As supermarket fashion retailer George celebrates its 30th birthday this year, the business is cementing its charity partnerships with Diversity Role Models (DRM). This year the partnership includes a £100,000 donation to the charity, which focuses on embedding inclusion and empathy in the next generation.
DRM strives to eliminate homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in UK schools, by educating young people about challenging stereotypes, addressing the misuse of language and encouraging them to embrace diversity. George at Asda first worked with the charity in 2019 with a donation of £12,500 which was enough to deliver 100 student workshops, reaching over 2,500* students in schools across the UK. The fashion retailer wanted to do even more this year with a year-long commitment to the partnership. The £100,000 donation will again be used to help support the charity deliver much needed workshops in schools. This will help DRM in achieving its mission and enable them to reach more students in primary and secondary schools to educate future generations on diversity and inclusion.
The retailer has a longstanding history of supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, in stores and also in wider communities. In 2019 the retailer introduced its new Inclusion at Asda – Being You initiative, aimed at ensuring colleagues, customers and the wider community feel welcome, included and safe, which encapsulates everything DRM aims to encourage in schools across the country.
Adam McCann, Diversity Role Models Chief Executive Officer, said; “We are thrilled to partner with Asda and George for a second year. It has been inspirational to witness first-hand the business’ commitment to LGBT+ inclusion, not limited to one celebratory day, week or month but creating a long-term partnership. There is a remarkable synergy between our values, and I am looking forward to these coming to life visually in the stunning Pride fashion range. The donation will be immense in helping Diversity Role Models reach more students to help create a world where everyone embraces diversity and can thrive.”
To celebrate the extension of the DRM partnership, this week George will launch the latest stage of the retailers’ commitment to inclusion with its “We are Proud” campaign. Working with ambassadors and supporters of DRM, colleagues from Asda and George, as well as other “hero” influencers including Olympian Tom Bosworth, West End star Layton Williams, LGBT family and Instagrammers Priscilla, Didi and Ava (@that_a.c_life) and Dancing on Ice professional Matt Evers. The campaign will run across the month of June celebrating Pride with colleagues, customers, charity ambassadors and influencers.
This summers’ Pride events have been either cancelled are or are moving to be digital events instead; so now more than ever it is important that we still recognise Pride Month. This campaign is the perfect time to celebrate what it means to be proud. The campaign reflects that Pride means different things to different people and will centre around footage filmed in our new socially distanced world, with participants answering the question; “What makes you proud”. The inclusive campaign will encourage viewers to take the challenge to share videos of what makes them proud to create a movement on social.
Lynne Tooms Senior Director – George Design & Buying said; “We are proud to broaden our partnership with DRM as we see a real link between the work DRM is doing in schools across the country and what we do in the workplace and in our recruitment process. This partnership supports everything we stand for as a brand. We know that 1 in 3 children wear George school uniform, so we believe we have a real role to play when it comes to their education in diversity and inclusion. At George we are passionate about making a real difference to people’s everyday lives all year around, and in building a community of allies for the LGBT+ community. Together we will make waves in creating an inclusive environment that celebrates everyone “Being You”.
Asda and George have a long-standing history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community within its stores, depots, communities, and offices. The retailer has had a Pride Network for several years, made up of LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies across all levels of the business, based in stores, depots and home offices. The retailer sponsors and attends various pride events across the country each year, including hosting the family zone in Leeds, Asda’s home city. The retailer has also supported Sparkle for a number of years including running family weekends at the Sparkle Weekend celebration event, which aims to promote trans awareness, inclusion and acceptance. In addition, the retailer has also put into place corporate policies to ensure the culture of the business allows colleagues to bring their true self and best selves to work every day, including first of their kind transgender and gender identity policies.
As part of this long term partnership, later this summer, George will launch a range of fashion products to celebrate pride, the range is unisex and sizes range from kids right up to adults in the majority of designs. DRM have worked in partnership with the design team at George to create inclusively worded and diverse designs. The range will launch in selected stores and on George.com in August 2020.
*1 day of student workshops costs £600 and reaches around 150 students.