Clothing giant channels power of pink for anti-bullying campaign


Pink will be the colour of the day at Glassons stores nationwide this month, as the leading retail chain shows its support for women standing up against bullying. The popular clothing chain is supporting Pink Shirt Day on 22 May, with store staff around the country donning pink wristbands and t-shirts on the day to help raise awareness of the anti-bullying campaign.

Pink Shirt Day’s core messages of working together to prevent or stop bullying, and celebrating people’s differences, are important values for Glassons consumers, says Hallenstein Glasson CEO Graeme Popplewell.“Glassons customers are women, and many of them have experienced bullying of some kind, whether it be face to face, online, or having witnessed it happening to their own children,” he says.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says the company’s involvement in the day will also help raise awareness of the bullying issue among young New Zealanders. “We are delighted that Glassons is celebrating Pink Shirt Day with us,” says Clements. “They reach a diverse group of young people, many of whom may have been affected in some way by bullying. By participating in Pink Shirt Day, Glassons is demonstrating their commitment to supporting the wellbeing of young people in New Zealand.”

In one 2013 New Zealand study, it was found that 94% of school staff surveyed have seen bullying in their primary, intermediate or secondary school, with examples of verbal bullying occurring at least weekly among students.  “It’s definitely an issue in New Zealand, and we believe it’s important for brands like Glassons, who have a voice in the community, to speak out about it,” says Popplewell. “We believe the more people that stand together and say no to bullying, the greater the ability for the community as a whole to stop this behaviour.” It is hoped that people visiting Glassons stores on Pink Shirt Day will be inspired to find out more about the philosophy of Pink Shirt Day, which started in Canada in 2007 and is now celebrated around the world.

As New Zealand’s most visited women’s fashion store, the ethos of Glassons is to support individuality, and the freedom to be the person that you are, says Popplewell. “We believe that you don’t have to hide, or try to fit in, and that we should nurture and support being different.”

These beliefs are supported by the company’s internal culture, with supporting individuality and difference forming part of Glasson’s core values and internal manifesto. “We do not tolerate bullying within our own business, and we don’t think anyone should have to tolerate it in their lives either.”