DESIGN

Ways To Support The Black Community Right Now – Even If You Live In Scandinavia

Like so many others, I jumped on with posting a black square in my feed on IG yesterday. I want to help, educate myself and use my voice and platform in the best possible way, but honestly, I do not know how. One thing is clear though, muting myself, like my post on IG said yesterday, certainly can’t be the way to do it.

I know, I am a white dude living in Denmark. And although some of our politicians most likely will disagree, it is a country with ver limited diversity, only about 14% of the population are immigrants, and only 2/3 of those are from non-western countries (the Middle East mostly). I might be part of minority myself, being gay, but even that living in Denmark, is really not a big issue anymore (I am not neglecting, that we still have issues with hate crime etc, but nothing mayor, in fact 90% of people thinks homosexuality should be accepted by society). In any given day, at any given time, I can also, make the choice of not sharing my sexual preference, if I don’t feel like it. That is certainly not the case for black people. I will never understand what that feels like or which battles they have to go through every day. All I can do is to educate myself and use my platform to share knowledge.

I would love to be able to present a list of black designers to support, but as pointed out, we are not very diverse. In fact, after browsing all the Scandi brands I can think of, none of them have any black designers in their portfolio right now, as far as I can find. A few have previously worked with black designers; Bolon collaborated with Stephen Burks and the Spanish design brand BD Barcelona Design on a experimental line of textiles for furniture and in 2019, IKEA worked with Design Indaba to connect with 10 designers from across Africa, who then worked alongside IKEA’s in-house designers to create a collection that bridged various cultural sensibilities.

I would love to see all those Scandi home decor brands we saw declaring their solidary yesterday, to act beyond too. Use black models. Use black influencers. Start working with black designers. Make them visible. Danish fashion brands such as Foret Studio and Halo are already leading the way on how it’s done.

I don’t want to be silent and I don’t want my blog to go silent either. If you’d like to join me in that effort, I’ve compiled a list of resources and ideas to bring anti-racist values into your own homes and communities.

Start diversifying your social feeds. Some of my newly discovered favorites are; Grillo Designs, an award-winning DIY & home improvement blog, packed with great advice if you are renting your home and Restoration House, created by Kennesha Poe-Buycks, another great resource for home improvements and DIYs.

I would also encourage you to look for black-owned businesses. One place to check out is Our Lovely Goods, where you’ll find handcrafted natural wax candles. They are based in Scotland but ship internationally.  You should also check out Goodee, owned by twin brothers, Byron and Dexter Peart, are for those of you who loves the Scandi vibe, but lives in US or Canada. It is an incredible store that only carries products from designers that are making a strong social or environmental impact.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve, I’d love to hear from you.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    June Honour
    June 5, 2020 at 08:48

    I want to say thank you for this Allan. It’s a difficult time for everyone and I appreciate how hard it is as a white man to speak up on a topic that is so highly charged at the moment. Coming from an African Australian woman, I want to say thanks for opening your heart and your blog to share and educate as much as is within your power to. I’ll check out the blogs and stores you’ve mentioned, and as always keep reading your blog which I’ve always enjoyed doing.

    • Reply
      Allan
      June 5, 2020 at 13:59

      Thank you so much June. Using my platform is the least I can do. I am trying my best to be genuine, honest, and to educate myself in the black community and history. The more I learn, the more it just shows how ignorant I have been. I am sorry. Thank you again for taking the time to post a comment. And thank you for reading. I really appreciate it.

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