The Cultural Appropriation Solution: Band Together
We've been hearing about cultural appropriation for years now and there's doesn't seem to any good solutions coming from our leaders. The latest attempt to tackle this issue is the proposing of anti cultural appropriation laws. And eventually for official policing of these laws to make sure they are upheld. I think this is almost impossible to to do in practical terms. Although these new laws will target the fashion industry and not the common consumer, it will still be next to impossible.
I suspect that the very real fears and frustrations that us minority ethnic groups feel on this issue stems from a lack of economic and psychological empowerment. We feel that we don't have the means to benefit from our own culture in a economical and cultural way. Of course not all white people benefit economically from their cultural inventions. But at least they feel that they are represented by their own people in the major companies and brands around the world.
My suggestion to alleviate people of color's feeling of being ripped off is to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit. We should band together and take ownership over our beautiful and rich cultural "database" so to speak. I am speaking specifically about the fashion industry, not the entertainment industry. This is where a new renesaince is needed. We already have the entertainment & sports industries on lock. Although there is much work to be done there also.
As many people of color living in the United States know, it is quite easy to start clothing brands these days. Hundreds of new small brands pop up every month. But what we really need is for mid to large size corporations to be formed by passionate brown and black designers. It's not that hard. Band together 20-30 brothers and sisters and you have a sizable potential for capital. Then all you need is a few more investors (not necessary in the beginning) and you have the seed for a new super company.
You will be surprised how empowering this process can be. And it's easier than you ever thought. And don't stop at one company. Keep the movement going and spread the word so literally hundreds of companies are formed. Just think about it. How many brown and black designers are there in the United States? Probably many tens of thousands. That could be hundreds or thousands of new companies. I'm speaking to YOU (POC designer). So band together and go for yours! Almost all big or medium sized corporations have multiple if not hundreds of investors. Make yours today, it's the American way!
PS: Use LinkedIn - it’s an amazing way to connect with other proffesionals looking to create something truly amazing!