At the onset of the Black Lives Matter Movement, beauty brands began posting content on social media in support of the protests and racial injustice, but Sarah Biggers-Stewart, Founder and CEO, Clove + Hallow, believes statements should be more than just performative and is holding her brand accountable.

“Brands should be asked to show and tell with their words and actions exactly what they’re doing to ensure that this isn’t just a timely phase of outspokenness,” said Sarah. “Push them to be transparent and then hold them accountable. I myself have stopped supporting a few brands that made the conscious choice to not respond to hard questions and/or chose to give generic answers lacking any specifics. Performative allyship becomes quite obvious once you give brands the opportunity to rise to questions and challenges.”

In the wake of George Floyd’s, Clove + Hallow, immediately launched initiatives aimed at making an impact in the fight against racial injustices. The brand donated $3,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and has been donating 10 percent of its revenue directly to George Floyd’s family since June 1, a program originally meant to support the family for 46 days – one day for each year of George’s life. It is now continuing through July 16. To aid individuals in fighting injustice, the brand created an advocacy page, which includes a database of contact information for political and police leadership in each state along with a pre-crafted template of what to say to each; tips and techniques for safely protesting; organizations to join or donate to; and resources for further education of advocates and allies. The advocacy page will exist in perpetuity and will be updated with resources on a rolling basis.

“Social media was inundated with well-meaning graphics and reflections, but it felt flat and hollow. How many times do you need to react to acts of senseless, racist violence with heartfelt words on social media before you realize those words mean very little without any action behind them?” asked Sarah. “We know our customers turn to us for information and content and we decided that presenting resources to galvanize them into taking measurable action was the path of highest impact.”

Last week the brand announced that it will be expanding its initiatives even further, donating $1 for every order shipped out of its warehouse beginning July 1 to the Loveland Foundation, an organization that focuses on providing mental health services, healing, and opportunity to communities of color, with an emphasis on Black women and girls. Locally, the brand is doubling down on its partnership with the Gateway Center, Atlanta’s primary homeless center, by working in Gateway’s donations closet, sponsoring meals and providing product donations.

Internally, Clove + Hallow has committed to further diversifying its workforce. The brand responded to the #pulluporshutup challenge led by Uoma Beauty’s Sharon Chuter and revealed that 33 percent of its upper management team is Black. “In the beauty sphere, an insidious lack of inclusivity and representation goes so much deeper than shade range,” said Sarah. “Brands need to be asking: Are you featuring people of color [POC] in your advertising campaigns without ensuring your leadership team has the same representation? Are you paying your Black and non-Black POC content creators and brand partners? Are you targeting POC demographics to sell your products while creating an internally hostile work environment that prevents POC from thriving? Are you presenting your products as safer, better alternatives but utilizing pricing and distribution models that make them inaccessible to the average consumer? These are the questions we consistently ask ourselves, and I am proud to say that these are areas in which I think Clove + Hallow has always stood out from the pack.”