Sephora promises to carry more black-owned brands

Sephora announced on June 10 it had signed the 15 Percent Pledge.

As a result, Sephora -- owned by luxury company LVMH -- will now devote 15 percent of its shelf space to black-owned businesses.

The Pledge was launched in an Instagram post in May by Aurora James, founder and creative director of luxury accessories brand Brother Velles, according to a report from The New York Times.

Now the pledge has a website, which lays out three action steps that retailers can take.

Those steps include reviewing how many black-owned businesses are already contracted with the retailer, recognizing “blind spots and biases” at the company and publishing them “internally and externally” and finally making and publishing an action plan for how to give 15 percent of shelf space to black-owned businesses.

Sephora announced on social media Wednesday that it would be joining the pledge and participating in all three steps.

“We’re joining @15percentpledge and @aurorajames,” the company said in an Instagram post. “We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now.”

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The company also said it would focus its internal Accelerate program -- which helps female entrepreneurs -- on working with and empowering women of color.

“This is only the start,” the company wrote in the Instagram post. “We know we have more work to do, and we encourage other businesses to take the Pledge and help drive change for Black businesses and communities.”

According to an Instagram post from the 15 Percent Pledge page, Sephora is the first retailer to make the pledge.

“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 and discrimination by taking this Pledge,” the Instagram post said. “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.”