H&M Recommits to 'Buy From A Black Woman' with Ambassador Tracee Ellis Ross

PhenomenalMAG Staff  |  Fashion Me In Style

H&M USA has worked with Buy From A Black Woman for two years and will continue to support the project with a $250,000 donation.

H&M USA will support the Buy From a Black Woman Inspire Tour again this summer, using its channels and physical sites to highlight Black Woman-owned firms nationwide.

Donna Dozier Gordon, H&M's inclusion and diversity manager, said, "We keep elevating the partnership."

“We started working with Buy from a Black Woman last March. The Inspire Tour's success prompted us to develop the Times Square holiday market. This year's inspire tour launches at Essence, which boosts our support. Tracee Ellis Ross's role as partnership ambassador shows how we're growing our relationship,” said Dozier Gordon.

The program is expanding, following an exciting tour and four weeks in Times Square that featured four vendors. Dozier Gordon said 11 vendors will be in New Orleans next. “We'll recruit another 30 vendors for the remaining tour destinations, and we want to do the holiday market again in December, so we'll have more merchants than last year,” she revealed.

Dozier Gordon said, "Many of the girls had never seen their goods in a retail setting before this event, so seeing how their vision for their company blossomed was wonderful. Because of their sales, most of them emptied their stockpiles.

“When you consider how one of the vendors was able to resolve all of her debt and buy a home for her family as a consequence of the tour, you can see how the program's benefits went beyond raising sales to increase the women's self-worth and confidence,” she continued.

Dozier Gordon said, "For H&M, it's more than writing a check or a vow. We're proud of how it promotes community economic growth." Despite not endorsing the 15% vow, she believes the retailer’s actions prove its commitment to supporting and partnering with Black designers and brands.

“In addition to our engagement with Buy from a Black Woman, we've committed to supplier diversity as part of our inclusion and diversity policy. This commitment requires us to procure from varied vendors across our company,” said Dozier Gordon.

Tracee Ellis Ross called it "exciting and necessary." She was amazed by how H&M used their resources to help ongoing projects. “People are unsure about what to do and sometimes make assumptions. There are professionals fighting to change the industry and empower Black women, and they know how to accomplish it,” she remarked.

Nikki Porcher and Buy from a Black Woman are paving the way for entrepreneurs, said Ellis Ross. "It's amazing, especially as a Black CEO, founder, and entrepreneur who has faced many barriers. Despite being famous, it wasn't easy.”

"It pushes the needle," said Dozier Gordon. “Our focus on community engagement and investment is to identify and celebrate organizations and people making a positive impact. It's not about H&M per se; we're using our platform, scope, and footprint to promote others' community service. So, we activate and facilitate. Buy from a Black Woman is a terrific example of community engagement, I think.”

Buy From A Black Woman creator Nikki Porcher approached the fast fashion business about cooperating to enhance the number of Black female producers. Porcher said H&M wanted to work with grassroots groups. “We made it work since it's perfect for my summer Black Woman Inspire Tour,” she revealed.

H&M's cooperation with Buy From A Black Woman helps both sides. "Last summer, we held all of our pop-ups in stores with home departments to attract Black women and promote the H&M home department. We learned about H&M Home and raised awareness, said Porcher. The Times Square holiday bazaar worked out well. H&M sponsored two of our grants.”

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