As the aftershock starts to set in following the death of George Floyd — the latest victim in a recent string of killings of African Americans at the hands of police officers and other would-be authority figures — thing are shifting for boldface footwear brands.
Companies that are oftentimes vocal on controversial issue and those that have historically steered clear are all taking a definitive stand.
On Twitter, Adidas expressed its support of fellow athletic wear company Nike’s message with a retweet, adding the text: “Together is how we move forward. Together is how we make change.”
In the luxury space, Alexander Wang shared a post encouraging followers to consider donating to social justice organizations.
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Reposting from @alexwangny because it needs to be said. How to get involved: justiceforbigfloyd.com aclu.org atlsolidarity.org bailproject.org blackvisionsmn.org brooklynbailfund.org chicagobond.org cuapb.org joincampaignzero.org minnesotafreedomfund.org naacpldf.org reclaimtheblock.org
Like Adidas, Brooks Running also shared the Nike clip on its Twitter account with the caption “When we all step up, the world steps forward.”
Fabletics pledged on Instagram to donate $50,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union to support its fight against racial injustice.
Fila announced via Instagram a donation of $100,000 to Black Lives Matter, encouraging followers to “take the necessary steps alongside us for a more equal and just tomorrow.”
Hoka One One
Hoka One One wrote “We fly higher when we fly together. #blacklivesmatter.” It published a series of messages on Instagram, finishing with the poignant note of “The time is now.”
“As a brand, we pride ourselves in our diversity and inclusivity. We stand up when those values are threatened,” the brand wrote on Instagram June 1.
Buzzy sneaker boutique Kith shared a message calling for change, writing: “We implore you to not sit idly by during these horrific times, but rather to let them fuel you to demand a higher standard.”
Merrell sent a strong message on Instagram, “No matter who you are, where you came from, who you love or how you move, we should all be able to safely enjoy the power of being outside, or wherever life takes us,” the brand wrote. “We recognize that not everyone has the privilege to get outside safely and without fear.”
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We believe the outdoors is for everyone. No matter who you are, where you came from, who you love or how you move, we should all be able to safely enjoy the power of being outside, or wherever life takes us. We recognize that not everyone has the privilege to get outside safely and without fear. There is a problem and we will not stay silent. We stand with everyone advocating for justice today and every day. There are simple ways to take action such as furthering your knowledge around systemic issues, taking less than one minute to text “FLOYD” to 55156, or signing this petition to bring #justiceforgeorge: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd #OneTrail #georgefloyd #blacklivesmatter
The sneaker giant called not just for words but for peaceful action. It urged its 5.5 million Instagram followers to sign the petition for Justice for George Floyd and declared that it cannot be silent on key issues.
A brand that rarely backs down in the face of contentious affairs, Nike took to social media Friday night to share its stance on the case circulating around Floyd. For the first time, the brand switched up its iconic “Just Do It” slogan in a powerful video it shared across its social media pages.
“For once, don’t do it. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us,” the text reads. “Don’t make any more excuses. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you. Don’t sit back and be silent. Don’t think you can’t be part of the change. Let’s all be part of the change.” Adding in the hashtag #UntilWeAllWin, the video was shared across all of the brand’s social media channels including its owned-brands Converse and Air Jordan.
Nordstrom shared a powerful message to its Instagram account, writing: “We need change. As a company, we know we have the opportunity to make things better, which is why over the past several years we’ve amplified our efforts when it comes to diversity, inclusion and belonging at Nordstrom. It begins not only by speaking out, but by listening.”
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We need change. As a company, we know we have the opportunity to make things better, which is why over the past several years we've amplified our efforts when it comes to diversity, inclusion and belonging at Nordstrom. It begins not only by speaking out, but by listening. Listening to our employees, customers and neighbors as they share what it's like to be a person of color in our country today. It's working to ensure our teams and leaders represent the diversity we seek. It's providing each and every customer who walks in our door the service and experience they expect and deserve to receive at Nordstrom. Our "Courageous Conversation" forums set up by our Black Employee Network have made a big impact on us. These conversations aren't easy, but they've never been more important. We're grateful for the courage of our employees as they share their stories. We are proud to stand with them. #BlackLivesMatter #NspireChange
Puma shared its own post on Instagram Saturday, in which it defined the word “reform.” The brand announced it is choosing to support the Minnesota Freedom Fund and encouraged followers to donate to the cause, writing: “We need to take action together.”
Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone posted a message, standing “firmly against hatred, injustice and against violence in all its forms.” The label further pledged to “use our voice and our platform to promote equality.”
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It is time for change. We are deeply saddened by events that have been unfolding across the United States. We stand united in the fight against racism and inequality. Too often we have seen in this country that violence disproportionately affects minority communities and communities of color. We stand firmly against hatred, injustice and against violence in all its forms. We pledge to use our voice and our platform to promote equality. The senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many others reflect a racial prejudice deeply ingrained within our society. It is the responsibility of all people to stand together and say enough. rag & bone is a diverse community comprised of a multitude of ethnicities, sexual orientations, and cultural beliefs. We are committed to always evaluating ourselves, to ensure we are doing our part and to constantly do better. We are incredibly proud of the myriad of voices that make up our company and our global community. Diversity is our strength. #blacklivesmatter
Reebok joined the list of brands sharing thoughts on social media with a series of three text-filled black and white photos. The first reads “Without the black community, Reebok would not exist. America would not exist.”
The athletic company then added in the next two slides: “We are not asking you to buy our shoes. We are asking you to walk in someone else’s. To stand in solidarity. To find our common ground of humanity.”
It then captioned the post on Instagram with a final message of “To the black community: We see you. We stand in solidarity with you. This can no longer be the status quo.”
In addition to sharing its own message, Reebok reposted a video by Shoe Palace that was put up two days prior.
Stadium Goods acknowledged the contributions of the black community in defining the streetwear space and sneaker culture. “We are a company built on community, and our community is in pain because black members have been victimized by systemic racism for far too long,” wrote the retailer.
Under Armour announced across its social media pages that it stands for equality The brand stated: “One playing field. One voice. One future where we’re truly equal. Because united, we win.”