Encircled is about embracing diversity, fighting for human rights and protecting the planet. But, we should’ve spoken up sooner. Not sooner, as in Friday. Sooner, as in years ago.
We regret that we’ve not stood up publicly for our Black community in the past. This blog post is to say we will do better. As a certified B Corp, it’s in our corporate DNA that we will use our business as a force for good.
We stand in solidarity with the fight against systemic racism, white supremacy and the historic oppression of the Black community. Black lives matter.
We will update this blog post as we make progress in our Anti-Racist work and Diversity and Inclusion efforts at Encircled.
Updated: Sept 16, 2020
Kristi Founder/CEO Encircled
WHAT WE'RE DOING
- Hired a Diversity and Inclusion Coach. We'll be learning and auditing our entire business for opportunities where we can do better to support inclusivity. A fully-transparent review of our content, hiring, influencer, collaboration, suppliers and processes. This starts in October!
- Currently doing a weekly Anti-racist book club at Encircled (and education plan) with our team.This includes company funded reading with book clubs, and a weekly discussion roundtable with our team on key topics. Our first book is Ibram X. Kendi's "How to be an Anti-Racist"
- Launched the Encircled "Impact" Fund. The goal? Elevate emerging womxn-founded ethical brands in Canada. In the first round, $5000 in grants will be awarded to two brands led by a BIPOC founder. We partnered with the diverse womxn-powered Founders Fund in Canada to manage the process. In addition, each brand will get coaching and mentoring support from Sheena Brady, Vivian Kaye and myself. Applications are now closed.
- Took the 15% Pledge. We pledge that our pop-up markets (all virtual for now!) will feature a minimum of 15% Black-owned brands. We have also demanded our pop-up partners hosting markets to do the same.
Continue to highlight the work of Black activists, artists, brands and content creators on ourInstagram Stories andFacebook.
Supporting. We donated early June to Reclaim the Block. This organization funds community-led safety initiatives in Black communities. Contributed in-kind donations to raise money for the BLAC Toronto.
Content. We're making significant intentional efforts to invest in professional models that represent the diversity of our customer base. This is a work in progress, and was challenging during COVID-19 but by September, you'll see more inclusive models and different body shapes on our site.