A number of high-profile clothing brands and fashion retailers are urging their followers to take action, donate, or stand against racism and injustice amid nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Macy’s, the Gap, Adidas and Asos were among the dozens of companies to share such sentiments on social media over the weekend, with many of them hashtagging their posts with #BlackLivesMatter.
One of the earliest and most powerful of these messages came from Nike, which released a minute-long ad on Friday encouraging viewers to “be part of the change.” The brand’s ad, which featured only text on a blank black screen, urged viewers to “Don’t Do It.”
“Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us,” read the message, which was also shared with Nike’s 113 million Instagram followers. “Don't make any more excuses. Don't think this doesn't affect you. Don't sit back and be silent. Don't think you can't be part of the change. Let's all be part of the change."
The CEOs of both Macy’s and Nordstrom also condemned the violence that resulted in the deaths of not only George Floyd, but Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, with Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette saying the crimes “must be brought to justice,” and Pete and Erik Nordstrom writing that this kind of “disregard for basic human rights … has no place in our communities or country.”
Other popular retailers and brands, including Asos, Forever 21, Revolve, Levi’s, Adidas and Puma expressed similar sentiments on social media, with some hashtagging their posts with #BlackLivesMatter or #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd. Gap Inc., too, had confirmed it had donated $250,000 on behalf of its brands (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta) to support the NAACP as well as Embrace Race, a nonprofit organization aiming to “raise a generation of children who are thoughtful, informed, and brave about race.”
Protests over the death of George Floyd began erupting in cities across the country last week, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd repeatedly stated that he was unable to breathe. Floyd died soon afterward.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired Tuesday in connection with Floyd's death. Chauvin was also arrested and charged with third-degree murder on Friday, though a lawyer for Floyd’s family is hoping to upgrade the charges to include first-degree murder. If convicted for the current charges, Chauvin faces more than 12 years in prison.