This Exeter student is raising money for BLM by selling tie-dye clothing

This is just one innovative way to raise money and awareness for the worthy cause

With the recent tragic murder of George Floyd causing uproar throughout the world, the Black Lives Matter movement has flooded the internet. With every celebrity and influencer worth a moment of your time sharing links of how to support the cause and educate yourself about the issues of racism, in not only the USA but also the UK, some people, especially students, are left wondering how they can help out with their limited funds.

One Exeter student has found a solution. Millie Barker, 21, in her second year of Drama, has started a tie-dye business on Instagram, with all of the profit going to great causes, namely the Black Lives Matter movement, and the NHS.

Millie started this business venture as she was bored in lockdown and had seen that tie-dye has come back into fashion. She told the Exeter Tab: “the clothes were so expensive and being an unemployed (thanks Drama) student I couldn’t afford them, and thought making my own would be fun!”

Millie started this Instagram page a few weeks ago and initially it was raising funds for the NHS. However, in light of the murder of George Floyd and worldwide protests, she has changed this. Millie said: “with the BLM movement being so important I realised that, as a white person, I am part of the problem and should do whatever I can to help the movement.” Since then, customers choose to donate either to the Black Lives Matter movement or the NHS.

Millie told the Exeter Tab: “it’s so important to take action now because we cannot move forward as a society until we tackle the issues we are facing. I’m ashamed that we as a human race have let things be how they have for so long.” All the profit she makes is donated directly to the chosen cause. She wants to keep the clothing as cheap as possible to give an incentive to people to buy it, with £3-4 donated from crop tops and socks, and £8 from sweatshirts.

So far Millie has had about 45 orders, and counting. This project has already made over £150 in donations, in just the first few weeks.

With her house turning into a colourful creation and parcels coming and going every day, Millie has certainly succeeded in keeping herself busy. She has recently changed suppliers to allow for quicker production times so, with increased sales, more money will be donated to a worthy cause. As well as (obviously) buying from her Instagram page to donate money to the BLM movement, Millie told the Exeter Tab:  “giving a donation to charity isn’t the only thing you can do. There are so many books and resources available and we can all be doing more, no matter how much we’re doing right now!”

Another way to make your voice heard and to make a mark from your own hometown is by joining the protests. Many cities around the UK have seen huge demonstrations in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the murder of George Floyd. These cities include London, which took place in Hyde Park on Wednesday, and Birmingham, with separate demonstrations planned throughout this week.

Scenes from the London protest

Exeter has joined this activism, with a vigil for George Floyd planned to take place on Saturday. A peaceful and social distanced vigil will take place at the Flower Pot playing fields at 5pm. The organisers have advised to wear PPE where possible, and to bring sights supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

However, if you are shielding or don’t feel safe joining the protests because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter has shared digital ways to protest on their website. A list of resources has also been created for education through books, articles, movies and other forms, in an answer to the preformative activism seen on Instagram and Twitter.

Sign the ‘Justice for George Floyd’ petition here

Go to Millie’s Instagram here

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Here’s how to stay safe while attending a socially distanced protest

• PSA: Your performative activism and Instagram chains aren’t helping anyone

• Don’t let videos of US police brutality fool you, the UK is just as racist