Ulta Beauty signed onto the initiative created by Aurora James urging retail stores to commit to increasing the budget they spend on Black-owned brands by 15%.
The American beauty retailer, known for offering a mix of prestige and mass-market brands, joined the initiative to urge stores to commit to increasing the budget they spend on Black-owned brands, founded by Aurora James in 2020.
She started off last May with a handwritten entreaty—“OK, here is one thing you can do for us”—before laying out her off-the-cuff idea. “I am asking you to commit to buying 15% of your products from Black-owned businesses,” she wrote of her vision to see representation on shelves commensurate with American demographics. She tagged heavy-hitting players across industries—Whole Foods, Target, Sephora, Home Depot, and the dispensary MedMen among them.
By the next evening James was at work on a website. Three days later, the 15 Percent Pledge was officially a nonprofit. By day 10, Sephora had signed on—the first rumble of what would prove to be a big-business ripple effect. Pledge signers now span 26 businesses, including Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, the UK’s Matches Fashion, and, as of today, Ulta Beauty.