Beauty and fashion brands that have joined Aurora James’ 15 percent pledge

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While the protests in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many other black humans who have died at the hands of police reflected the company’s long history of racial injustice, Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies, in turn, offered a mirror to major retailers from all sectors. James launched the 15 Percent Pledge to ask giants like Target, Whole Foods, Net-a-Porter, Sephora and Saks Fifth Ave to think about how they can turn their quick Instagram solidarity messages into long-lasting support. more tangible term. for black companies.

The 15 percent commitment breaks down into three propositions:

  1. Take stock: Take a look at your current inventory and black-owned business contracts, as well as representation in your business.
  2. Take ownership: Now that you’ve assessed your business, share your findings internally and publicly to promote transparency.
  3. Take Action: With everything you’ve learned, craft a new strategy to address the gaps in your business and how you’ll commit to dedicating 15% of your storage space to black businesses.
    1. In an Instagram post, James explained that black dollars fuel these huge corporations. “So many of your businesses are built on black purchasing power,” she wrote. “So many of your stores are set up in black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on black feeds. It’s the least you can do for us. We make up 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of the population. your storage space. “

      Ulta Beauty has kept its promise. On Tuesday, June 1, Ulta, one of the world’s largest beauty retailers, announced it would join the group of companies amplifying black founders. “We will expand our assortment to reflect 15% of brands owned by Blacks, founded by Blacks and led by Blacks,” the beauty giant wrote on Instagram. Ulta will also help fund the 15 percent pledge efforts.

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      Macy’s, Inc. took the # 15PercentPledge. The conglomerate is becoming one of the largest companies to commit to the engagement which includes Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Bluemercury department stores. “The fact that such an influential omnichannel fashion retailer is committed to promoting racial equity in the industry demonstrates that businesses are ready to move beyond one-time donations and ensure black businesses are front and center. “, we read in the Instagram ad. “We look forward to supporting Macy’s, Inc. as they continue to drive lasting change both internally and within their industry.”

      This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, on their website.

      West Elm joined in the 15 percent pledge in early July. “West Elm will be the first homeware retailer to do so and their participation shows impressive leadership in the global design space,” the Instagram ad read. In addition to joining the program, West Elm made a multi-year donation to the 15 Percent Pledge Foundation. You can read more about West Elm’s commitment to black businesses at Westelm.com.

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      Rent the Runway took the pledge as a pledge to black designers. “In addition to stocking their shelves, RTR is committed to doing the job in-house and also made sure that at least 15% of their freelance creative talent will now be black,” the caption read on the page. Instagram of 15PercentPledge. “Their engagement will bring the necessary dollars back to the black community and is a critical first step on the road to black economic empowerment. “

      This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, on their website.

      Among the group of brands that James called out in his initial post, Sephora was the first to rise to the challenge. “We recognize how important it is to represent black businesses and communities, and we need to do better. So, we are starting now,” the beauty giant wrote on Wednesday (June 10).

      This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, on their website.

      “We were inspired by the 15% engagement because we believe it’s the right thing to do – for our customers, our industry and for our community. Ultimately, this commitment isn’t just limited to premium products on our shelves, it begins with a long-term plan to diversify our supply chain and build a system that creates a better platform for growing black-owned brands, while ensuring that black voices help shape our industry, ”said Artemis Patrick, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of Sephora, in a statement.

      Sephora added that it will use its in-house Accelerate program, dedicated to supporting female founders, to highlight businesses owned by women of color.

      Three less, there is still a lot to do!

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