Several corporations are standing in solidarity in the fight for racial justice with an outpouring of copy-and-paste #BlackLivesMatter statements and million-dollar donations. Other major retailers are committing to yielding long-lasting, impactful change in Black youth communities.
On May 29, Brother Vellies founder Aurora James called for major retailers to sell a greater percentage of Black-owned products as a step in the fight toward economic equality.
“So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power. So many of your stores are set up in Black communities,” James’s Instagram proposal reads. “This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space.”
A week later, at the urging of James, Sephora pledged to devote 15 percent of its shelf space to Black-owned products, The New York Times reports.
In addition, Sephora will create an advisory group that includes James and execs of Black-owned businesses.
“We’re joining @15percentpledge and @aurorajames,” the beauty retailer tweeted. “We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now.”
We’re joining @15percentpledge and @aurorajames. We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now. https://t.co/rmaiUmX2hW pic.twitter.com/3EdsJShRXh
— Sephora (@Sephora) June 10, 2020
Now a full-fledged initiative and organization dubbed the 15 Perfect Pledge, James calls for all members of the retail and fashion industries to follow Sephora’s lead. Specifically, she has directed her asks to companies such as Whole Foods Market, Target, MedMen, Walmart, and others.
“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,” James said in light of the news. “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.”