People are shedding light on diversity at school, inside the office, on newspapers, and even in movies – greeting card retailers remain reluctant to embrace the concept in the business. Why is that?
We live in an era where uni-sex trends are trending in fashion, rainbow T-shirts are everywhere during Pride Month, oh and fashion designers are taking cues from tribal aesthetics.
Just when the retailers are working hard to embrace diversity and inclusion (or some say they are simply capitalizing on the trend), greeting card makers have been slow to act.
If you’re thinking – who even writes or sends handcopy cards anymore? Here’s where you’re wrong.
Seven billion greeting cards are purchased every year. Annual retail sales of greeting cards are estimated at more than $7.5 billion, according to the Greeting Card Association.
And now you’re thinking, so what does greeting cards have anything to do with diversity and inclusion?
Around 77% of respondents agree that greeting cards often use imagery which reinforces gender stereotypes, according to GlobalData’s monthly survey of 2,000 respondents, conducted in May 2019.
This is at odds with a society which is becoming more accepting of the needs and preferences of trans, non-binary and gender neutral people.
Nearly 60% of respondents from the same survey agree that card shops should offer more gender neutral designs.
And honestly, when was the last time you saw a greeting card that features people of colour without any stereotypical elements?
Being an Asian, I don’t remember when was the last time I found a card that features characters that represent my race (except the token Happy Chinese New Years greeting cards).
When being asked what are the key drawbacks of promoting endorsements of diversity in cards, retailers claim that they don’t want to risk being accused of “virtue signally” – in similar case for fashion designers who fear the media backlash as a result of the poor handling of cultural appropriation.
In order for card retailers to be political correct, is cute animals and cartoons their only go-to inspiration for greeting cards?
I don’t think so.
And that’s why we launched The Rainbow Card Project on Kickstarter – an initiative to celebrate diversity and inclusion by supporting groups that are often forgotten, neglected or dismissed in the society.
With a pledge to raise HK$ 20,000 (USD 2,556) by November 15 2019, the success of our project means creating more creative cards, reaching more people, and further advocating diversity and inclusion in different parts of our lives.
Watch our campaign video here:
By creating greeting cards that feature people of different cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, age groups, this project hopes to give the underrepresented crowds love, and to offer them cards that actually resemble them.
Our designs celebrate diversity and inclusion by shedding light on the festivals of different cultures, people of different colours, individuals with sexual orientations and so on.
Together with your help, we can create more innovative designs, reach more people around the world and ultimately raise awareness of diversity and inclusion.
One card is clearly not the solution to gender equality or racial harmony, but it serves as a silent protest to the mainstream culture that is still often dominated by stereotypes and ignorance.