Rent the Runway Will Spend $1M To Support Black Designers

On Tuesday (June 2), Rent the Runway took to Instagram to announce they're "taking action" in the wake of the worldwide protests against police brutality. The clothing subscription service detailed three ways they will be helping in the fight against systemic racism in the United States, including allocating $1 million to support up and coming Black designers.

“We want our actions as a business to be substantive and systematic, so we are doing the slow work to build a clear and sustained long-term strategy to fight systemic racism and make Rent the Runway, and the wider fashion industry, more diverse and anti-racist,” the company wrote on Instagram.

Their post includes multiple slides detailing their action plan. In the first slide, Rent the Runway shared their plan to donate $100,000 to support the immediate needs of organizations combatting racial injustice, including the NAACP and Black Visions Collective. The next step for Rent the Runway is an allocation of $1 million for Black designers, which will be used through their wholesale, platform and co-manufacturing initiatives. Lastly, Rent the Runway is committing to ensure that at least 15% of the talent they feature and support moving forward are from the Black community.

In their lengthy caption, Rent the Runway expanded on how they will reach these goals. Through the $1 million they plan to use to support Black designers, Rent the Runway will provide design resources, data, mentorship and financial support to create collections for the RTR platform. "It is critically important to us that a significant portion of our $1M goes towards launching fashion brands from Black designers who have not had the investment capital to launch on their own," the caption reads.

"For too long, the fashion industry has co-opted the style, inspiration and ideas of Black culture without ensuring that Black people are economically compensated for this," the caption continues. "Therefore, we will also support [Aurora James'] #15PercentPledge. We are committing today that at least 15% of the fashion talent that we feature and support moving forward are from the Black community, inclusive of the models in our marketing, the ambassadors we use, and the styling talent, photographers, videographers and crews behind the camera. "

Rent the Runway concluded their mission statement by acknowledging "that the Black community is tired of the long-standing racism and violence. We also acknowledge the cyclical nature of society’s attention to moments of such injustice, so we vow to take systematic actions as a business that will last beyond this current moment in time. This is just the start, and we look forward to sharing further details on other plans soon. Our work has just begun.⁣"

Photo: Getty

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