What does racism have to do with underwear? Thoughts from local artisan, Earth and Elle founder, Rachelle Walker

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 11.10.14 AM

Rachelle Walker, founder of Earth and Elle, gave me permission to share this post. When I read it, I appreciated how she was walking into inquiry, to align her values with her business and her offering, and despite all the things that might be murky or confusing, had found some very clear and simple guardrails. Follow her at https://www.instagram.com/earthandelle_/

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 11.14.00 AM

Starting Earth and Elle/launching the undies collection happened to be the thing that prompted me to learning to be actively anti racist and anti a bunch of things that are marginalizing.

I didn’t like the idea of folks feeling excluded from wearing my clothing for lack of representation. I also didn’t feel like representation alone was enough. I wanted to personally feel like I have everyone’s back. So that led me to doing the work, and I’m on an ongoing path of learning and unlearning about how to be an ally for the Black community, BIPOC and LGBTQ2+ communities personally and through my lil’ brand. {let’s not forget #pride is happening meow!} I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m here to do the work.

This work is always essential. As an ‘ethical and sustainable’ company, it’s even more essential!

So yes – I’m here for doing the work to dismantle racism in my mind and heart from the deepest wells of my subconscious. Being white means doing that for my whole entire life. Being anti racist requires being that open minded person whom I claim to be, and that requires discomfort and accepting when I am wrong. Dismantling racism is lifelong work that I will actively show up for.

A couple notes I’ve learnt along the way:
•Being called out on white privilege isn’t meant to be a personal attack.
•Reverse racism isn’t possible.
•White privilege doesn’t mean you aren’t subject to or haven’t had hard times. It means you aren’t subject to hard times based on your skin colour.
•There is systematic racism and there is personal racism. There is even subconscious, unintentional racism due to the fact of systemic racism and white supremacy.
•It’s time to dismantle these systems, like yesterday.

They matter a lot.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s