“Black Lives Matter” – The rallying cry that went from a hashtag to a global movement, and a designer that personifies your stand on fabric
Brands donated millions to anti-racism campaigns, playing a key role in the push for policy changes – but how many are sticking it through? While companies donate to such movements in line with their CSR, their priority is meeting their bottom line and bringing returns to shareholders. So, despite how worthy a cause is, it ends up taking a backseat to corporate goals, slowing it down. Popular apparel brands committing to the BLM movement already took off the mentions from their websites within months after “the noise simmered down”. But you can’t blame them – they have a business to run, profits to make, and targets to hit.
Enter Beverly Pills
Take out the clamour for profits and you can focus purely on a cause. The loss of his friend to a murder-suicide case in 2014 led Michael Sun to launch Beverly Pills, with the sole mission of advocating for mental health and the struggles people face daily. With the apparel brand, 100% of profits are donated to mental health programs.
Michael’s professional record speaks for itself, working with pro athletes and celebrities on designs for their fashion lines. This ranges from Floyd Mayweather and The Money Team to partnering with Amber Rose to develop a mobile app and also developing ideas for her collection.
For the big names, the artwork has to be in line with their image. Sure, working with industry heavyweights, researching and implementing ideas for their collections is fun and rewarding. However, there is a narrower creative field to navigate, and strict rules to meet. With Beverly Pills it’s all open seas – you sail out and go wherever the tide takes you.
The brand doesn’t produce blanks or basics. There are no weekly releases or line sheets for retailers to pre-book. It’s all pure artistry, coming from the inspirations that Michael gets to create compelling visuals. Profits are not a concern here, with hoodies even being shipped to people who have donated $10 or more to a mental health organization and emailed them a receipt – all at the company’s own expense.
Bringing Art to Black Lives Matter
Ignorance and hate have an adverse effect on an individual’s mental health. Michael knows this first hand, having been the target of derogatory remarks all his life. So naturally, he has channelled his energy through Beverly Pills to support the Black Lives Matter movement, joining concerted efforts aimed at eradicating the racial virus that permeates across society.
For instance, Michael desired to create a particular visual using photos he came across on social media. He leveraged on his artistry, knowledge of manufacturing, plus resources in China, and partnered with photographer Kevin Mckeon to deliver a tracksuit masterpiece that contributes to the movement. Two creatives collaborating is no mean feat, but they pulled it off surprisingly fast due to the genuine intent of both parties.
Michael’s love and passion for the community drives him forward. Beverly Pills pushes to raise the social consciousness on the realities of racism and its effects. Profit is not a motive as this is Michael’s way of paying it forward. The company uses art to fight ignorance, the cultural biases it breeds, and the injustice that results – and this is core to the Black Lives Matter movement. The reward? Compliments from fellow brothers and sisters acknowledging his efforts in supporting the cause.
Look out for new BLM pieces at BeverlyPills.com.