Sephora Signs ‘15% Pledge’ to Carry More Black-Owned Brands


Sephora has become the first major retailer to sign the "Fifteen Percent Pledge."

The pledge asks retailers to give at least 15% shelf space to black-owned brands.

"We were inspired to make the Fifteen Percent Pledge because we believe it’s the right thing to do, for our clients, our industry and for our community," Artemis Patrick, chief merchandising officer at Sephora said in a statement, reported "Today."

Aurora James, founder of the fashion brand Brother Vellies, started the movement to ensure black people were represented at major retailers. She's reached out to large organizations, including Sephora, Whole Foods, Target, and Shopbop, to take the pledge.

"We have seen an incredibly positive response from supporters all over the country, but we're just getting started on conversations with the bigger businesses to ask them to sign and make this a reality," James said.

James shared that she has heard from many consumers who are willing to take the pledge and how they spend their money.

Rent the Runway, which lets customers rent designer dresses and accessories, also announced the company is willing to take the pledge. The fashion business said it would make sure at least 15% of the fashion talent it features includes black designers.

The company wrote on Instagram that Rent the Runway wants its business to be “substantive and systematic.”

James elaborated that the first step companies should do is completing an audit to find out how much shelf space they currently give black-owned businesses.

"What we are asking is not that tough, and we are here to help these retailers attain that 15% with clear and attainable goals," James added,

When that happens, James wants companies to "accept where they are at, own it, and figure out how they got there."

The activist explained how this could take a few years, but she said that she is here to help layout a strategy and plan.

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