The Environmental Working Group and Follain have established a new partnership together to offer joint support to Black-owned beauty brands and diversify retail store shelves.

Follain — a EWG VERIFIED brand that went through the organization’s rigorous approval process — recently announced a breakthrough move to both mentor and sponsor Black-owned partner brands that wish to earn the mark for their own products.

“While researching new Black-owned brands to add to our assortment, we realized that the EWG VERIFIED mark would offer other brands the same level of credibility we were seeking for our own line,” said Follain founder and CEO, Tara Foley in a statement. “We’ll be working alongside our Black-owned partners to sponsor them – to help them meet the rigorous EWG VERIFIED criteria and earn the mark.”

This news arrives just as Follain is recognized as the first EWG VERIFIED partner to pledge 15 percent of the shelf space in its own stores to showcasing products made by Black-owned companies.

“It is up to us to work aggressively to even the playing field,” said Foley, “and this is one way we will do it.”

The beauty industry doesn’t offer much diversity in regards to personal care products in retail stores, and barriers like lack of access, cost, resources, and mentorship in this unbalanced marketplace is what holds a lot of these Black-owned companies back.

“Follain’s pledge to support Black-owned beauty businesses will help to create an equitable space in clean beauty, addressing some of these barriers,” said Nneka Leiba — vice president for Healthy Living Science at EWG — in a press statement. “Some of the Black-owned brands may offer safer products marketed specifically to Black women, which will also be a big win.”

It is through this partnership that Follain and EWG hope to inspire change across the beauty industry and open more doors for Black-owned brands to thrive.

For more information about Follain and EWG‘s initiatives, visit their respective websites.