Not a day goes by without our customer-service team fielding inquiries from non-black potential customers asking if they can wear Grass-Fields. The short answer is YES! Grass-Fields is for everyone who wants to learn and enjoy African culture through fashion.
Inclusion is a big part of Grass-Fields, our founders created the company in order to bring bold African prints to the world. Everyone is welcome to wear the prints, regardless of the colour of their skin.
However, it is important to be mindful of the differences between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. It is confusing to understand what side you're on when you're not really sure about the culture itself. We've broken it down for you guys in the simplest way possible.
Cultural appropriation is when someone who is not of that culture uses elements of a culture that may unconsciously reinforce negative stereotypes, or without acknowledging and respecting its origin.
Cultural appreciation is when someone from a different culture finds a way to learn, understand, and value other traditions and the importance of certain elements.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing, RESPECT. Here are some steps to help you along the way.
Step 1: Remember you are a guest of that culture
Always show respect and remember you aren’t entitled to be a part of that culture and use your participation or observation as a learning opportunity.
Step 2: Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Asking questions is the best way to learn about another culture and shows eagerness to know more! Grass Fields is a safe space where you can ask all the “dumb questions” and will be happy to answer!
Step 3: Appreciate the culture for what it is
Culture is a part of history that's been there for years and years. Pay homage to the culture. Respect it and don’t try to influence change on something that you’ve been invited to.
Step 4: Have fun and enjoy
Culture is meant to be celebrated, so have fun!
Sometimes cultural appropriation can happen by accident due to a lack of knowledge or understanding but what’s important is that if you aren’t sure ask questions, or if it doesn’t feel right its probably a sign to stop. Either way, use it as a learning experience and most importantly enjoy our fashion!