Starbucks to let workers wear Black Lives Matter apparel after backlash

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Starbucks to let workers wear Black Lives Matter apparel after backlash

By Marianne Wilson - 06/12/2020

Starbucks to let workers wear Black Lives Matter apparel after backlash 

Starbucks Corp. has reversed its prohibition on employees wearing apparel and accessories that highlight the Black Lives Matter movement after its stance caused a backlash on social media.

The coffee giant has supported the movement its social media platforms and in a press release. But on Wednesday, BuzzFeed News reported on an internal memo in which Starbucks said its employees could not wear Black Lives Matter clothing or accessories. Management explained the decision by saying that the items could be misunderstood and incite violence. The news caused an uproar on social media, with calls for boycotts of the chain.

On Friday, Starbucks reversed its stance. The company said it is partnering with the Starbucks Black Partner Network and allies to make 250,000 shirts with a design that includes “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” graphics available to employees who work in its company-owned cafes in the United States and Canada. Until the shirts are available, employees can wear their own Black Lives Matter T-shirts or pins. (Starbucks said that it began planning to provide the shirts for employees last week, prior to the social media uproar.)

“Designed for partners, by partners, our Starbucks Black Partner Network and allies created the t-shirt to recognize the historic significance of this time. Together, we’re saying: Black Lives Matter and it’s going to take ALL of us, working together, to affect change,” Starbucks said in a letter to employees.

Related Topics