A few days after announcing that customers can convert reward points into donations to the National Black Justice Coalition, Sephora has taken the 15% Pledge and will dedicate 15% of its shelf space to Black-owned companies.
The 15% Pledge was created by Aurora James, founder and designer of brand Brother Vellies. James called on the retail industry to dedicate 15% of its shelf space to Black-owned brands, specifically asking Sephora, Target, and Whole Foods to take the pledge. Sephora is now the first major retailer to do so.
Sephora will participate in all three parts of the pledge: take stock, take take ownership, and take action. To do so, the retailer will look at its current percentage of Black-owned shelf space and contracts, examine the findings and acknowledge disparities, and finally, Sephora will publish and execute a plan to grow the number of Black-owned businesses Sephora works with to 15%.
The retailer has also committed to redirecting its Accelerate program, an initiative designed to help female founders further their business. The six-month long program will now be dedicated to women of color.
James celebrated the retailer's decision on Instagram, writing, "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. 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."