The recent spa shootings in Atlanta that killed eight individuals—six of whom were of Asian descent—underscored the rise in attacks on the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community. According to Stop AAPI Hate, an organization founded last March to track and respond to racial discrimination and violence, there have been close to 3,800 reported incidents as of Feb. 28—less than a year since launch.
Just as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement called on companies across all industries to show solidarity with the cause, recent attacks on the AAPI community have inspired a similar response. Brands and organizations across the denim industry took to social media to offer support and solidarity in the form of powerful messages and financial contributions to relevant organizations.
Levi Strauss & Co. has shown its support for the Asian community in a series of social media posts and communications denouncing the recent surge of racial violence. Earlier this month, the company shared an internal message sent from president and CEO Chip Bergh, which offered employees resources for managing racial trauma and stress, as well as bystander training. It’s also working with its Asian Employee Resource Group to determine how it can best respond to their needs, and supporting organizations such as the Chinese for Affirmative Action and Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.
On Monday, Levi’s vice president and chief financial officer Harmit Singh posted an open letter on LinkedIn calling an end to the attacks, stating “unfortunately, like many others in the AAPI community, I too have experienced discrimination and know firsthand the pain it causes.”
Los Angeles-based denim brand Frame took to social media last week urging an end to Asian hate and showing its support for the AAPI community in the form of a strong statement and a financial contribution to the AAPI Community Fund. The company donated $10,000 to the central grant reserve that supports AAPI organizations. It also shared the Support the AAPI Community Fund GoFundMe page and encouraged others to contribute.
New York-based denim brand CIE Denim offered support for the Asian community in an Instagram post. In the message, founder Kelcie Schofield showed her love for the brand’s Asian-American manufacturing partners, stating the brand “would not exist without their never-ending commitment to the craft of fashion.” She added that 50 percent of all sales in March will be donated to Hate is a Virus, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combatting xenophobia and racism through education programs and philanthropy.
L.A.-based label Mother Denim condemned the attacks on the Asian community in an Instagram post on March 19, stating the brand “is heartbroken” and that there is “no place for racism, misogyny, hatred violence or ignorance at our company, in our country or in the world.” The company reported that it donated $15,000 to Stop AAPI Hate and shared a list of related organizations that others can support in the wake of recent events.
On Feb. 19, Tommy Hilfiger posted a statement on its Instagram page standing in solidarity with the Asian community, noting that the team is “shocked and saddened by the growing violence against the Asian population in the US.” On March 18 following the Atlanta shooting, the company updated its caption to specifically address the tragedy, which it called “a painful and urgent reminder of the ongoing and senseless violence against the Asian population in the US.”
Lee & Wrangler
Kontoor Brands-owned Lee posted a message to its Instagram account this week stating that it “stands tall” with its AAPI colleagues, family and friends, and commits to using its platform to advocate for equality. Sister brand Wrangler also condemned the recent attacks on the AAPI community with a message calling an end to hatred. “We all must do what is right and continue to use our voices and platforms to show that this will not be tolerated,” it stated.
Project and Coterie
Fashion trade shows Project and Coterie responded to the attacks, posting a joint message on their Instagram accounts denouncing the violence and offering support to the AAPI community, stating, “You matter. Your voice matters. And you deserve to be safe.”