Renaming the Lanai Dress
We wanted to take a minute and talk about a recent misstep we made as a brand – the naming of a dress from our Summer collection. We named this colorful, breezy piece the “Lanai Dress” after my grandma’s porch. I have such fond memories of playing dress up with her (she's why I love fashion) and then having “tea and cookies out on the lanai” together. And this is a dress she totally would have worn. We grew up in Florida and a “lanai” is what she called her porch. I actually had no idea the word had other meanings! After the collection launched, it was kindly brought to our attention that the word Lanai is of Hawaiian origin and is the name of an island in Hawaii. It was never our intention to use a Hawaiian word for our own gains and we wanted to make it right.
We never want to capitalize off of other cultures, so we're renaming this style Laverne (my grandma’s name) and donating a portion of the proceeds from this garment to two organizations helping at risk citizens. First, The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. AAPCHO was formed in 1987 and primarily serves medically underserved Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders. The goal of the organization is to create a national voice to advocate for the unique and diverse health needs of AA and NHPI communities and the community health providers that serve those needs. Second, we're sending funds to a Go Fund Me campaign that is providing aid to Hawaiian sex workers and sex trade survivors. "No one should have to return to unwanted sex with men to survive COVID-19. No one should have to risk infection or worse just to make ends meet. Sex industry survivors are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and collateral violence associated with it. Please help with urgent struggles for rent assistance, utilities, technology access, groceries, and basic needs." Thanks to Coco for sharing this initiative with us.
We take matters like this VERY seriously here and devote a lot of energy into finding ways to address our misstep that will result in permanent, and lasting change for our company and our community. We understand that this is not about our intent, but our impact. And thus, we are working to be more positively impactful.
We think it would be helpful to document and share our company’s values here on our website and the actions that we are taking to uphold these principles. This is just the beginning and our documentation of this will evolve over time as we grow in our actions of citizenship (look for a more in-depth page devoted entirely to our values and actions coming soon!).
Also, we have created a new and more effective way to contact us about such issues. While we love Instagram and the community there, the DM inbox is not a reliable place for real conversations. Only one person manages our IG, me (Adrienne) and it's just not the right venue for in-depth, serious discussions that we want to really dig into. So, in the future if anyone has anything they would like to bring to our attention, we’ve created a form to use for getting the conversation started:
FORM : Did we mess up?
We care deeply about our STATE community and work hard to foster open and honest conversations. Despite the effort, we still mess up, and we’re trying to be better. We hope that you will use this form above to let us know if there is something concerning you. We will get back to you ASAP!