11 retailers celebrating Black History Month with special releases, brand spotlights, and more
Here's how some of our favorite brands are celebrating Black History Month
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Because February is Black History Month, many retailers are showing their support for Black-owned brands, businesses, and artists through a wave of new initiatives and product drops. Some, like Under Armour and Nike, are releasing limited-edition apparel and accessories. Others, like Target and Nordstrom, are spotlighting Black-owned brands. And many, like Walmart and Gap, are donating to nonprofits that work to achieve racial equality around the world.
Below are the most notable contributions and offerings from 11 of the biggest names in retail. While many of these releases and initiatives run through the entire month, some will likely sell out so it's best to shop sooner rather than later. And if you’re looking for ways to show your support all year round, we’ve also compiled a list of some worthy Black-owned businesses you can shop right now.
1. Under Armour
This year’s Black History Month collaboration from Under Armour is rumored to have been in the works for two years and it's finally arrived. As a partnership with Baltimore photographer Devin Allen, the Undr Armr x Dvnlln collection includes shoes and apparel featuring pictures of young Black athletes shot by the local artist.
For the sixth year in a row, Target presents "Black Beyond Measure," which includes a limited-time assortment of apparel and accessories from Black creators along with a spotlight on Black-owned brands sold at the giant retailer. Not only that, Target has numerous initiatives aimed at helping Black entrepreneurs succeed (such as its partnership with New Voices Foundation, which provides capital and resources to female entrepreneurs of color) and is also hosting Black History Month events like the annual Black-owned Business Fair throughout February for all of its employees.
For years Nike has been a champion of Black History Month, and 2021 is no different. The activewear brand has come out with limited-time colorways of some of its popular sneakers like the Air Max and Air Force. The bright colors are a nod to '90s street style and meant to represent self-expression. Plus, Nike has pledged $500,000 to 20 nonprofits that support Black communities across the U.S. as part of its "Until We All Win" initiative.
Over the last year, Nordstrom has ramped up its diversity and inclusivity efforts, and it continues to do so for Black History Month. The retailer has created an online storefront that explains what it's doing to promote racial equality, like committing to donate $1 million to anti-racism organizations by 2025 and increasing the representation of Black people in management positions at the company. Nordstrom's new page also features all of the Black-owned brands you can buy in beauty and fashion. This month alone, Nordstrom has partnered with 12 new Black-founded brands, such as Sienna Naturals and Rosen.
If you're looking for Black History Month apparel, the new line from Gap is worth a gander. Created by Black artists and designers, the collection includes T-shirts for the whole family (men, women, kids, and even babies), colorful hats, and French terry sweatsuits. Gap has committed to donate $200,000 to the 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit that focuses on equality for Black-owned businesses and Black people in the workplace.
Craft store Michael's has come out with a collection of DIY supplies themed around Black History Month. It includes printed ribbon and stickers, "Colors of the World" colored pencils, and even shirts featuring names of famous Black figures, like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. What’s more, a portion of the proceeds from the collection will go towards Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a nonprofit that helps people of color pursue and achieve leadership positions in the workforce.
Peloton announced it will be dropping new Black History Month content throughout February, starting with new apparel collaborations with four Black artists, which you can shop on Peloton's website. The home fitness company also offers themed classes (spinning to afrobeats, for instance) and has pledged to invest $100,000 in The Steve Fund, which focuses on mental health initiatives for people of color.
To help support Black-owned businesses during the month of February, Walmart created a Black History Month landing page which features Black-owned brands and some of the stories behind their founders. Popular picks include The Lip Bar, Scotch Porter, and Mielle Organics. The retailer has also committed $100 million over five years to fighting systemic racism through its Center for Racial Equality.
9. New Balance
"My Story Matters" is the name of New Balance's 2021 Black History Month line. Featuring hoodies, T-shirts, and sneakers in striking colors, the collection will be available for a limited time only. New Balance also pledged to donate to the Black Talent in Design & Fashion Fund, which helps support Black students who are entering the fashion or footwear industries.
Apple is offering a wide variety of Black History Month content across all of its platforms. On Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple News, you’ll find curated playlists, videos, and news stories. In the App Store, there's a hub of Black-developed apps and games. You can even purchase a special edition Apple Watch that sports the colors of the Pan-African flag and supports six different global organizations that fight for racial equality, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights.
Similar to Target and Nordstrom, Macy's created a landing page that brings attention to all of its Black-owned beauty and style brands throughout the month. Customers may also round up their purchase totals to donate money directly to Black Girls CODE and the United Negro College Fund. Additionally, the retailer is unveiling Black History Month-themed window displays at its major stores.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.