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Old Navy Joins Forces with The Fifteen Percent Pledge

Old Navy is shoring up its support of marginalized artists.

The Gap Inc.-owned retailer has teamed with the Fifteen Percent Pledge, a two-year-old racial equity and economic justice nonprofit that encourages retailers and corporations to commit 15 percent of their purchasing power to Black-owned businesses. The new partnership will allow Old Navy to expand its Project WE collection, an assortment of graphic T-shirts designed by guest artists that was launched in January 2021 with the aim of making fashion more inclusive.

The resulting Project WE x Fifteen Percent Pledge collection is the first product collaboration for the Pledge despite its receiving prior commitments from businesses such as Nordstrom, Macy’s Inc., Sephora, Rent the Runway, West Elm and Vogue magazine.

The shirts will provide a platform for artists to grow their businesses and expand their audience. To celebrate their launch Old Navy has donated $500,000 to its new affiliate’s Imagine Mission Fund that supports emerging Black creatives. Old Navy and the Pledge will work in tandem to select an ever-changing roster of artists from traditionally marginalized groups for the collection, which will be released through 2023.

“Old Navy is proud to amplify and celebrate diverse voices through our Project WE initiative in support of creating a better future for future generations,” said Sarah Holme, Old Navy executive vice president of design and visual merchandising. “Through our collaboration with the Fifteen Percent Pledge team, we are thrilled to shine a light on the next generation of talented Black creators.”

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“I know firsthand how artists and designers from marginalized groups have been historically excluded from opportunities to scale their businesses,” added Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge. “This project gives artists a chance to increase their visibility as business owners and social impact leaders. The partnership will also support the Pledge’s efforts to expand access and opportunity for Black creatives and take us another step closer to building a more equitable retail industry.”

The new Project WE series has already kicked off online and in-store with one tee each by Brazilian artist and illustrator Camila Rosa and Brooklyn-based artist Shanée Benjamin. The former’s design features two women surrounded by flames and flowers and honors Latinx Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) while Benjamin’s, showing a group of nine diverse faces, marks LGBQT History Month during October.

The next shirt in the series will be released in October and was created by Toronto-based artist Benny Bing. Its graphic is a portrait of four different Black women close to him and celebrates Black womanhood and the beauty and resilience of Black culture.

The Pledge believes that the new partnership with Old Navy is a much needed one for artists of color because over 85 percent of the works in all major U.S. museums were made by white artists and that work by African American artists accounted for a mere 1.2 percent of the global auction market over the past 10 years.

All the Project WE shirts are available for adults ($14.99), kids ($10.99) and toddlers ($9.99).