The 25BWB Collective Is Holding Beauty Brands That Posted Black Squares to Task

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Four months ago, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, our feeds went dark as friends, colleagues, and the brands we followed posted Black squares to their Instagrams. #BlackOutTuesday was supposed to be a sign of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and for brands, a signal that they’re willing to take a stand for their Black employees and shoppers. Instead the initiative effectively became copy-paste “activism.” Many called it out for being inauthentic and performative, while others demanded brands share what the racial breakdowns of their organizations looked like internally. 

It was a long overdue boiling point, leaving Black shoppers and employees alike to wonder—once again—whether diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fashion and beauty industries would really change or whether this was just more lip service. 

Now, as the antiracism graphics have waned and our feeds have largely gone back to “normal,” the question still stands. Black women want to know that our favorite beauty brands support us by having adequate and intentional diverse representation across their organizations and within their products. For many of us, it’s no longer enough to see 40 shades of foundation on a shelf. That should be a given. We want to see substantial and quantitative change across the board, especially in the boardroom. We want to know our money is going toward the paychecks of deserving Black women in the labs, on photo shoots, and behind the scenes at every level. 

And so does 25BWB. 

The organization, which stands for 25 Black Women in Beauty, was founded on June 19, 2019 (Juneteenth) by beauty industry veterans Ella T. Gorgla and Cara Saban, who together have a combined 45 years of experience working for billion-dollar brands. Their résumés include names like MAC, Estée Lauder, Shea Moisture, Nars, and L’Oréal Paris. The other women in the collective as just as impressive—Sharon Chuter (CEO of Uoma Beauty), Stephanie Davis Michelman (V.P. and general manager at Bobbi Brown), and Angela Simpson (executive director of marketing at Nars) all count themselves as members. 

Their mission is to celebrate, elevate, and inspire Black women in beauty through mentorship and networking—but not in the old-school sense where you go to a party and leave with a handful of business cards that lead nowhere. Instead, the organization is partnering with notable brands like Chanel and Sephora to help place Black women in leadership roles within the beauty industry.

Originally known for its (pre-COVID) private intimate dinners featuring influential Black women entrepreneurs, executives, editors, and influencers in the beauty space, the collective has now scaled to developing a strong platform centered on the conversation around diversity and inclusion. The organization offers to companies its comprehensive “Résumé Book,” which features top applicants, and it partners with companies to perform executive search and board placement. In addition to helping more Black women secure corporate leadership roles, 25BWB also aims to increase funding for Black women entrepreneurs, as well as place more Black-owned beauty brands at top retailers.

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Greenhills’ Mert Oral claims 3rd individual tennis state title in dominant fashion

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MASON – Mert Oral has done it again.

The Ann Arbor Greenhills junior standout cruised to his third overall individual state title at the Division 3 No. 1 singles championship Wednesday at Mason High School.

Oral, a University of Michigan commit, secured his second straight title in No. 1 singles competition in D3, adding to his No. 3 singles title in Division 4 in 2018.

It didn’t take long for Oral to get going as he won 6-0, 6-0, in the opening round of the tournament over Forest Hills Eastern’s Sreejay Ramakrishnan, then took down Grand Rapids Christian’s Simon Volkema 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals, before defeating Owen DeMuth of Bloomfield Cranbrook Kingswood in the title match 6-1, 6-0.

The top-seeded player in Division 3 closed out the postseason with a perfect 7-0 record after going unbeaten in last week’s team state finals, helping the Gryphons finish second in the state behind Cranbrook Kingswood.

Oral also defeated DeMuth 6-1, 6-0 in the team’s state finals and finished the playoffs dropping only three games in the 14 total sets he competed in between the two tournaments.

Oral will return next season as the favorite to win a fourth straight state title and could become only the sixth player in Michigan high school tennis history to win four overall state titles and only the eighth to win three No. 1 singles championships in a career.

Three other Ann Arbor-area tennis players also competed in the No. 1 singles tournament in Division 1 competition Wednesday.

Pioneer’s Stanley Rhodes fell 6-3, 6-2 to Bloomfield Hills’ Noah Roslin, Huron’s Angie Zhou dropped his match to Joshua Portnoy 6-0, 6-0 and Skyline’s Anthony Van Oyen fell 6-4, 6-0 to Gabe Brown of Athens.


Greenhills, Pioneer finish as runner-ups at boys tennis state finals

‘Dream come true’: Mert Oral becomes first Greenhills tennis player to commit to Michigan

10 Ann Arbor-area boys tennis players to watch in 2020

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Garment workers pay as fashion companies seek cheaper goods

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A woman works in a garment factory, as factories reopened after the government has eased the restrictions amid concerns over coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dhaka, Bangladesh

© Provided by Quartz
A woman works in a garment factory, as factories reopened after the government has eased the restrictions amid concerns over coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dhaka, Bangladesh

US and European fashion companies canceled a huge volume of orders from their suppliers after Covid-19 hammered sales earlier this year. The consequences were far-reaching. Many of those factories are in low-wage countries around Asia where workers may live on the brink of destitution. Without orders to complete, many had their hours slashed or cut entirely.

But even as orders for new clothing have returned, garment workers remain in a precarious situation as factories say companies have demanded they produce their clothes for lower prices.

In a survey of 75 suppliers, predominately in countries around Asia and Central America, more than half said the fashion companies they supply cut their prices compared to last year. The survey, conducted by Penn State University’s Center for Global Workers’ Rights in association with the independent watchdog group Worker Rights Consortium, found companies reducing prices an average of 12% relative to last year’s price for the same item.


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“As a result, 56% of suppliers have been forced to accept some orders below cost, and the majority anticipate having to continue to do so,” the report stated. The factories also reported having lower order volumes overall, and many that previously had orders canceled without payment still haven’t been paid in full. Without a change, factories could ultimately be forced to cut jobs or close.

In Bangladesh, which has grown into the world’s second largest clothing exporter behind China largely because of its low costs, factory owners say they’re feeling the pressure. Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Denim Expert Limited in Dhaka, said factories have little choice but to accept the price cuts. “What else do you expect from the manufacturer?” he said during a virtual conference held by fashion trade outlet Sourcing Journal Oct. 14. “Overhead costs are fixed. You have to pay the workers every 26 days.”

One Bangladeshi supplier to companies such as H&M and Gap told Reuters customers were demanding price cuts as high as 15%. The surge in orders he expected ahead of the holidays hasn’t materialized. “We are taking orders just to survive,” he said.

Factories in numerous countries have also had to contend with temporary shutdowns due to the pandemic. The total impact of all these issues, while hard to measure, has been significant. The International Labour Organization believes (pdf) estimates the typical garment worker in Asia and the Pacific region lost two to four weeks of work, while only three in five kept their job at all. Those still employed saw their earnings fall.

Earlier this month, Penn State’s CGWR and the WRC estimated from trade data (pdf) that garment workers lost more than $1.6 billion in wages “based on reduced imports and retroactive price discounts for the US and EU markets alone.”

The layoffs and reduced hours have left countless workers and their


Allbirds launches its first line of sustainable apparel

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If you’ve ever wanted to wear a T-shirt made of discarded crab shells, now’s your chance.

a woman wearing glasses: Footwear company Allbirds has launched its first line of sustainable apparel.

© Courtesy Allbirds
Footwear company Allbirds has launched its first line of sustainable apparel.

Yes. Really.


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Allbirds — the footwear company known for making shoes from sustainable materials such as merino wool and sugarcane waste — is launching its first apparel line.

The collection, for men and women, includes a T-shirt made of a new material Allbirds calls “XO,” a fiber derived from the discarded shells of marine life, which the company says is the “second most abundant biopolymer on Earth.” It also includes sweaters made from “responsibly sourced” merino wool and a puffer jacket made from a blend of merino wool, recycled polyester and Tencel (a fiber harvested from natural materials rather than oil-based synthetics).

The move into this new category marks a big jump for Allbirds, which shot to success — becoming a billion-dollar unicorn in 2018 — thanks to a growing wave of awareness among consumers of the environmental impact of fast fashion. It has also garnered huge popularity within the Silicon Valley tech community.

The company, which is privately owned, is a certified B Corp, meaning it meets stringent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency in all aspects of the production process. AllBirds has 22 stores in the United States, Europe, China and New Zealand but does much of its sales on line.

“From the start, we knew our vision of evolved environmentalism was broader than just shoes,” Allbirds said in a release Tuesday.

“As the chasm between disposable fast fashion and utilitarian basics has grown the fashion industry has clung to the same outdated methods that continue to drive excessive carbon emissions, soil depletion and synthetic waste … Allbirds apparel not only feels better, performs better and looks better, it’s also better for the planet.”

The environmental cost of the fashion industry is huge, generating around 20% of wastewater and 10% of carbon emissions globally, according to the United Nations.

While the most sustainable option might be to buy no new clothes at all, Allbirds offers consumers a more reasonable middle ground.

Its products are made with renewable, natural materials, and its website and marketing materials provide consumers with information they need to make more sustainable choices. The “XO” material in the new Allbirds T-shirts, for example, helps the clothing stay fresher longer, requiring less frequent washes, according to the company.

And while Allbirds offsets emissions to be carbon-neutral, each piece of clothing comes with a carbon emissions score so consumers can better understand the environmental footprint of their shopping habits.

Buying sustainably made products may mean paying a premium, though. Allbirds T-shirts cost $48, sweaters start at $135 and the puffer jacket is $250 — the prices are the same for both the men’s and women’s offerings.

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: The collection includes a T-shirt made from a new material that includes the discarded shells of marine life.

© Courtesy Allbirds
The collection includes a T-shirt made from a new material that includes the discarded shells of marine life.

a person wearing a suit and tie: Footwear company Allbirds has launched its first line of sustainable apparel.

© Courtesy Allbirds
Footwear company


For women in lockdown with kids, it’s impossible to be seen as anything other than a mother

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Becoming a mother made me feel invisible. Loving hands reached past me to touch my daughter and as the haze of feeding, rocking and exhaustion descended, I became a stranger in my own body.

a man and a woman looking at her cell phone: Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

I know I am not alone. In conversations with girlfriends, in books and articles and light-hearted but heart-sore comments at the park, perplexed women ask over and over again, “But where did I go?”

I asked my girlfriends if they’ve had trouble feeling like themselves during lockdown. “My ‘mumness’ is always on show,” said one friend who manages an entire community service. Another, a partner in a consulting firm, bemoans that her colleagues now identify her as a mother: “I hate that they see me like that.”

Related: Why should trans people trust non-trans authors to lead the conversation about our identities? | Alex Gallagher

Another, a psychologist, out of the workforce with a new baby, acknowledges that she was prepared for leaning into motherhood this year, but not for the total absence of opportunities to feel like herself. “Being a mother doesn’t make me feel desirable; it’s getting dressed up and being around other people – usually away from my kids – that does.”

a man and a woman looking at her cell phone: Perplexed women ask over and over again, ‘But where did I go?’.

© Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
Perplexed women ask over and over again, ‘But where did I go?’.

Yes, we love our kids and, yes, we even love being mothers (it seems we still have to preface any mum-whingeing with this proviso), but lockdown, as necessary and important as it has been, took away our opportunities of being seen as anything other than a parent.

Often the way we begin to feel ourselves again is when we are with friends, out of the crying zone of the baby and into the world where we suddenly, joyfully, realise we are not wearing a label that says “mother”. When we dance. When a colleague listens to us – really listens. When the barista flirts with us as they hand over our coffee. We feel human again. We feel seen.

Feeling seen as a sexual being makes us feel visible again

When I ask my friends what they are missing most, we say each other, of course, and the chance to dress up and be out in the world. To be seen. To make eyes at the bartender over our masks, to have someone – anyone! – raise an eyebrow and say, “Oh – I didn’t realise you had kids.” Feeling seen as a sexual being makes us feel visible again, but this year has meant many women have been stuck with a permanent mother mask – especially at home, where the grinding sameness of lockdown life and the repeated soundtrack of “Muuum!” has all but snuffed out eros for many of us.

There are moments, of course. Date nights with fancy food delivery and the kids in front of multiple movies. A fire bucket crackling. A bottle of wine. I even put on a dress.


Jennifer Lawrence Reveals The One Regret She Has About Wedding Planning

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First comes love, then comes marriage an unforgettable Bachelorette party—but for Jennifer Lawrence, not so much.

The newlywed, who tied the knot with Cooke Maroney in October 2019, has not shared much about the day she said “I do” amongst a sea of celebrity friends in Rhode Island. Nor, has she been particularly forthcoming about her relationship with the art gallerist since they first took their romance public back in 2018. However, thanks to a new interview between the Oscar winner and host Heather McMahan on Dear Media’s Absolutely Not podcast, fans got the chance to hear a bit more about Lawrence’s married life these days, as well as a regret she has about a portion of the wedding process: the one and only Bachelorette party.

“I had a major sleepover at my apartment, but I will say I regret not planning a big one,” the actress shared. As for why such a celebration wasn’t in the cards for Lawrence, she explained, “My friend was getting married close to me and I went to her Bachelorette and then we ended up—typical Leo—we called it my Bachelorette.”

Still, it was far from a bad experience. “It was the most fun weekend of my entire life,” the star confirmed. “I don’t know how she felt, but I had a blast.”

Stars at Jennifer Lawrence & Cooke Maroney’s Wedding

Five months into marriage, Lawrence and the rest of the world were confronted with the coronavirus pandemic, which—as we all can understand—was not exactly easy. “I think our lowest moment,” she recalled, “he tried to pick out a three-hour black-and-white Japanese film with subtitles and I was just like, ‘How dare you?'”

Jennifer Lawrence and Cooke Maroney

If isolation has put you and your significant other on edge as of late, this hilarious story from Lawrence should be comforting. “Cooke and I tried to play tennis the other day but—I have a temper problem,” she admitted. While they had the court for an hour, that much time ultimately wasn’t necessary. “We made it 15 minutes,” she said. “I missed the ball and I turned around and chucked the racket as hard as I could after screaming so many profanities in front of so many children.”

Just blame that one on 2020.

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Prominent New York Fashion House Pink Maison Sets Sight on Atlanta Fashion Market

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New York City originated fashion house, Pink Maison, looks to further solidify itself as a household name as it opens a showroom in Downtown Atlanta. The luxury couture shop is hosting an exclusive cocktail mixer on Saturday, October 24, 2020 aiming to introduce its take on New York luxe fashion to the Atlanta market. This event will consist of light bites and wine during a cocktail hour followed by a fashion presentation, style discussion and debuting of the Pink Maison Self-Care Box.

Prominent New York Fashion House Pink Maison Sets Sight on Atlanta Fashion Market

Atlanta, GA, October 22, 2020 –(– Pink Maison invites Atlanta’s illustrious fashion stylists, influencers, media professionals and entertainers to help inaugurate the powerhouse fashion brand in the South. Pink Maison’s showroom consists of Pink Maison Apparel and exclusive designers from around the world including Germany’s House of Byfield, Ireland’s Rene Dieu, and New York’s Videmus Omnia.

The Pink Maison venue is also home to New York Style Fashion Entertainment Magazine (NYSFE) creative studio, photography studio, glam room, cocktail area, media corner and a plethora of other elements geared toward the creative arts.

The event will honor a Breast Cancer Survivor with a honorary makeover.
Date: Saturday, October 24, 2020
Time: 7pm – 10pm

Address: 57 Forsythe Street NW
Atlanta GA 30303

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Vic Open women’s, men’s golf event canceled for 2021

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The Vic Open, an Australian event that is part of both the LPGA Tour and the men’s European Tour, was canceled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

a man wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland talks during a news conference at a hotel, in Sandton

FILE PHOTO: Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland talks during a news conference at a hotel, in Sandton

The announcement regarding the scheduled February tournament was made Thursday (Australia time). The tournament is held at the 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, Victoria, near Melbourne.

The men and women compete for identical prize money, teeing off in alternating groups — a rarity among top golf events.

Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland said, “We’re very proud of how far the Vic Open came since the mixed concept was put together, and we’re more than aware of how popular this event has become. We’ve tried to make it happen, but the call had to be made. …

“We’ve taken advice from the relevant domestic government authorities and looked at the contingencies including the creation of a ‘bubble,’ but they are not viable. It left us in a position where our field strength would have been severely compromised.”

A longtime PGA Tour of Australasia event, the Vic Open added a women’s division in 2019, the same year it also became co-sanctioned by the European Tour.

The past two men’s winners were Scotland’s David Law in 2019 and Australia’s Min Woo Lee in 2020. France’s Celine Boutier (2019) and South Korea’s Hee Young Park (2020) were the past two women’s winners.

–Field Level Media

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Bambuser and AMF Fastigheter to Launch The Lobby Live – a Unique Retail Experience with Live Video Shopping

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STOCKHOLM, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Interactive live video streaming provider Bambuser and AMF Fastigheter, one of Sweden’s largest real estate companies, today announce that The Lobby Live, a unique space in which brands and retailers can build compelling shopping experiences combining online and offline interactions, will open in MOOD Stockholm in November. 

The initiative brings retailers the ability to secure short-term space in one of Sweden’s most fashionable retail districts. In addition to space for in-person shopping, The Lobby Live offers a studio in which they can host Live Video Shopping experiences using Bambuser’s platform. 

The launch of The Lobby Live powered by Bambuser is the result of the companies’ relationship, announced in early October 2020, for which the two committed to co-developing solutions that expand physical retailers’ ability to provide omnichannel experiences. The first phase of the partnership is expected to generate SEK 785.000 in revenue.

By adding Live Video Shopping to their customer engagement strategies, retailers can give consumers opportunities to shop during hosted live streams with an integrated purchase function. During the broadcasts, which are often presented by experts, influencers and store staff, consumers can ask questions and interact with the hosts, which enhances the experience and provides a sense of urgency that boosts sales.

We believe this collaboration with AMF Fastigheter exemplifies the types of retail innovation that will enable physical spaces to thrive, even as shopping online continues to grow,” says Maryam Ghahremani, CEO at Bambuser. “We’re confident that The Lobby Live will provide a fantastic way for retailers to engage with existing customers and attract new ones while Bambuser gains additional recognition and reach in the market.”  

“In The Lobby Live, we have created something unique. We bring a digital technology to the forefront and let it take place in one of our trading venues. E-commerce is today a natural and integrated part of commerce and with The Lobby Live we connect online and offline so that they strengthen each other,” says Annelie Gullström, Head for New Business and Innovation at AMF Fastigheter.

“Interest in live video shopping has grown rapidly, but so far it has been relatively limited. High-entry costs of live videoing technology have been prohibitive to brands. With The Lobby Live, we and Bambuser have developed an attractive offer that makes it easier for more people to use the format. Live video shopping leads to both increased digital sales and reach while driving traffic to the physical store,” says Anna Thelander, Head of Marketing & Communications at AMF Fastigheter.

This is information that Bambuser AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was sent for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out above, on October 22, 2020.

Contact information

Maryam Ghahremani,
+46 8 400 160 02 or visit

Certified Adviser
Erik Penser Bank AB 
+46 8 463 83 00

Bambuser is a software company


The women who brought down Greece’s Golden Dawn

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Behind the bench, before her mostly male audience, as the marathon trial of Golden Dawn entered its last act, supreme court justice Maria Lepenioti did what she has done every week: she kept the peace.

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop: Photograph: Pantelis Saitas/EPA

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Pantelis Saitas/EPA

It has not been easy. Emotions have often run high. Even as the curtain is about to come down on proceedings with a ruling on if those convicted will be jailed before an appeal can be heard, the Greek judge, both laconic and low-key, has had to pull off an extraordinary balancing act presiding over a case that has put more Nazi leaders and sympathisers in the dock than at any time since Nuremberg.

In her court every word has counted. There has been no tolerance for the extreme rhetoric that fuelled the neo-fascist group’s spectacular rise. Nor for jibes from the other side.

“Day after day, session after session, she has managed to keep the harmony,” says Giota Tessi, a reporter with the leftist Syntaktwn paper who has observed the proceedings almost since they began in April 2015. “Her knowledge of the case file is incredible. She has been a model of restraint but she has also been very aware of the weight of the moment.”

Historians will look back at the women who played a seminal role in Golden Dawn’s downfall. Under Lepenioti’s gaze, the three-member tribunal has gone where many in Greece had formerly feared to tread. After its landmark ruling that the far-right, ultra-nationalist party was a criminal organisation bent on extinguishing enemies real or perceived, sentences have been delivered that will almost certainly ensure its leadership remain behind bars for years to come. The party’s founder, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, and the tattooed macho militants who comprised his inner circle, all received 13-year prison terms.

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop: The president of the three-member criminal court, Maria Lepenioti, reads out the sentences for those convicted in the Golden Dawn trial in Athens.

© Photograph: Pantelis Saitas/EPA
The president of the three-member criminal court, Maria Lepenioti, reads out the sentences for those convicted in the Golden Dawn trial in Athens.

With the last chapter in the story of Europe’s most violent political force finally written, it will not be lost on the protagonists that punishment, in the end, was meted out by a woman. “It’s undeniable that in this case justice was female,” said Maria Stratigaki, professor of gender studies at Panteion University, noting the number of female prosecutors and investigators who also participated in drawing up the dossier against Golden Dawn. “For a party whose ideology is based on male supremacy, whose worldview is so militaristic, it’s humiliating and will hurt.”

Stratigaki is among the many who believe there are lessons to be learned.

The dark episode of Golden Dawn – its meteoric rise from being a fringe movement 40 years ago to Greece’s third-biggest party on the back of protest votes over EU-dictated austerity – has raised disquieting questions.

When historians look back they will see a nation whose political class was slow in dealing with the rightwing menace and a society whose silence was deafening. A police force whose