At Maakola, we’re conscious that creating an ethical clothing brand is about more than fair wages and sustainable practices. We need to take a stand against racism, too, and as a fashion brand we aim to do this through our company culture and hiring practices, our imagery and content, and the stories we tell. We’ve taken the first steps towards building an inclusive business, but we know there is a long way to go. Find out what we’re doing so far, and how you can join us on this journey.
It will be a long and difficult road. But we are fortunate to be a very small, self-funded startup, which means that we can make a commitment to anti-racism from the very beginning of our journey. Here are the steps we are taking in the first instance:
1. Appoint a Chief Diversity Officer. We are actively looking for a CDO so that diversity and inclusion goals are built into Maakola’s DNA from the start.
2. Appoint an advisor who can help us to create an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), specific for our Ghanian tailors. We want to set the foundations for the transition to an employee ownership model.
3. Build a bigger, more diverse team at every level. If you’d like to join us, please get in touch here.
4. Extend our network of ambassadors. As a company that celebrates women and fosters inspiration in our community, our ambassadors play an important role in sharing their personal stories. If you’d like to become one of our ambassadors, or if there’s someone you’d like to nominate, you can drop us a note here.
5. Amplify the stories of women, particularly women of color, who have made their mark on history by naming our garments after them and sharing their stories on our platforms. If one of your heroines is not getting the credit she deserves, please let us know.
6. Expand our network of artisans. If you’re interested in working with us as a tailor, you can get in touch here.
7. Include more women of color in our photoshoots, both as models and ambassadors, and behind the camera.
8. Consciously recruit people of color to our board and leadership team as we grow.
This is just a start. I’m open to your ideas, and would love to hear your thoughts on how the Maakola community can help to make this world more equal.