To our La Ligne community,
We live and run a business in a country that is steeped in systemic racism. Black lives are, and always have been, under attack. This conversation is long overdue and we must rightsize an undeniable injustice that never should have existed in the first place. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and are committed to combating racism, both as a brand, and as individuals. We must not only protect, but empower the Black community. We vow to educate ourselves, to take action and to be transparent about our efforts and initiatives going forward in the fight for racial equity. We must all be held accountable to effect real change. We’re sorry it’s taken until now to get here.
The following initiatives are some of the actions we have taken, as well as our pledges for the future. We are committed to running an anti-racist company and this is just the beginning.
1. We have made donations to the following organizations, and will continue to do so: NAACP, The Bail Project, Black Lives Matter, African Services Committee ICLC Legal Defense Fund, BEAM, Campaign Zero, The National Black Justice Coalition, Fair Fight and The Lower East Side Girls Club. Going forward, we will also match all of our employee donations to these and other groups of their choice that are combating racial injustice.
2. The talented individuals we photograph for our La Bande portrait series, a platform that has great power to amplify voices, will represent half BIPOC going forward.
3. All future model castings will represent half BIPOC.
4. We will not collaborate with creators - photographers, hair and makeup artists, graphic designers, etc. - who don't share in our beliefs outlined here. We will not amplify the voices or line the pockets of anyone who has shown a lack of understanding for the importance of this movement.
5. We will partner with Black owned businesses monthly for trunk shows.
6. We are donating one paid work day a month to give employees the opportunity to participate in community work towards social impact and racial justice.
7. As we reflect in this moment, we see that there are not enough BIPOC on our staff, and we are committed to changing that on every level, from our paid internships to our most senior positions. We will also be looking to address both what the pipeline for working in this industry looks like for BIPOC as well as the issue of how and where we are looking for applicants. While we aren't hiring rapidly at the moment due to COVID-19, this is a promise for when we resume.
8. An organization that we have had the privilege to get to know over the years has been The Lower Eastside Girls Club. Their community center brings together young BIPOC women in NYC and provides them with the tools, both physical and emotional, for a successful future. Their programs are offered year-round at no cost and empower their members to overcome adversity and enter college and the workforce ready to be the next generation of leaders.
The work done at the Lower Eastside Girls Club has fought for racial, gender and socio-economic justice for almost 25 years and is an organization we are proud to stand behind. We encourage you all to read up on them, and visit their center.
On that, we are currently working with the Lower Eastside Girls Club to develop a deeper partnership including job training opportunities and mentorship. We will also be donating 100% of proceeds from our best selling Lean Lines Tee to them moving forward.
There is a lot of work to be done, so as we continue to educate ourselves, we are committed to regularly sharing those resources with you. Your opinion matters deeply to us and we hope you will join us on this journey. We are listening, and we welcome your thoughts, opinions and suggestions. Please email us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valerie, Meredith and Molly