Style With Substance S2 Episode 5: How To Support Black Owned Business
All Images: Mamater
How can we support black owned businesses in a respectful and sustainable way. We speak to Marilyne Kékéli about uplifting black creatives.
Series Two, Episode Five
Following the tragic loss of black lives in the US this year, and fuelled by social media, the topic around racism, allyship and tokenism has been an interesting and necessary one. It has touched every facet of our lives and fashion has had it’s own reckoning in many ways. From highlighting the plight of black and brown female garment workers to former employees calling out fashion and beauty brands for their performative stances on allyship. This week our conversation is with Maryline Kekeli, founder of jewellery brand Mamater. As a black female creative, she is concerned by the way her peers and their businesses were being portrayed in the press.
Lifting Up Black Creatives
The jewellery industry isn’t a very inclusive one. As a product historically advertised to wealthy women, by wealthy men, black women have been woefully missing from the narrative. Marilyne has worked hard to carve out her own story, creating beautiful, and responsibly made pieces designed to let the wearers personality shine. So she is keen for her talents and brand to be talked about in its purest way, and not simply because of the colour of her skin. She believes that lumping all manner of black owned businesses into shopping guides is not the way to help. Yes we should showcase black talent and she believes that real change comes from awareness. However our support has to be respectful and long lasting, not simply a flash in the pan to appear PC or pander to a trending hashtag.
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