As the beauty industry continues long overdue work in creating a more inclusive industry, Ulta announced its expanding the number of Black-owned beauty brands available for shopping. In a press release shared on Monday, February 1, the beauty retailer announced its Inclusion and Diversity Commitments, which includes the promise of adding more Black-owned beauty brands, and the appointment of Tracee Ellis Ross as its Diversity and Inclusion Advisor.
In its press release, Ulta pledged to celebrate and support the influence underrepresented brands and voices have on the beauty industry. As part of this pledge, the company has allocated $20 million towards creating more personal connections with LatinX, Black, and other communities.
The retailer also debuted its platform MUSE: Magnify, Uplift, Support, and Empower, which features imagery that celebrates, honors, and amplifies Black voices in beauty. In the inaugural MUSE video, Nancy Twine, founder of Briogeo Hair Care, Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, Whitney White, founder of Melanin Haircare, Cara Sabine, CEO of Shea Moisture, and Julee Wilson, Beauty Director at Cosmopolitan, are featured.
By the end of 2021, Ulta pledged to double its current number of Black-owned beauty brands. An additional $4 million will go towards marketing supporting for Black-owned brands, helping consumers to learn about these new beauty offerings.
For her role, Ross, who founded PATTERN Beauty, will provide counsel and insight, the press release noted. She'll specifically focus on the development of BIOPOC brands, and will join the company's quarterly diversity and inclusion summits. “I look forward to formalizing an already existing dialogue and partnership around diversity and inclusion with Mary Dillon and the Ulta Beauty team,” Ross said in a press statement. “This work requires commitment and accountability from Ulta Beauty to ensure measurable goals are achieved. I am hopeful and optimistic our work together will create foundational change.”
News of Ulta's plans comes as brands continue to reckon with consumer outcry for more Black-owned brands, and more diverse company offerings. Following continued Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, some beauty brands participated in Sharon Chuter's #PullUpOrShutUp challenge, providing customers with a complete breakdown of their employees. Additionally, customers have continued to call upon their favorite brands to offer more products created for darker skin tones.