Sephora Canada continues its Indigenous allyship journey in partnership with Cheekbone Beauty, creating impact in communities with Water First Initiative.
For Sephora Canada, Indigenous allyship is a year-round commitment. This June, the retailer is proud to partner with Cheekbone Beauty on a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the ongoing water crisis in Indigenous communities in Canada. As part of the initiative, throughout the month of June, Sephora Canada will donate all proceeds from the sales of Cheekbone Beauty products to Water First, a charitable organization supporting Indigenous communities to address the ongoing water crisis.
Indigenous communities deserve clean and safe drinking water
According to Water First, as of January 2022, approximately one in six First Nation communities in Canada were affected by drinking water advisories. These numbers include both short-term and long-term boil water advisories as well as do-not-consume advisories. Given the seriousness of this issue and that Water First focuses on addressing these water challenges in Indigenous communities in Canada, Sephora Canada and Cheekbone Beauty chose it as an impactful organization to support during a month meant to raise awareness around and to support Indigenous issues.
Founder & CEO, Cheekbone Beauty
Sephora Canada and Cheekbone Beauty making change together
Sephora Canada’s partnership with Cheekbone Beauty began in 2021, when the beauty brand became the retailer’s first Indigenous-owned brand, launching first on Sephora.ca and has since rolled out to increasingly more stores across Canada. “One of the main things that inspired me to create Cheekbone Beauty was the lack of representation in the beauty space,” says Jenn Harper, Cheekbone Beauty’s founder and CEO. “I wanted to create a brand that highlighted Indigenous faces and gave back to the community.” Cheekbone Beauty weaves together concepts of Indigenous wisdom with Western science to create high-quality, sustainable products. “In Indigenous culture, success is not defined by one person’s accomplishments but by what a person does for their community,” says Harper. “That’s why we’ve taken the initiative to become a B Corp. and to contribute to organizations that give back to Indigenous youth and community.
Director of Communications & Social Impact, Sephora Canada
Indigenous allyship is an ongoing journey
Sephora Canada shares a similar vision of contributing to local communities and advancing its Indigenous allyship. “ Central to Indigenous allyship is partnership,” says Debbie McDowell, Director of Communications and Social Impact at Sephora Canada. “As part of our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) journey, we’re continuously working to establish meaningful partnerships with local non-profit and charitable organizations.” This latest initiative with Cheekbone Beauty and Water First is just one in a string of many designed to increase Indigenous representation and support Indigenous communities. Other external partners for the retailer include the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and Indspire. Both partner groups have been featured charities of the retailer’s Beauty Insider Charity Rewards program, with their partnerships continuing to extend beyond that program. Internally, the retailer also recently established an Indigenous Sephora employee resource group made up of both Indigenous community members and allies who are passionate about driving organizational and community changes.
“It’s important that we lean into our partners’ knowledge, expertise and guidance while using our voice and platform to help bring awareness to the work that they are doing for many marginalized community groups,” says McDowell. “Our journey and work will never end, but it is our hope that people will see the commitment and purposeful actions Sephora is taking in the hopes of driving diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.”