Put your money where your mouth is.
Historically, the fashion industry has been a fickle friend to the black community. Even as the industry borrows freely from the culture, strategically aligning itself with key figures in the community to capitalize on a more recent demand for surface-level diversity, black faces remain conspicuously absent from the boardrooms where decisions are made and the design studios where fashion comes to life.
Over the last few years, cries for a long-overdue assessment of the industry's inability to make significant inroads when it comes to embracing diversity have reached a fever pitch, especially after egregious incidents in which multiple big brands created (however accidentally) products with clearly racist imagery. A lot of (very public) handwringing followed. New initiatives were announced. Committees were convened. But not much is different. The fundamental structure of the fashion industry has stayed the same and systemic change on a broader level remains elusive.
It's endemic on all of us as consumers, then, to help push for substantive change. In other words, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. Direct donations are clearly the most effective way to support those who are marching around the world to demand change right now, but ongoing support of black-owned business is an important addition to that—especially in the long term.
This list, which will be updated regularly, is not exhaustive. It is, however, a starting point for those looking to support black-owned menswear businesses fighting for the recognition they deserve from an industry that is still not designed to give it to them. It represents a microcosm of a much larger ecosystem that would benefit greatly from your contributions, now more than ever before. Black lives matter. So do your dollars. If you can spare a few, consider parting with them to support some of the businesses that need it most.
A huge hat tip to the many roundups we referenced to put together this far-from-comprehensive guide. For a list of what else you can do, and what organizations you can donate to, check out our guide here.