At Designer Brands, we are committed to delivering results in a responsible way that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion, improves the well-being of our planet, empowers our associates and customers, while supporting our communities.
We’re already moving the needle toward our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals by removing barriers, inspiring self-expression, and leveraging DE&I to achieve tangible results. We are proud to be recognized by multiple organizations for our work.
We aim to further integrate DEI into Designer Brands' DNA – both internally and externally - in ways that help our associates, our customers, and our planet:
In 2021, we signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, officially committing us to these goals with our associates and board of directors.
Our partnership with Pensole is our largest action-oriented investment to date. Our joint goal is to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. As brand builders, we recognize that black designers represent less than five percent of all talent across the greater design industry, and less than 3% of the footwear industry.
To remove barriers, bring more people of color to the table, and create a path for rewarding careers, we partnered with legendary footwear designer and President of HBCU Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design, Dr. D’Wayne Edwards. Together we’ll build the first Black-owned footwear factory in the United States (JEMS). Top Pensole graduates will have opportunities to have their designs selected for production at JEMS, and their shoes will be sold exclusively by DSW!
To further support our ESG efforts, we have multiple strategic and impactful relationships with key partners. These commitments honor the importance of intersectionality.
These are just a few of our many ongoing efforts.
Click here to learn how we're engaging with our associates through Business Interest Groups, Community Interest Groups and Councils.