In light of the horrific mass shooting in America last week, brand founders are calling on their industry to better support the AAPI community.
According to Global Citizen, at least 3,800 hate crimes against Asian Americans have been reported during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Amid this violence, which activists attribute to rising anti-Asian rhetoric from ‘political figures and media pundits,’ on Wednesday, March 17, a white gunman was charged with the murder of eight people – six of whom were identified as Asian, seven, women.
The horrific mass shooting, as reported by Associated Press, was at the ‘intersection of gender-based violence, misogyny, and xenophobia’ in a country where verbal discrimination and physical attacks towards the AAPI community only seems to be worsening exponentially.
Now, the pressing question of ‘how can I help?’ is one that’s begun dominating social media worldwide, as consumers look to the brands they buy from to better support Asian Americans without underlying performative motives as was a common occurrence following 2020’s BLM protests.
In fact, a recent study commissioned by Unilever unveiled that 52% of consumers now consider a company’s stance on societal issues when making a purchase – that they aren’t just viewing brands as places to buy products from anymore, but want to know what they stand for.
‘It’s as simple as this: violence against any group is a human issue,’ says fashion designer Prabal Gurung, who urges that these industries have a responsibility to lend their support.
‘If they claim to be ‘woke’ and have the visual power to influence billions across the globe, they must speak up and show up for us.’
He adds that fashion and beauty have a ‘duty’ to encourage open dialogue about anti-Asian violence and prioritise diversity in order to ‘help people from different walks of life feel great about themselves.’
Over the past week, a wave of beauty brands, founders, and retailers have indeed been quick to address the current situation.
By way of example, Estée Lauder will be donating $450,000 to organisations including Asian-Americans for Equality, Stop AAPI Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.