Starbucks changes policy to allow Black Lives Matter T-shirts

Starbucks is tweaking its dress code to allow Black Lives Matter T-shirts and pins after complaints that it prohibited employees from wearing the items.

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The company, which has publicly supported the movement following the death of George Floyd, is partnering with the Starbucks Black Partner Network and Black Starbucks leaders to make 250,000 shirts available to its company-operated partners in North America to affirm its support, officials told FOX Business on Friday.

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Until the shirts arrive in stores, partners will be able to wear their BLM pin or t-shirt, the company said.

"We’ve heard you want to show your support, so just be you," the company said. "We are so proud of your passionate support of our common humanity."

Earlier this year, the company whittled its 15-page booklet entitled "Starbucks Dress Code Lookbook," which dictated how employees were to present themselves, down to one page. Along with change came more flexibility regarding piercings.

It was the second time the company relaxed its dress code. In 2016, the company amended its policy to include a range of shirt colors. Hair colors and beanies, fedoras and other hats were also deemed acceptable.

The company originally told employees not to wear Black Lives Matter shirts because, according to chief inclusion and diversity officer Zing Shaw, agitators in some cases have misconstrued "the fundamental principles of the Black Lives Movement" and sometimes repurposed them "to amplify divisiveness."

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