Sephora has announced that it will devote 15 percent of its shelf space to products from Black-owned businesses. The announcement comes after the designer Aurora James called on the brand and others, including Net-a-Porter, Target, and Whole Foods, to sign the 15 percent pledge, a commitment to buying 15 percent of their goods from Black-owned businesses. “We represent 15 percent of the population and we need to represent 15 percent of your shelf space,” James wrote. The beauty retailer is the first business to sign up.
On Instagram, Sephora committed to achieving this in three stages. First, they will take stock of current shelf space and contracts. Then, they’ll take ownership of findings, and finally, take action to publish and execute a plan to achieve the 15 percent. In addition, Accelerate, the brand’s internal incubator program, once concentrated on female founders, will now focus on women of color.
In a press release, Artemis Patrick, EVP and chief merchandising officer of Sephora, said: “We were inspired to make the 15% Pledge because we believe it’s the right thing to do, for our clients, our industry and for our community.” Patrick added, “We recognize we can do better and this pledge builds on our ongoing work to use our resources to drive meaningful and long-term change for Sephora and our industry.” As James said on her Instagram Stories, “This is only the start.”