In celebration of Black History Month, and giving Canadian fashion a more inclusive and diverse platform for change, Canadian clothing brand Roots has partnered with Révolutionnaire to create the Dreams Fuel Revolutions tee. We chatted with Révolutionnaire founders, 19-year-old Howard University student Nia Faith and her sister, Justice, about how they’ve grown their dancewear brand into a larger movement to empower individuals to use their dreams to fuel revolutions. —Vita Daily
Please give us the story behind Révolutionnaire: when and why did you launch the brand, how has it grown and what products do you offer?
Nia: For the first eight years of my dance career, I spent countless hours dyeing pointe shoes, leotards and tights to match my complexion as I did not have access to dancewear in my shade. Dance needed a clothing company that told people of colour that they are indeed important and included in the dance world, not just an afterthought. This is why I began Révolutionnaire as a dancewear company catering to dancers of colour. Recognizing a need for inclusive apparel and accessories beyond dance, we expanded our collection to include athletic tape, nipple covers, tights, body tape and tees. We are beyond thrilled to be partnering with Roots on the Révolutionnaire by Roots collection, beginning with the Dreams Fuel Revolutions tee, and excited for what’s to come! Today, Révolutionnaire represents a movement that celebrates diversity and empowers dreamers to be revolutionary.
How do you use Révolutionnaire as a platform for greater good; for example, to fight social injustices and empower individuals to use their dreams to fuel revolutions through a digital education, action, and amplification platform for young changemakers?
Justice: Révolutionnaire’s evolution was inspired by Nia’s dream of creating positive change within the dance world and our vision of what it would look like if more young people had access to the network, tools and information necessary to scale their impact across a variety of causes. We’re building a platform that will serve as a fit-for-purpose destination for activists and engaged young citizens to connect, learn, revolutionize and recharge. With a mission to empower dreamers to be revolutionary, Révolutionnaire will equip members with the community, toolkit, platform and resources to accelerate and amplify their impact. It will initially focus on five causes with more to come (e.g., Racial Equity, Criminal Justice Reform, Environmentalism, Anti-gun Violence, Housing and Food Security). We’re excited to have assembled a team of 30-plus activists ages 16-26 from across North America who are bringing their experience and expertise as organizers, community builders and changemakers. Our platform will be powered by technology partner Khoros, the leading community management software. Our waitlist is live and you can sign up today to be the first to know when our platform launches this spring!
How did you and Roots first hook up? What makes this partnership, via the Dreams Fuel Revolutions tee, so special/opportune?
We reached out to Roots after seeing their Instagram post about amplifying Black voices. We have always been fans of Roots and have dreamed about partnering with the brand for as long as we can remember. We were excited when they received and approved our proposal! This partnership is incredibly special to us because not only is Roots a brand that we have grown up with, but it is also a brand that aligns with our values and celebrates culture and inclusivity in a beautiful and authentic way!
Does the cause that sales of the tee will benefit, The Black Academy, hold a special place in your hearts? How so?
The mission of The Black Academy is extremely special to us. First and foremost, their commitment to combating systemic racism in Canada and using their platform to amplify Black voices is directly aligned with our mission of celebrating diversity and empowering dreamers to be revolutionary. Further, in addition to being a sibling duo, Shamier and Stephan’s own experiences resonate with ours. We share their experiences of going abroad to attain opportunities, specifically in the arts, and love that The Black Academy is giving youth the space to elevate their talent right here in Canada!
February is Black History Month; how would you encourage all North Americans to participate, listen, learn and engage in the next 28 days, and beyond?
Black History Month is an opportune time to reflect on how the achievements and contributions of the Black community lay a firm foundation for the future. We can recall and be inspired by moments in history that drive the inner strength and belief in ourselves to push the movement further. Above all, it is critical to remember that Black History is more than a month. Beyond listening and learning, it is important to take action and stand up for what you believe in. Ultimately, while the history that has been made has brought us to this moment and the history that we now have the opportunity to make will lead us as we go forward.