Brooklyn, NY (July 08, 2020) – As the 15 Percent Pledge continues to advocate for economic equality by urging major retailers to allocate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses, today Brooklyn-based, global design company, West Elm, is committing to the 15 Percent Pledge through the retailer’s brand collaborations, West Elm LOCAL shelf space, and hiring practices. In addition to West Elm’s 15% benchmark promises, the home furnishings retailer will make a multi-year donation pledge to the 15 Percent Pledge.

“The 15 Percent Pledge was launched out of the need for increased representation in the workforce and financial equality for Black-owned businesses,” said Aurora James, founder, 15 Percent Pledge Foundation. “We could not be happier that West Elm has stepped up and pledged its commitment to supporting a community of Black-owned businesses, artists, designers, and makers. As a champion of social responsibility causes, we commend West Elm for the brands’ leadership in the design space and look forward to working with them on their accountability measures to hit the 15% benchmarks.”

In making the commitment to the 15 Percent Pledge, West Elm plans to:

  • Increase West Elm’s design collaborations with Black designers, artists, and Black-owned brands to a minimum of 15% of total
  • Increase the share of Black makers and small businesses within West Elm LOCAL to a 15% minimum 
  • Increase the share of Black employees within West Elm’s corporate workforce to a minimum of 15%, as well as strengthening the retail to corporate pipeline

“We are determined to use our purchasing power to create economic empowerment for Black-owned businesses, artists and designers,” said Alex Bellos, president, West Elm. “We look forward to working with the 15 Percent Pledge to ensure our commitments make an immediate and sustained impact.”  

Today, West Elm joins Sephora and Rent the Runway in publicly committing to the 15 Percent Pledge. To support the 15 Percent Pledge, please sign the petition at to show retailers that you Stand With Us. Individuals can also text “PLEDGE” to 917.540.8418 for updates and information on Black-owned businesses. Please also like, share, and follow on Instagram and Twitter at @15percentpledge.

For more information about the 15 Percent Pledge, please reach out to, or Gabrielle Katz, and Giada Buffalini, at Karla Otto New York. To learn more about West Elm’s commitments to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, please visit  

About 15 Percent Pledge

The 15 Percent Pledge is a 501c3 non-profit advocacy organization urging major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf-space to Black-owned businesses. It offers large corporations accountability support and consulting services with the goal of advocating for and supporting Black-owned businesses. The 15 Percent Pledge seeks economic equality and prosperity for Black future founders, Black students, and Black people in the workforce. Launched in 2020 by Aurora James, the initiative was born from seeing multiple acts of social injustice and police brutality in the United States, with a lack of accountability for the systemic issues at play. Businesses including Sephora, Rent the Runway, and now West Elm, have all committed to the 15 Percent Pledge. For more information, visit