Madewell is one of the latest retailers in fashion to join the 15 Percent Pledge. The brand announced that by the end of 2021, Black-owned brands, artisans, and designers will account for at least 15 percent of the brand's third-party partnerships, including collaborations.
To show customers how, exactly, the brand plans on meeting its goal of carrying at least 15 percent Black-owned businesses, Madewell announced that it will 1) Increase design collaborations with Black designers, artists, and Black-owned brands 2) Increase the share of Black makers and small businesses within its long-standing Hometown Heroes program, which highlights local creatives from all over the country, and provide ongoing mentorship through the program 3) Increase the share of Black-owned businesses featured in its Labels We Love program, which features all third-party brands carried on Madewell.com.
In a press release statement, Aurora James, the founder of 15 Percent Pledge, said, "With more Black businesses forced to close their doors each week, it has never been more urgent to ensure accountability and transparency from the major retailers that face a lesser impact from the pandemic. Today's announcement from Madewell will ensure Black designers and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to sell products at this key retailer. Now is the time to challenge the status quo and to no longer accept business as usual. Continuing months of momentum, we're thrilled to bring Madewell into the fold on our work to achieve racial equity in retail."
Here's to seeing more major retailers join this important pledge.