Indigo Exceeds Representation Goal on Anniversary of Joining Fifteen Percent Pledge
TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2021 – Today, Indigo (TSX: IDG) announced it has exceeded its representation targets since joining the Fifteen Percent Pledge. On this day last year, Indigo was the first Canadian retailer to sign the Fifteen Percent Pledge, a non-profit organization, founded by Canadian born designer Aurora James, urging major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf-space to BIPOC-owned businesses.
As part of the pledge, Indigo committed to have at least 15% of the books on display written by BIPOC authors by the end of 2021, as well as increased representation across its creative and marketing. In 2021, Indigo exceeded 15% representation across the majority of its business areas including in social (30%), creative studio (86%) and book displays (30%). Indigo continues to expand its assortment with more BIPOC-owned businesses and exciting upcoming partnerships with BIPOC-creators with its private label brands.
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but we know the work is still just beginning. We will continue to accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion across all of our business. DE&I is a culture shift that requires courage, long-term planning, and an organization-wide commitment to hold each other accountable and continuously push for better,” said Nathan Williams, Indigo’s Chief Creative Officer and Executive Sponsor of Sustainability and DE&I. “At Indigo our greatest strength comes from our people and our culture. We empower our team members to make an impact on our business and in the world.”
In addition to signing the Pledge, Indigo has taken several actions to support their commitment to Diversity, equity, and inclusion:
- Indigo has become Diversio Certified, meaning diversity and inclusion are key performance drivers. Data on employee representation and experience are collected regularly, so solutions that address bias and barriers can be implemented, while also tracking its progress.
- Internally, Indigo has established a Diversity Council and Employee Resource Groups to drive an integrated diversity strategy, to monitor progress and for accountability.
- Indigo has engaged Fred Martin as Indigo’s first Knowledge Keeper. Fred is Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) with ties to the M’Chigeeng First Nations of Manitoulin Island, Ontario, and the Qalipu First Nations (Mi’kmaq) of the Port au Port Peninsula, Newfoundland, and Labrador. He will help build a plan of action with culturally informed support and guidance, and ensure Indigo takes important steps of learning and understanding towards Truth and Reconciliation.
- The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation works to promote equitable access to books in schools across Canada. Recently, the Foundation contributed over $340K in funds from its Community Response Fund, to support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit families to promote literacy while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Indigo continues to amplify important cultural moments such as: Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, Pride, and Indigenous History Month, and highlights and amplifies books by BIPOC authors and other equity-seeking creators year-round. Additionally:
- 60% of Indigo’s 10 Best Books of 2021 are written by BIPOC authors
- 41% of the Authors of the Month in 2021 are BIPOC authors
- 50% of the Staff Picks of the Month in 2021 are books written by BIPOC authors
- Launched Mini Marché, a new marketplace of small and local Canadian brands that are environmentally friendly, BIPOC- or women-owned businesses. In September 2021, Indigo brought on 12 new brands; 50% of these brands are BIPOC-owned or led. This includes Zee Zee’s World, Go Coconut and Chevron Heart, to name a few.
- Brought on a Kids Advisor, Sueann Hall, a blogger, reader, and a mom. She rates, reviews, and builds lists at Indigo to create the best BIPOC books for kids, to help diversify children’s libraries and bookshelves so they are more representative of the world around them.
“As a native Canadian, I was extremely energized to see Indigo step up as Canada’s first retailer to sign the Fifteen Percent Pledge,” said Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge. “I’m very proud of the work they’ve accomplished in just one year in exceeding 15% representation across the majority of their business areas, and look forward to our continued partnership in support of the BIPOC community.”
1 30% of all social posts included a model, book written by or brand owned by BIPOC individual. Source: Indigo.
2 86% of models featured in campaigns. Source: Indigo.
3 30% of books featured in book displays were written by BIPOC authors. Source: Indigo.
For more information on Indigo’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please visit indigo.ca/en-ca/diversity-and-inclusion.
Indigo is a publicly traded Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (IDG). Indigo is Canada’s leading book and lifestyle retailer, offering a curated assortment of books, gifts, baby, kids, wellness, and lifestyle products, that support their customers every day and at key life stages by simplifying their journey to live with intention. Indigo believes in real books, in living life fully and generously, in being kind to each other and that stories – big and little – connect us.
Indigo founded the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation in 2004 to address the underfunding of public elementary school libraries. Every year the Foundation provides grants to high-needs elementary schools so they can transform their libraries with the purchase of new books and educational resources. Most recently, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented nation-wide school closures, the Foundation committed $1.0 million to provide books to families in need. With the support of the Company, its customers, employees, and suppliers, the Foundation has committed over $33 million to more than 3,000 high-needs elementary schools across Canada since 2004
About Fifteen Percent Pledge
The Fifteen Percent Pledge is a non-profit advocacy organization, based in the United States, urging major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf-space to BIPOC-owned businesses in Canada. It offers large corporations’ accountability, support, and consulting services with the goal of advocating for and supporting BIPOC-owned businesses. Launched in June 2020 by Aurora James, the initiative was born from seeing multiple acts of social injustice and police brutality in the United States, with a lack of accountability for the systemic issues at play. Businesses including Indigo, Sephora U.S. and Canada, Rent the Runway, West Elm, Hudson’s Bay Company, Yelp and Vogue U.S. have all committed to the Fifteen Percent Pledge. For more information, visit www.15percentpledge.ca
For further information: For media requests, please contact: Sarah Rigler, Account Director, MSL Canada, [email protected]; Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick, Director, Corporate Communications, Indigo, [email protected]