Following Backlash, Starbucks Will Now Allow Employees to Wear Black Lives Matter Attire

Tess Koman
Photo credit: @starbuckspartners
Photo credit: @starbuckspartners

From Men's Health

Less than a day after an internal memo stating employees were not permitted to wear Black Lives Matter attire to work went viral, Starbucks announced that not only is that no longer the case, but that they've also designed BLM merch for their partners to wear. The chain saw immediate backlash to yesterday's news, and #BoycottStarbucks trended on Twitter in the United States.

"Black Lives Matter." a post from the coffee giant began. The brand went on to write: "We continue to listen to our partners and communities and their desire to stand for justice together. In response to this historic time, our store partners can show support with their own t-shirts, pins and name tags."

Language on a post from the Starbucks Partners account differed slightly, noting that "until these [shirts] arrive, we've heard you want to show your support, so just be you...We trust you to do what's right while never forgetting Starbucks is a welcoming third place where all are treated with dignity and respect."

An official statement from Starbucks provided to Delish specifies 250,000 of the above-pictured shirts will be made available to employees in the U.S. and Canada. The statement continued, "This small effort allows us to abide by store policies that are designed to maintain a safe and welcoming sense of community." This likely alludes to the Starbucks dress code, which, as of yesterday, did not allow partners "to wear buttons or pins that advocate a political, religious, or personal issue," a point of contention for many amid the news as the chain typically provides attire for Pride Month each year.

Starbucks management also penned a letter to employees in response to the blowback, which you can read in full here.

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