Aurora James, the founder of sustainable accessories brand Brother Vellies, has called on large retailers to take the 15 Percent Pledge to counteract racial disparities in big business and cosmetics brand Sephora is the first to endorse and commit to this pledge.
In June, Sephora agreed to devote 15 percent of shelf space to Black-owned companies. It will tackle this goal in three stages: taking stock, taking ownership, and taking action.
In making the announcement, the company said, “We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now.”
In addition to stocking products created by Black-owned businesses, Sephora agreed to provide the necessary mentorship and monetary support to Black-owned businesses and providing aspiring founders with Sephora’s stockpile of resources including connections to funding sources.
Lastly, the company will shift its Accelerate program, an internal incubation initiative designed specifically to support female-founded brands, to a primary focus on cultivating opportunities for women of color.
Sephora understands there is lots of work to do in order to create racial equality in corporate spaces, but taking concrete action is the first step. The company urges other businesses to follow suit in using their resources and platforms to promote Black entrepreneurs and products.