Our current political climate has deemed it necessary for people in our country to voice their opinions whenever they can, however they can, especially if they have a platform to speak from. In the wake of the election, many are choosing to do so with their clothing, opting for politically-charged pieces championing specific causes and organizations that have been compromised or risk being defunded.
This past New York Fashion Week, designers used their respective presentations to make their beliefs known. At Adam Lippes, models carried handmade protest signs that said "Girl Power" and "Women's Rights are Human Rights." Christian Siriano unveiled a "People are People" T-shirt on his runway, set to Depeche Mode's song of the same name. Prabal Gurung's finale featured a series of T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like "The Future Is Female" and "Revolution Has No Borders."
The latest way the fashion community—and the community writ large—is demonstrating their activism is with Radical Mind.Set.'s "I am an immigrant" T-shirt. The brainchild of Renée Beaumont, a Canadian Immigrant and partner at a sustainable investing firm in New York City, each T is sustainably sourced, made in America, and 100 percent of profits will go toward the ACLU.
"I am an immigrant" T-shirt, $35; radicalmindset.org
"'Immigrant' has somehow become a bad word," Beaumont recently told InStyle.com by phone. "But when you think of the history of this country, it was founded by immigrants. It was incumbent on me to show that immigrant faces are everywhere: Whether you're first-, second-, or third-generation, there's a good chance you are from an immigrant family. I wanted to lend a voice to other people who may be afraid to speak."
The idea for the T-shirts was born out of the Women's March, when Beaumont commissioned them for a few of her friends to wear. Ironically, the shirts didn't arrive in time for the actual event, but once they did, she says, "I would regularly get stopped on the street and asked where I got it." Currently, Beaumont sells two T-shirts: one that says "I am an immigrant," and another with the Spanish translation, "Soy un inmigrante," but hopes to add more languages.
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"If we don't start figuring out ways to find common ground, we won't affect change," she says. "Even if you disagree with the statement, we still need to have conversations so we can start solving some of these problems."