In the heart of Brixton, I am thrilled to announce a revolutionary collaboration aimed at challenging the systemic injustice embedded in stop-and-search practices. Centric Community Research, in partnership with Hijinks Collective, is proud to unveil Legalitees, a community research-led fashion brand with a revolutionary purpose. This collaboration is proud to come together on Edition #1, which seeks to empower diverse communities, transcending the boundaries of traditional activism and art using fashion as a tool to disseminate knowledge on stop and search rights.
Legalitees Edition #1 is not just a clothing line; it's a collective roar against the racial disparities plaguing our communities. Legalitees merges activism and art in a powerful expression of human rights. This builds upon insights identified from Centric’s and Cenethics’ Air Pollution and Fashion Project, where we identified the following insights:
You can read more about the history, context, and culture in our literature review - Black Styles, Anti-Fashion and Protest Messaging
Deeply rooted in South London through Centric and the community research team, Legalitees Edition #1 draws inspiration from in-depth interviews with individuals and artists who have experienced the grim realities of stop-and-search. Artists such as Ishmael Lartey, Sam Lawson, Danna Michelly Quiñones Rodriguez, and Kells Hayward transform these narratives into compelling designs, giving life to stories that demand to be heard.
Legalitees Edition #1 boldly displays simplified versions of stop-and-search rights strategically positioned for immediate readability. This commitment to empower individuals during stop-and-search encounters is at the core of Legalitees. The t-shirts serve as a tool to EMPOWER whilst fostering conversations on social justice through fashion.
The disheartening truth lingers – black individuals are four times more likely to be stopped and searched than their counterparts. Legalitees aims to shed light on the injustice of this practice that marginalises the already marginalised rather than preventing crime, leading to increased levels of mental and physical ill-health and a widening chasm of distrust with police.
Legalitees Edition #1 goes beyond being garments; they are canvases for change. Each design carries the weight of real stories, making a visual statement against the injustices of stop-and-search. The art amplifies voices and sparks conversations, challenging the status quo and igniting a flame of activism.
I want to highlight the intertwined history of stop-and-search with the lived experiences of South London residents as well as my own. As a Pakistani man growing up in South London, where Islamophobia, discrimination, and targeting of young Asian males have been an all too prevalent practice, knowing my rights would have had an impact on some of my own experiences being stopped and searched. Legalitees, a project close to my heart, aims to extend its resonance across our communities, delivering a powerful message of 'human rights, now' across the UK and the world.
This launch of ‘Edition 1’ is the first step in a series of t-shirts addressing commonly disregarded civil liberties. Future editions will tackle further societal and systemic issues, expanding the commitment to challenge injustices and protect civil rights beyond the realm of stop-and-search.
Tamryn Kerr and Marc Allenby, Co-Founders and Chief Creative Officers Hijinks and Legalitees, stress the transformative power of creativity to connect communities and drive tangible change. Legalitees, born out of a commitment to protect civil rights, serves as a tool to empower individuals to understand their rights and raise awareness of the imperative to safeguard civil liberties.
All profits from the inaugural range, "Edition 1: Stop and Search," will be utilised to expand awareness of stop-and-search rights and address other societal issues where marginalised communities are impacted by systemic inequalities.
Legalitees is not just a brand; it's a movement, and the collaboration with Hijinks Collective amplifies its impact. This unique partnership reflects a commitment to community engagement, activism, and social responsibility.
Join Centric and Hijinks on this revolutionary journey. Legalitees is more than a fashion brand; it's a statement, a movement, and an invitation to be part of the change. Visit legalitees.co.uk to explore the Edition 1 collection, contribute to the cause, and be a part of a community-driven initiative that transcends fashion and activism. Together, we can empower communities, challenge injustices, and protect civil rights and liberties.
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