Nordstrom is joining the 15 Percent Pledge train with its own unique commitment to better support Black-owned businesses.
According to Good Morning America, Nordstrom is the first major retailer to form a 10-year commitment in agreeance with the 15 Percent Pledge’s mission — the nonprofit which strives to holds large corporations accountable when it comes to supporting Black-owned brands.
As part of its new pledge, Nordstrom has also announced plans to increase its purchases and partnerships with Black-owned or founded retailers by the end of 2030.
“Long-term societal change cannot happen overnight and we’re in this for the long haul,” is what president and chief brand officer Peter Nordstrom said in a statement.
“Nordstrom has established new goals and benchmarks to help it become a more diverse, inclusive and anti-racist organization,” 15 Percent Pledge adds, “and has made strides towards these goals through notable product launches and curations.”
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The 15 Percent Pledge was established in the aftermath of George Floyd’s wrongful murder when corporate America began rolling out their own plans and initiatives to show their stance on supporting Black communities. Both out of frustration and a need for change, founder Aurora James took to Instagram to not ask but demand corporations start committing 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned brands — thus giving birth to her revolutionary organization.
As of June 5, NPR reported that the 15 Percent Pledge had 25 retail partners — including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, West Elm and The Gap — with Sephora being the first to sign on.
The beauty retailer claimed to have only seven Black-owned brands on its shelves out of its then 290, according to Fortune, but has since upped that number to 14 with initiatives like its accelerate incubator program that regained a new focus on amplifying Black beauty businesses and entrepreneurs.
“We’re proud of the work we’ve done thus far to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority for the company,” president and CEO Jean-André Rougeot, said in a statement back in January. “We are stronger as a retail community when we are serving the needs of all of our shoppers, and hope other retailers will join us, with the ultimate goal of advancing inclusivity and improving the retail experience for all.”
To mark its one year of progress, the 15 Percent Pledge reports that since launching, all of its traditional Pledge Takers “have at least doubled their brand assortment of Black-owned businesses.” As a result “385 Black-owned businesses launched their products with our Pledge Takers.”
If being vocal about how corporate America could help Black entrepreneurship creates this much change, imagine what else could happen if initiatives like the 15 Percent Pledge continue speaking up on behalf of our liberation.
For more information about the 15 Percent Pledge, visit its website.