The rise of Black creative entrepreneurs is exponential, and many large retailers want in.
On Monday, Old Navy announced a partnership with the Fifteen Percent Pledge and the expansion of its Project WE collection of graphic tees designed by diverse artists, according to a press release. The collaboration also calls for a celebration. The retail giant is donating $500,000 to the nonprofit that works with retailers to contractually commit 15% of their annual spend to Black businesses.
The Project WE x Fifteen Percent Pledge “champions inclusivity and racial equity for artists, who have historically been excluded from equitable economic opportunities,” per the release. Through Old Navy’s Imagine Mission Fund, the generous donation will be allocated for programming to help increase brand visibility and revenue for Black business owners and creative entrepreneurs.
“I know firsthand how artists and designers from marginalized groups have been historically excluded from opportunities to scale their businesses,” said Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge.
“This project gives artists a chance to increase their visibility as business owners and social impact leaders. The partnership will also support the Pledge’s efforts to expand access and opportunity for Black creatives and take us another step closer to building a more equitable retail industry.”
Project WE launched in January 2021. The collection will feature Brazilian artist and illustrator Camila Rosa and Brooklyn-based artist Shanée Benjamin in a brand new series. Both strive to showcase the beauty and pride of their respective cultures.
“Old Navy is proud to amplify and celebrate diverse voices through our Project WE initiative in support of creating a better future for future generations,” said Sarah Holme, executive vice president of Design and Visual Merchandising at Old Navy, in a statement.
“Through our collaboration with the Fifteen Percent Pledge team, we are thrilled to shine a light on the next generation of talented Black creators.”
The latest partnership is another effort to help Fifteen Percent shift more revenue to Black-owned businesses. Retailers including Macy’s Inc., Gap Inc., Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, Rent the Runway, West Elm, Vogue Magazine, and more have all committed to the pledge thus far.
To learn more about the pledge, go here.