Ulta Beauty Joins 15% Pledge to Support Black-Owned Beauty Brands
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.
This past Saturday, the Brother Vellies creative director marked the anniversary of her original post, sprung from the collective grief and exasperation following the death of George Floyd.
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.
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