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Why H&M’s Teaming Up With Tracee Ellis Ross

After two years of partnership, H&M and Buy From A Black Woman (BFABW) announced Tracee Ellis Ross as the nonprofit’s new ambassador for 2022.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Tracee Ellis Ross to propel our support of Buy From a Black Woman even further,” said Donna Dozier Gordon, head of inclusion and diversity for H&M Region Americas.

Founded in 2016 by Nikki Porcher, BFABW connects hundreds of Black-woman-owned businesses nationwide by providing a community to support and champion their goals.

Ross, the “Blackish” star and producer who added “CEO” to her resume when she launched her Pattern brand of hair products for curly, kinky and coily textures in 2018, will serve to amplify the nonprofit’s mission of helping Black-woman-owned businesses thrive through a community of support and resources.

Ross and Porcher recently held a discussion at H&M’s Los Angeles showroom about the challenges and successes Black women encounter as business owners.

“I am proud to help support Buy From a Black Woman and the incredible network of business owners they’ve brought together,” Ross said. “Black women and their contributions are often overlooked, which is why it’s crucial for us to come together to build, strengthen and create our own opportunities for success.”

Last year H&M sponsored events like the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour and the BFABW Holiday Market which ran November through December at its Times Square flagship. These events displayed products from over 50 Black-woman-owned businesses sold at H&M locations nationwide and introduced new customers to these BFABW member businesses and business owners.

“It’s hard to describe in words what it means to have Tracee Ellis Ross as an ambassador for Buy From A Black Woman.  This year we are celebrating and showing the world that [Black] women are living examples,” Porcher said. “I couldn’t think of a better example to help us spread our message of just how important it is to buy from and support Black Women Business Owners better than Ms. Ross. We are truly honored to work with her and to continue our partnership with H&M.”

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Now in their second year of partnership, H&M will continue its support of BFABW with a donation of $250,000 as well as through a variety of activities and support aimed at continuing the growth and success of Black women business owners. This summer, H&M will again sponsor the organization’s Buy From a Black Woman Inspire Tour, leveraging its digital reach and physical store locations to highlight Black-woman-owned businesses across the country.

Fashion companies have increased their action on diversity, equity and inclusion since Minnesota police killed George Floyd in the summer of 2020. Nordstrom Inc. joined a growing list of companies signing Aurora James’ 15 Percent Pledge committing 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-led brands. Target committed to spending $2 billion on Black-owned businesses by 2025. Foot Locker also in 2020 said it’ll pour $200 million into Black communities and businesses.

Meanwhile, in 2020 Gap Inc. donated $250,000 to Embrace Race while Lululemon donated $100,000 to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. Other fashion brands like Supreme donated $500,000 to BLM, the Equal Justice Initiative, Campaign Zero, and Black Future Labs.

Belk recently committed to carry more than a dozen new multi-cultural, minority-owned brands. The brands are featured in Belk’s online Culture Shop which supports and celebrates the cultures of minority communities and includes multiple black-owned brands.

More recently, Tommy Hilfiger announced the first winner of their New Legacy Challenge, a competition to support talented Black designers trying to make it into fashion. The winner, Clarence Ruth, founder of denim brand Cotte D’Armes, secured a $20,000 grant and a chance to design a capsule collection alongside the Tommy Hilfiger team.