In honor of Black History Month, beauty businesses are rallying together to amplify their support for Black creatives. From thought-provoking campaigns to bold initiatives that provide funding for BIPOC in the industry, the push for diversity is a step in the right direction. Although there is still ample work to be done, we're encouraged to see the growing list of trailblazers using their influence to create change. One beauty pioneer quickly comes to mind: Sharon Chuter, founder of UOMA beauty and the #PullUpOrShutUp campaign holding brands accountable for their internal diversity.
Today marks the official relaunch of her Make It Black campaign. The initiative aims to raise funds for the Pull Up For Change Impact Fund—which provides capital to Black founders who are disproportionately underfunded—and shift perceptions about what it means to be Black.
After noticing the negative connotations associated with the word "black" in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary, Chuter created a petition and open letter to request the antiquated definition be changed. "Language should be neutral, unbiased, and reflective of our current realities," she says. "It is in this regard that the dictionary has work to do."
To raise funding for the campaign, Make It Black partners with notable beauty brands to reimagine some of their best-selling items with all-black packaging. Last year, the initiative worked with Uoma Beauty, Briogeo, Nyx Cosmetics, Dragun Beauty, Maybelline, Flower Beauty, Morphe, Pur, and Colourpop. After successful launches, all proceeds were allocated to the Pull Up For Change Small Business Impact Fund. "Last year, we raised $400,000 and deployed the funds to eight founders. This year, we want to deploy funds to 20 founders," Chuter says.
In 2022, Chuter hopes to raise $1 million. She has teamed up with nine beauty brands, including Uoma Beauty, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Mac Cosmetics, Mented, Morphe, Flower Beauty, Ulta Beauty, and Ipsy/BoxyCharm. These limited-edition products will be available throughout February and sold online via the Make It Black website. Campaign items will also be available in Ulta Beauty and within Ipsy/BoxyCharm subscription boxes.
To ensure the Make It Black campaign makes the most impact possible, Chuter has plans to expand the initiative. "We're going to be doing another round in June, and it will be across 2,500 retail stores, so stay tuned," she says.