Over the weekend many beauty brand leaders stepped up to show their support to the Black community with messages condemning the death of George Floyd, touting the #BlackLivesMatter. Others even expanded that support financially, pledging their brand dollars to help organizations fighting for civil rights and aiding Black protestors.
Glossier put out a statement on Saturday explaining that the beloved beauty brand would be donating $500K across organizations combatting racial injustice, including Black Lives Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, We The Protestors, and The Marsha P. Johnson Institute. It also pledged an additional $500K in grants to Black-owned businesses in order to make an impact in the beauty industry.
“We are fortunate to have a large platform and a passionate audience, and know that brings with it immense responsibility,” Emily Weiss, Glossier CEO told ESSENCE. “In this moment, it became clear that our responsibility was to show up with substance and take action.The fight against racism and racial injustice is essential and ongoing—we’re honored to be able to contribute to the critical work of these incredible organizations, and are committed to helping foster inclusive growth both within our own industry, and internally at Glossier.”
Glossier also postponed the launch of its newest product that was slated to debut today.
Sunday Riley was also vocal about supporting the Black community. Her eponymous beauty brand is donating $50,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to help support protesters. She’s hoping that it will force other brands to not only speak up but also take action.
“There’s a disconnect in saying you are a brand that supports human rights and diversity, and not support the very people that we count as clients, coworkers, family, community, and friends,” says Riley.
Where Essie was ridiculed and called out by the Instagram community for posting a vague message about celebrating color (which felt oddly tied into a misguided branding opportunity), nail polish brand Orly was praised for its unambiguous stance.
The brand posted a brief statement on Instagram that read, “We stand in solidarity with the Black Community and those fighting for justice and equality. Change starts with turning our words into action.”
It also stated that the brand is donating to Black Visions Collective, and listed organizations where supporters could sign petitions and donate.
For brands and influencers that stayed silent, Jackie Aina had some choice words for them.
“Some of you have been exposed as ‘former’ racists, the N-word lovers, blackface offenders, etc. Now would also be the PERFECT time to prove how much you truly are sympathetic to the black community,” she wrote to influencers in an Instagram story which later stirred up a lot of conversation when it was shared on Twitter.
She called out brands that she’s worked with (who have paid her), as well as fast fashion companies PrettyLittleThing and Fashion Nova. PrettyLittleThing has since posted poignant statements on social media supporting the Black community and the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The retailer says it’s even donating all of the proceeds from its newest collaboration with rapper Saweetie to Black Lives Matter.
“I know for a fact a lot of brands have been seeing my tweets for the past few days because your feeds started looking a lil’ different,” Aina later posted on Twitter. “Learn something from this and hire Black publicists AND more Black creatives.”
Influencers truly influencing when it matters most.
It’s refreshing (and telling) to see which brands are stepping up financially to support the very community that keeps their lights on, even during the uncertainty of COVID-19 when many bottom lines have been affected.
When you look at the numbers it’s quite simple—Black women spend the most money on beauty products. It’s the community that keeps these brands thriving, even though it’s the community whose needs have been ignored the most by beauty. We’ve seen strides in diversity and inclusion over the past few years (just last week Sephora announced it’s 2nd annual #SephoraSquad with one-third of its newest members being Black influencers), but we haven’t even scratched the surface in the work that needs to be done.
Other brands that are showing support for the Black community financially: Athena Club is donating 100 percent of proceeds for the next seven days to The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Hero Cosmetics is donating 100 percent of proceeds up to $10,000 from its newest launch to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for the first week of June. Public Relations firm CMM, which represents beauty brands is donating $5K to Color Of Change. Insert Name Here will be donating all of its profits from June 1 and June 2 to Black Lives Matter. SheaMoisture is launching a new social justice coalition and making $100K investment for activists working for social change.