11 Fashion and Beauty Brands Looking Internally to Support the Black Community

Artwork by Artist and Creative Director Laci Jordan, Instagram: @solacilike

If you weren’t already, it’s time to stan these fashion brands that are taking a stand. Many brands have heard their customers’ passionate voices in response to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and have taken immediate action. Numerous fashion and beauty brands have contributed financially to Black social justice organizations. However, we’re shining a light on the brands working to improve their internal systems to be more inclusive and diverse. Some brands have established task forces within their ranks to ensure lasting, inclusive action. While others have committed to supporting Black-owned businesses and creatives, while others stand with the 15 Percent Pledge—a minimum of 15% of shelf space will be dedicated to Black-owned businesses moving forward.

We all want to see our values reflected in the brands we patronize. Making internal changes sends an even stronger message that companies have evaluated their business structures and align themselves more closely with the movement by committing to hearing from more diverse voices. Brands that have pledged to make long-term changes to foster inclusion are leading the shift in the industry. This is by no means all that can be done, but it is an essential step toward making a seismic change in the industry.

Victoria Beckham

The fashion designer announced via Instagram that her eponymous label has set up an “internal working group” to review her brand’s teams, casting, suppliers and partners to ensure their long-term actions reflect inclusivity. Additionally, she pledged to provide team training to identify unconscious bias.

Rent the Runway

This designer rental company stands by the 15 Percent Pledge. 15% of the fashion talent includes models, ambassadors, styling talent, photographers, and crews—it supports moving forward and will be from the Black community. The company also has plans to donate $1 million to support Black designers with a significant contribution toward launching fashion brands from those who have not had the capital to do so on their own.

PVH Corp.

The corporation known for its brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger unequivocally denounced systemic racism and aligned itself with the Black community. It established a task force in partnership with BRAAVE (Building Resource for African American Voices and Empowerment) to amplify the voices of its Black employees and ensure it is taking the appropriate steps for change.

Ganni

Contemporary clothing brand Ganni has pledged to provide a platform to support Black-owned businesses and artists on their socials now and in the future. Specifically, the brand has committed to commissioning work from Black creatives to share on their platforms.

CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. is a not-for-profit trade association that has taken immediate action to further systemic change in the fashion industry. The council plans to create an in-house employment program dedicated to achieving balanced representation in the industry by placing Black creatives with companies in all sectors of the fashion business. The CFDA will also launch an internship program with the goal of placing Black students and recent grads within established fashion companies. Finally, a diversity and inclusion training program will be made available to members. 

Glossier

In addition to half a million dollars in donations to organizations “focused on combating racial injustice,” Glossier will be distributing another half a million in grants to Black-owned beauty businesses. $10,000 will be allocated to businesses with plans to launch within the next year. $30,000 for those that have launched in the past year and are looking to grow a customer base. Finally, $50,000 to those that launched over a year ago and are looking to scale operations.

L’Oréal

The cosmetics giant will be establishing an advisory board to lead a long-term initiative. The company took a day (June 9, 2020) to ensure that internal processes and programs are not unintentionally limiting representation in the company and have plans to create a training program to educate employees on unconscious bias, cultural sensitivity, and anti-racism. As the world’s largest beauty manufacturer, L’Oréal can be a catalyst for enormous change in the industry with its efforts.

Sephora

This beauty chain stands with the 15 Percent Pledge by committing to having a minimum of 15% of shelf space moving forward dedicated to Black-owned companies. Also, the company will dedicate $1 million to support Black designers through other efforts.

Thrive Causemetics

As the name implies, this beauty brand is down with the cause. A recent Instagram post details seven ways they pledge to be actively anti-racist and commit to the Black community. In terms of internal improvements, Thrive plans to hire a Black Diversity and Inclusion Leader for diversity training, suggest areas for improvement, work closely with HBCUs to gain more diverse talent at all levels, and lend their platform to Black voices and businesses.

Honest Beauty

Jessica Alba’s company has committed to reviewing its internal diversity and inclusion policies to find areas for improvement, ensure more diversity develops in their following product lines, and hold internal training and listening sessions so all voices can be heard.

Moon Juice

Wellness and beauty brand Moon Juice announced via Instagram their pledge to bring in an equity consultant and set up anti-racism workshops to take responsibility and foster diversity.

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