It’s no secret that the beauty industry hasn’t always been the most diverse or inclusive. In the UK, 70% of Black and Asian women report feeling left out of the conversation in beauty stores. Combined with the fact that African-American women spend around $7.5 billion per year on beauty products, it’s clear there is a huge disconnect between the industry and consumers.
That’s where Dr. Kristian Henderson comes in. Henderson is the founder of BLK + GRN, a beauty marketplace that sells all-natural, eco-friendly beauty made exclusively by black entrepreneurs. By combining her love of wellness and her passion for social change, Henderson has given people of color a voice at the table.
BLK + GRN was inspired by the need for a more inclusive beauty industry. Henderson wanted to support brands she wholeheartedly believed in. “I personally wanted to take on this journey of trying to spend more of my money more conscientiously on small, local, women-owned, black-owned companies and to stop supporting these major corporate giants,” she tells Forbes.
When prompted about the current landscape of diversity within the beauty community, Henderson maintains that this “trend” isn’t a new endeavor. Citing Rihanna’s brand, Fenty Beauty, and the unprecedented success of the 40-shade foundation line, Henderson points out that black entrepreneurs have been trying to achieve this for a long time. “… As we [as consumers] are trying to look at more inclusive shade ranges, we have to ask ourselves: are we only looking at the majority brands or are we looking for folks that have been doing this for decades?”
Henderson believes as an industry, beauty needs to focus equally on inclusion and diversity together—people of color not only need a voice, but they need that voice to be listened to. “If a more diverse group of people get to the table and they don’t have a voice, or they’re taken advantage of, then they still really aren’t included,” Henderson says.
For the full scoop, visit Forbes.
Photo: @blkandgrn via Instagram
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