After communities across the UK mobilised to support the Black Lives Matter movement this spring, the dialogue between Black people and Black allies has now shifted from marching and chanting to a ‘where do we go from here’ stage.
All industries are now tackling issues within their own eco-systems, but the fashion and beauty worlds are being particularly heavily scrutinised. Prejudice within this industry has been no secret (it’s everywhere, from the model faces you see cast in adverts, to the way financial investment is distributed to start-up companies) and so the importance of spending money with Black-owned fashion and beauty businesses has caused great discourse.
It’s estimated that the Black British community has a spending power of £300bn, yet only two percent of this is spent with Black businesses. The UK fashion industry (with an estimated worth of over £26bn), is also heavily influenced by Black culture, however as representation and employment in creative offices is sparse, there seems to be a wide disparity between the value the Black pound holds, against the people it truly benefits.
The inaugural Black Pound Day was created by music artist Swiss World – he posted the idea on Instagram, in a post that quickly went viral. The first event took place on 27th June 2020, aiming to encourage people to champion and spend with Black businesses, and was so successful that it is now scheduled to be celebrated on the first Saturday of every month. The corresponding hashtag #BlackPoundDay has over 25,000 shares, and countless fashion and beauty brands have attested to the positive effect this one day has had on their businesses.