Brands are botching Black History Month

Bath & Body Works launched a collection to celebrate the month, but has been accused of exploitation and problematic products.

Every year since 1926, the month of February has been dedicated to honoring the history of African Americans.

Brands are botching Black History Month

The tradition is observed by the US, while Canada, the UK, and Ireland celebrate Black history in their respective countries.

Naturally, brands have joined in on the celebration, but many efforts have proven misguided.

One cautionary tale

Bath & Body Works recently launched a collection featuring candles, lotions, and fragrances to celebrate Black History Month.

The brand has been skewered on social media, and has been accused of:

  • Capitalistic exploitation, for slapping African designs on products that already existed
  • Problematic products, like a watermelon-scented candle

Bath & Body Works plans to donate $500k to the National Urban League and the Columbus Urban League, showing its intentions aren’t totally nefarious.

One strategy that likely would have gone over better? Partnering with and promoting Black brands rather than attempting to release its own collection.

For more on how not to handle Black History Month, check out this tutorial on Instagram Reels.

Topics: Social Justice

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