Old Navy is pressing pause on business as usual this 4th of July.
Rather than proceed with its typical advertising and product-focused marketing, the apparel and accessories retailer will share its newly coined We.S.A pledge against racism and inequality.
Throughout the day, the We.S.A pledge will appear on the Oldnavy.com homepage. In addition, the retailer will send only one email on July 4, a message announcing the pledge. What’s more, as part of the pledge, Old Navy will donate $200,000 to This Way Ahead, a training program that fights inequality by providing jobs and career mentorship to youth in underserved communities.
“United is the first word in our country’s name. It’s time we start living up to it. But that takes more than you or me. That takes we,” reads the email. “This July 4th, let’s join together and use the power of we to become united. We are the U.S.A. We.S.A.”
In addition to its We.S.A. pledge and $200,000 contribution, Old Navy has already committed over $2 million annually to nonprofits, including the This Way Ahead initiative as well as the Boys & Girls Club. The brand aims to fill 20,000 jobs through This Way Ahead by 2024, and it also is partnering with nonprofits including EmbraceRace and the NAACP to provide resources to facilitate conversations about race.
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Internally, Old Navy plans to double the representation of Black and Latinx employees at all levels in its United States HQ by 2025, as well as to add 50% more Black store leaders by that year. Further, by 2021, Old Navy will ensure that at least half of the talent used in its marketing are people of color, up from 40% today. The retailer is also working with parent company Gap Inc.’s Color Proud Council to develop more inclusive products.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, a national conversation has been sparked about both police brutality as well as about issues of systemic racism within communities and at the workplace. Numerous brands and retailers, such as Nike, H&M and PVH Corp., have responded by making financial commitments to organizations fighting racial injustice. What’s more, many boldface brands have been reviewing their own internal practices, with some, like Old Navy, pledging to improve on D&I as well as to increase diversity of partners.