Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
2020 for me has been a year of realisation, transformation, vulnerability, and acceptance across a multitude of topics. Especially social impact and equity, and even more specifically in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement and the unfortunate passing of George Floyd, and many others. This has been a year to refresh and reflect and change permanently for the better.
A year ago, I released an open letter to you all with the main aim of highlighting systematic racism and getting us all to open our eyes to the subject and to start a conversation. At Beauty Kitchen, we have always been active in supporting a diverse culture and a range of causes through our B Corp status, with charitable donations and pro-bono work since 2014, but we rarely talked about them. Until now.
“We cannot credibly build an inclusive economic system without addressing the fundamental injustice, inequity, and violence that disproportionately affects Black people and other People of Color. It is our duty as a business community, and B Corps as leaders, to be accountable to tackle racism.” – Anthea Kelsick, B Corp.
Reflecting on the previous year has opened my eyes to what more Beauty Kitchen can do with our voice. I understand that we have a continuous commitment to use business as a force for good, protecting the environment and the community for the sake of people and planet.
It is important for us to work to a sustainable future to positively impact the environment, people, and our health collectively. Our mission is to eliminate single use plastic from our society before it eliminates us. But none of our efforts matter if we are not inclusive in our journey. The state of the planet is one that affects everyone and everything.
In June, we, alongside B Lab UK and the B Corp community, rallied to support the racial justice movement. More than 100 B Corps met virtually for the first of these uncomfortable but much needed conversations. We recognised that most of the B Corp community sit in a structurally privileged position – but as a progressive movement for economic change, we listened (and are still listening) to the range of voices from our community to learn and make progress.
We still aren’t experts in the subject, but we want to use our voice to amplify a zero-tolerance approach to racism and encourage positive social impact through every industry. Over the past year, the entire Beauty Kitchen team have been listening, learning, and of course acting. Not just in the workplace as we continue to grow, but also in our personal lives.
We have been and will always:
- Look internally at our own business and culture
- Donate to charities that need our support the most
- Review & audit the ethics of who we buy from and sell
- Review & audit the ethics of the people and businesses we work with
Our next steps:
- When looking internally at our own business and culture, we have and will further commit to following B Corp Diversity & Inclusion principles in the workplace - even more so as we continue to grow our small team.
- We currently donate 2% of all sales (not profits) to charities that support a broad range of missions including within community groups, childcare, family welfare, disability, health/medical, homelessness, elderly and of course sustainability and environmental. Moving forward, we are committing to dedicating at least 10% of our donations to charities that specifically support justice, equity, diversity & inclusion*.
- When reviewing and auditing the ethics of who we buy from and sell, we are measuring the social impact of our business right down to our supply chain, where we have introduced a supplier code of conduct duty to trade responsibly.
- We will continue to review and audit the ethics of the people and businesses we work with to ensure that they share the same values that we implement.
In my eyes discrimination and social justice are not compatible. Social fairness and it’s impact is a principle I put above all else on our mission and vision with Beauty Kitchen. Fairness has many different facets, however. To begin this journey of a more inclusive way of thinking, it’s important to establish the difference between Equality and Equity within a society. Equality is when the exact same amount of resource or opportunity is given to someone. Equity on the other hand, is about recognising the circumstance that someone is in and allocating resources and opportunities to ensure that someone can still reach an equal outcome.
Social Impact in relation to Beauty Kitchen to me is designing production processes and operations that have a positive impact on all people and natural systems, that are influenced by the creation, use, dismissal, and reuse of our product. It is about making a positive difference in the lives of employees and local communities.
I believe that we have a responsibility to create space for conversations that can lead to meaningful collective action – not as experts in anti-racism, but as advocates for a regenerative and inclusive future.
At Beauty Kitchen, we are always listening, learning and will continue to act. The earlier we all open our eyes, the earlier we can accept our flaws and the earlier we can transform our way of thinking. We all have a voice, and it is always the right time to use it.
We encourage you to listen, learn and act to encourage a positive world for us all and to eliminate racism as a part of this journey. Small changes make a BIG IMPACT.
*So Far Beauty Kitchen Donations Have Benefited the following charities to support diversity and inclusion:
- Uganda – directly supporting 3 community projects
- Bradford District Community Empowerment Network
- Muslim Council of Britain Charitable Foundation
- Black Arts Alliance
- Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre Trust
- Pakistani Resource Centre
- Action For Refugees In Lewisham
- Agency for Culture and Change Management
- Rise Community Action
- Bengali Workers Association
- Iraqi Welfare Association
- Central Africa's Rights & AIDS (CARA) Society