Newsletter Edition 18 - September 2020


Inclusion and representativeness against racism

The inclusion and representativeness of blacks in society as a response to racism set the tone for the debate “Compliance against racial discrimination in fashion: policies and clauses for adequacy”, on September 3rd, in the eighth edition of Law & Fashion Webtalk, promoted by ABPI and the Fashion Law Commission (CDMD) of OAB-RJ. The webinar welcomed speakers Humberto Adami, the president of the National Commission for the Truth of Black Slavery of the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), entrepreneur Fabrício Oliveira, and Ana Paula de Paula, member of the CDMD, and it was moderated by Deborah Portilho and Renata Lisboa, respectively president and first vice president of the CDMD.

For Adami, the fight against racial discrimination involves compensatory compliance actions, in order to ensure a greater presence of black people in the labor market, and he even defended a quota system in the fashion sector. “It would be better if it were voluntary, but it might be mandatory, if necessary because the black population must be included in any way”, he stated. He gave the example of a store network that printed their clothing with paintings by Rugendas (1802-1858), a German painter who portrayed the daily lives of African slaves in Rio de Janeiro. Even without showing the tortures to which the slaves were subjected to on the prints, the pieces had to be withdrawn from commercialization under pressure from anti-racist movements. “What do you get out of it? It would be better if there was a compliance adjustment, negotiating with the network the hiring of a larger number of black workers in stores”, he considered.

In his presentation, Fabrício Oliveira drew attention to the “structural and incubated racism” that exists in Brazilian society. “The population lacks the will to insert black people and give up some of their privileges”, he said, adding that inclusive and anti-racism initiatives must come from within the black community itself. According to him, this practice has been systematically adopted at Fowler, the brand he created eight years ago, inspired by suburban references. “I prefer to work with a network of black suppliers and professionals, because that way the money stays longer within the black community”, he explained.

To watch this webinar, access: