Why Aurora James Created The 15% Pledge

The 15 Percent Pledge was created by Aurora James, founder of Brooklyn-based sustainable fashion brand Brother Vellies. The initiative is aiming to make the shelves of major US retailers a better reflection of our country, calling on retailers to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Black people make up nearly 15% of the population of the United States, according to the most recent Census Bureau estimates . The pledge seeks to have companies take stock of how much business they currently give to black-owned businesses and suppliers, to share that information publicly and then to increase that number to 15%.

Dozens of major US corporations released statements and made donations last week in light of the protests. But these one-time donations are not enough to combat  the structural inequality that exists in corporate America. Beyond corporate donations, the 15% Pledge could put money directly into the hands of black business owners and help develop generational wealth in Black communities.

Today Sephora has been the first company to take the pledge. They announced this via their Instagram page with a caption reading, "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. 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.” 

We urge everyone to sign the 15% Pledge here and follow the @15percentpledge Instagram account, to support, and stay in the know about this necessary initiative, that holds these corporations accountable, and provides true economic growth for our community. 

Image from Aurora James Instagram