The Starbucks Corporation has not only reversed their earlier policy which banned employees from wearing Black Lives Matter clothing, they’re now working with designers to create custom shirts for their workers.
According to a report in The Los Angeles Times, the shirts, which are designed by the Black Partner Network, will be considered acceptable workplace attire for their employees nationwide.
The t-shirts bear imagery of protesters with signs and phrases including “Black Lives Matter,” “Speak Up” and “Time for Change.”
One of the signs on the front shows a raised black fist.
“It’s not a moment, it’s a movement,” the shirt reads.
The decision came after harsh backlash earlier in the week when the company banned its employees from wearing BLM attire while at work. The new shirts will not be mandatory, but the company is creating around 250,000 of the items to be sent to their stores across the nation.
Black Lives Matter. We continue to listen to our partners and communities and their desire to stand for justice together. The Starbucks Black Partner Network co-designed t-shirts with this graphic that will soon be sent to 250,000+ store partners. pic.twitter.com/Wexb45RcTE
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 12, 2020
Word of their decision to not allow employees to wear BLM messages was met with a social media onslaught calling for the traditionally progressive organization to reverse their position, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
The company previously avoided items with the social justice organization’s affiliation because it could be used to amplify divisiveness, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This is a company that, first of all, speaks out often and has dealt with racial issues before, so I’m really surprised they weren’t more sensitive in the first place,” said Paul Argenti, Dartmouth College professor of corporate communication according to the Times.
“That they reversed course is a good thing; it’s more consistent with their approach to race issues in general.”
Starbucks announced the reversal of their decision on their company’s “Stories and News” page.
“This movement is a catalyst for change, and right now, it’s telling us a lot of things need to be addressed so we can make space to heal,” the company statement read.
Black Lives Matter has been in the headlines constantly since protests over the death of George Floyd — an unarmed African American man — erupted and led to a viral cry for justice. Protests and riots have broken out around the globe as calls for equality have grown.
The Starbucks Foundation has pledged $1 million to various organizations that are dedicated to the promotion of racial equality and social issues, according to the Los Angeles Times. Those organizations have not yet been decided upon and will be nominated by their employees.