We’re walking the walk, in manalo’s.
If you follow us on social media, you know we’ve been no stranger to controversy recently. While we don’t want to rehash the situation, we do feel obligated to address it. We had an underperforming employee who we didn’t hire back after we opened during Phase 4. When she found out she would not be continuing her employment, she decided to post defamatory remarks on our social media channels. We categorically deny many of the allegations leveraged against us; however, this isn’t about us.
Instead of going on the defense over the past few months, we decided to take some time to reflect and educate ourselves. After we had some time to reflect and look internally, we have opened our eyes to our blind spots and our unconscious racial biases. When it comes to these biases, we’ve realized, we all carry them. We’ve operated in a society built on systemic racism and the oppression of people, that was engineered to make us think that White lives were of the most value. We understand that the fashion industry is no stranger to this malevolent history. We’ve seen this play out at Gucci, on the runway, and in stores across the nation.
This is our time to take a stance. We’ve crafted a plan to help our store, our employees, and our entire trends community be anti-racist. Here is what we are doing:
We’ve created a store diversity statement, which can be found on our about us page. In addition to the statement, we are implementing a new set of Diversity policies to ensure our store is welcoming to employees, shoppers, and consignors of all diverse backgrounds. In addition, we will be updating our in-store music policy, employee write-up procedures, harassment and discrimination policies and more. While we’ve had many of these policies in place, we know they can be better.
We also acknowledge that part of doing better is knowing better. This is why we’ve tapped a firm to lead our staff through Unconscious Bias training and work with us to create shared terms amongst our team to help us continue conversations on this topic. They will also lead our staff through some Systemic Racism and Diversity training. We will culminate this experience with the launch of an internal and external book club focused on texts that educate us on the realities of racism & social injustice in the world.
As we read, educate, update, and reflect we also want to make sure we are amplifying the voices of Black people and other people of color. Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a new Marketing Plan that allows us to do just this. After reviewing our current marketing strategies, we’ve found that there is a lack of Diversity. We are going to do better. We are committed to doing this in an authentic way— stay tuned to our social media channels because you aren’t going to want to miss it.
We believe that the retail, fashion, and White communities need to show-up now more than ever. Black Lives are not just a fad, like chunky heels, they Matter every day and we have to show up for them. So be a trendsetter.