Aurora James on igniting a movement
Three summers ago, a major retailer phoned designer Aurora James, asking for help. At the height of the protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, this retailer wanted advice on how to meet the moment. Aurora, the creative director and founder of shoe brand Brother Vellies, offered a thought that became a movement: Since Black people are almost 15% of the US population, retailers should commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses, and pledge 15% of their budget to purchasing products from those businesses to sell to customers.
And with that, the 15% Pledge was born.
Aurora believes that it’s great business to do good for the world, and in this conversation with Jessi Hempel, she shares her journey into fashion, and what she’s learned about how to be a force for positive change today.
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