Because big businesses have a large say on the cultural and financial state of America, they also have a sizable responsibility to use their powers in influencing positive change. To test the enormous powers of these businesses, Aurora James, Founder of Brother Vellies, created the 15 Percent Pledge which challenges major retailers—like Whole Foods, Saks and Sephora—to guarantee 15-percent of their shelf space to black-owned brands.
Yesterday Sephora stepped up to the plate, becoming the first brand to officially underwrite the pledge. Aside from donating shelf space, the brand is contributing by taking a deeper look into the spectrum of their business in order to find ways to support black-owned brands beyond their shelves.
Firstly, the brand is abiding by the first three stages of the pledge: taking stock, taking ownership and taking action. But they’re transforming these words into something mroe meaningful. “To start, we will bring all of our knowledge to the table freely, so aspiring founders have access,” promises the brand via Instagram. They are also helping to launch and develop black-owned businesses with support for long-term success, providing necessary connections to funders and narrowing their focus on black female founders. Although there are more specified goals coming, this is their start to influencing other large businesses to take a stand.
If you’re looking to shop some black-owned brands you can find at Sephora, some of our favorites include natural haircare brand Briogeo, Fenty Beauty By Rihanna‘s pigmented makeup, Pat McGrath Labs for luxe, celeb-approved beauty and Qhemet Biologics for curl-focused haircare.
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