The events of recent weeks have made people all over the world reflect on racism, equality, tolerance and inclusivity, the need to move from protest to meaningful change and the role they can play in doing so. I’m no different. I was in the US at the time of the Rodney King riots and the truth is, 28 years on, I’m embarrassed by how little progress has been made.
Now, though, is the time to initiate lasting change. The world has a greater and louder collective voice to make it happen; one only has to look at how the protest after George Floyd’s death has spread outside the US, so quickly, to become the global movement before us today.
'So, from today, we are changing some things at KIDLY.'
At KIDLY, we’ve taken some time to listen and look inwards and, like many, we recognise we haven’t been doing enough. We believe that to make lasting and visible progress we need to embed equality, tolerance, inclusion and acceptance into our everyday.
So, from today, we are changing some things at KIDLY.
It starts with our values. At the heart of KIDLY is a desire to just be nice because, really, what’s the alternative? So it’s one of our values - values being the ways we promise to behave - but it doesn’t go far enough.
'Values are nothing if we don’t live and breathe them.’
Today, we are updating this core KIDLY value:
‘Nice guys finish first - so always do the right thing and be nice, to customers, suppliers and each other.’
‘We’re all in it together. So be nice to customers, suppliers and each other. Do not assume equality, inclusion and tolerance is everywhere. Champion it at every opportunity.’
Because values are nothing if we don’t live and breathe them, here are the practical things we’re working on:
Our content & community
We create lots of content that helps customers make meaningful purchases and we hold lots of conversations about the stories behind the things we sell, and the benefits they bring. From today, we’re working on specific content and conversations to help parents navigate this current movement with their kids. But we also recognise that this isn’t just a moment in time. From now on, we’ll always be talking about confronting racism and inequality - alongside other important subjects, like sustainability.
When recruiting; we try to find people who fit our values and the skills we need. In our models and testers, we simply seek real kids at the right age or stage, to photograph and test our products. However, we recognise that we need to do more to reflect the diverse society we live in. It's not enough to sit back and say "Well, that's just the way it worked out". This sets the wrong example to our customers, our colleagues and our own kids. So, from now on, we will proactively seek that balance and will establish a clear set of goals to ensure we achieve it.
Having meaningful conversation with kids about race and diversity from a young age is crucial in this fight. We’re already on the hunt to source an even wider variety of books, toys, dolls and games that won’t just support these conversations and promote diversity, but also ensure all children are represented. This will be an ongoing quest for us to find the best products - it goes without saying that we’d love to hear from you, on what you’d like to see.
This note does not close a conversation. It marks the start of a new one - because we don’t pretend to have all the answers right now. We’re taking immediate action where we know we need to, but we’ll also be educating ourselves going forwards, and opening a continuous dialogue with suppliers, colleagues and customers, to learn how we can grow as an open, diverse and anti-racist organisation.
If you'd like to play an active part in that conversation, or to respond directly to the thoughts I've shared here,
please get in touch.