Starbucks said Friday that it will allow its employees to wear t-shirts and other items in support of the Black Lives Matter, in a reversal of a company policy that prevented employees from promoting political causes while on the job.
Starbucks said that in the coming days, it would send out more than 250,000 t-shirts that were designed in partnership with its Black Partner Network to its stores for employees to wear. In the meantime, Starbucks said its barisitas and other employees could wear their own t-shirts, pins that show support for the Black Lives Matter efforts.
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
“We trust you to do what’s right while never forgetting Starbucks is a welcoming third place where all are treated with dignity and respect,” Starbucks said, in a statement about the new t-shirt policy.
Earlier this week, Starbucks found itself subject to a backlash across social media regarding it dress code policies for its employees, whom the company calls “partners”. That policy has said that any accessories that an employee wears have to be issued by the company and not advocate for a personal, political or religious issue.
Starbucks’ new policy also comes on the heels of the company saying on Wednesday that because of effects of the coronavirus pandemic upon its operations. Starbucks said it will close 400 stores over the next 18 months, but also open 300 new stores over the next year, with an emphasis on pickup locations and mobile orders.