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Dear Major Retailers, Pledge 15% + oneKIN Promises 100%

Photo by Francesca Grima

We stand in support of the 15% Pledge Movement.

15% of shelf space dedicated to Black-owned businesses is an important first step, but it’s only the beginning. 

This is not a numbers game.

Nor a fad to heroically champion for the sake of appeasing the masses.

Nor a tokenizing effort to protect consumer dollars while patting yourself on the back.

In recent years, we’ve seen companies and entire industries answer the call for inclusiveness and representation; hiding behind it’s shiny veil with no genuine intention or a quantifiable action plan to make good on their promise or be held accountable.

True inclusivity is attained when Blackness is not perceived as a commodity or a prop; when Black voices hold power in both the consumption and the decision-making of industries, and are considered from a place of value and authenticity versus exploitation.

oneKIN was birthed in response to the same widespread inequities on display today, and the belief that economic empowerment, as evidenced throughout history, would be our most important tool and form of advocacy.  

In 2018, to solve for the lack of inclusivity and access to diverse products in the retail landscape, oneKIN launched the first curated online marketplace that allows consumers to discover and shop from independent Black and Brown-owned brands.

With 25 Black-owned brands and indie authors currently in our curated marketplace, and over 200 POC-owned brands in our immediate pipeline, we challenge the growing narrative that 15% will be difficult or impossible to source. 

What IS challenging, is navigating an inequitable system and the countless roadblocks that Black entrepreneurs face when seeking to start or scale their businesses. According to a recent study from the U.S. Federal Reserve, Black business owners are twice as likely to be rejected for a loan, and a recent study conducted by RateMyInvestor and DiversityVC found that less than 1% of venture-back founders are black; yet according to Nielsen, Black spending power is projected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2021.

We join designer and pledge founder, Aurora James, and thousands of others in petitioning all major retailers to take the pledge! And beyond that, we ask that major retailers:

  1. Ensure Black voices play a role in every part of your process

  2. Provide those Black businesses with the proper support and resources needed to succeed under your helm.

Our fundamental goal, as a mission-driven tech company, is to create an ecosystem for Black and other POC-led businesses, and their communities, to thrive. For retailers currently undecided or finding the task exceptionally challenging, oneKIN pledges to help you source, curate, incubate and build a framework for that 15 percent (and beyond) to excel. 

Commit to 15 percent, and we will commit 100 percent to helping you deliver on your promise. 


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