allegation and police brutality.
- ‘Sorry to bother you’ by Boots Riley
A movie about how a Black salesman is forced to mimic a white accent in order to sustain himself in his workplace, showing how people of colour need to fit into the white-dominated society and be white-washed in order to succeed.
A podcast about Asian American stories, explaining personal stories experienced in the past and conflicts that are ongoing as well.
An informative podcast on how slavery changed the landscape of America, giving critical points in history that shaped up into racial discrimination still present today.
This podcast brings on different guests every time, usually Black millennials who narrate their experience with injustice in modern times.
Easy to understand resources for children:
- ‘Skin like mine’ by Latashia M. Perry is a children’s book which is interactive and easy to understand. It explains the concepts of diversity and inclusion in a creative way, which engages the young audience.
- ‘Mind Shift’ is a podcast for children, by a first grade Bret Turner. He explains the idea of privilege by talking about issues such as homelessness and racial discrimination in the manner of a discussion, giving children tools to be inquirers. His classroom discussions are used as Podcasts that can be heard from anywhere around the world.
- ‘The Hollow’ is a Netflix animated series for kids, which portrays diversity through its characters, by giving an adequate representation of different colours and races - and also has a fun storyline revolving around a mystery to keep children engaged.