Macy’s just gave us a little more to be thankful for this year than its famed Thanksgiving Parade; the 162-year-old-company just joined the 15 Percent Pledge, committing to stock 15 percent of its incoming inventory with Black-owned brands, reflective of the composition of the population of the United States. The retailer joined the American arm of fashion magazine InStyle in announcing its adherence to the pledge on Monday, adding their names to a growing list of entities including Sephora, Rent the Runway, West Elm, Yelp, American Vogue, MedMen, and Canadian bookstore chain Indigo.
“Now more than ever, we need to demand that retailers and other companies offer more than lip service to Black communities,” said Aurora James, founder of luxury label Brother Vellies, who launched the 15 Percent Pledge in June, in a release provided to The Glow Up. “Committing to the Pledge demonstrates that companies are willing to go beyond one-time donations and commit to a genuine partnership that will support them through this process. We are thrilled that Macy’s and InStyle US are stepping up to ensure that Black businesses are front and center—not just an afterthought. Business as usual is no longer enough, and today’s announcement signifies a genuine commitment to drive racial equity across these industries.”
Macy’s is the largest company to commit to the Pledge to date, agreeing to dedicate 15 percent of their purchasing power across all product categories to Black-owned businesses, says the release. This newest effort adds to ongoing initiatives by the retailer to help develop women and minority-owned businesses, ensuring more shelf space for them, as well.
“Macy’s, Inc. is proud to add our voice to the 15 Percent Pledge, further amplifying our commitment to accelerate the growth and advancement of Black-owned businesses,” said Durand Guion, Vice President Macy’s Fashion Office. “We believe in this work and know we have more to do. Bringing more diverse-owned brands into our assortments is a key component of our D&I strategy and we will hold ourselves accountable for continued progress in driving sustainable change internally and within our industry.”
While Macy’s will be further diversifying its product offerings, InStyle will likely be dividing more diverse and inclusive content.
“InStyle is proud to be taking the 15% Pledge and commits to promoting a diverse creative community. Diversity in the talent we feature has always been part of our DNA, but we must be held accountable for whom we work with and the creators we champion,” said Laura Brown, Editor in Chief of InStyle Magazine. “We’re grateful to Aurora and her team for what will be a historic and long overdue change in this industry.”
As the statement further reads:
In addition to taking the Pledge, InStyle US will support Black-owned businesses and designers with the magazine’s creative services. InStyle US also plans to commit 15 percent of its coverage to Black-owned businesses; focus on diversity and inclusivity in its representation of models, celebrities, and additional features; as well as pledge to amplify Black creatives and spotlight voices of Black experts, stylists, and artists to avoid incorrect attribution and appropriation.
It’s encouraging news in a deeply discouraging year, even if it naturally begs the question, “What took so long?” Better yet, six months on since the launch of the Pledge, why aren’t more businesses—especially already on board?