Just a week ago the company announced a partnership with the National Black Justice Coalition, raising more than 1 million dollars to empower Black LGBTQ+ people. Now, the retailer is taking inclusivity one step further by joining the Black-owned brands pledge, called the 15 Percent Pledge. “We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now,” states the Instagram post announcing the promise.
The 15 Percent Pledge was started by Brooklyn-based designer Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies. She called on retailers, specifically Sephora, Target and Whole Foods, to dedicate 15 percent of its shelf space to Black-owned brands. Sephora is the first and only retailer so far as to join the pledge. It also plans to use the Accelerate program, which helps cultivate female founders, to now focus on women of color.
James took to Instagram to “commend” Sephora for the “historic” move. “With unparalleled influence and power, not only in the beauty industry but in retail at large, Sephora is making a historic contribution to the fight against systemic racism, economic inequality and discrimination by taking this Pledge,” wrote James. “We commend their early leadership and look forward to working with them on their accountability and commitment as we join together in the mission to put billions back into the Black community.”
This brings us back to another movement. Sharon Chuter, founder and CEO of Uoma Beauty, launched the #PullUporShutUp challenge to hold corporate brands accountable. Sephora revealed it has 14 percent Black representation across the USA and 6 percent in leadership positions. It promised to “elevate Black employees and people of color” to leadership roles going forward.