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With the upcoming US election causing concerns around disruptions to voting mechanisms, KITH is taking an active approach to encourage people to vote by setting up voter registration hubs. The move reflects a desire from people for brands to go beyond statements and take meaningful action. We explore the insights behind this and why brands are becoming louder political voices.

The retail apparel store KITH has closed down its four flagship sites across the US in order to turn them into voting registration hubs, with staff on-hand to help visitors complete the process. Prompted by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, KITH has closed its stores in solidarity with the BLM movement, while also aiming to get more citizens voting than in the 2016 election. “Voting is the most powerful act we can do collectively to implement change and overturn the injustices experienced too often in this country,” reads an announcement on the label's Instagram account. “If you are not registered and plan to visit us… we look forward to helping you become an instrument of change.”

KITH is taking an active approach to encourage people to vote by setting up voter registration hubs
@UnseenHistories | Instagram (2020) ©
The majority of Americans feel that brands should respond to issues relating to the Black Lives Matter movement, with 71% saying that brands have a role in responding to the issues of racial injustice and police brutality, and 20% stating that they would stop buying from a brand that they perceived to have acted hypocritically on issues of racial injustice. While KITH is turning its stores into voter registration spaces, Levi’s is also encouraging Americans to get out and vote. With BLM protests a prominent part of mainstream new media, people are coming to see this as an opportunity to rethink the American Dream as more inclusive, with the underrepresented narrative of Black cowboys, for example, going viral.

Louis Tozer is a Behavioural Analyst of Social Sciences at Canvas8. He holds a M.A. in History from UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and is a former Research Assistant at The Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade. He can often be found in the pub with friends or at Roots Hall, the home of Southend United.

Canvas8

21 Sep 20
2 min read

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