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Glossier products. Photo: Mic
Glossier products. Photo: Mic

Glossier beauty slammed for racism, toxic workplace by former employees

The former employees published an open letter on Medium and Instagram and go by the name: “Outta the Gloss.”

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Glossier is the latest brand to be accused of racism and concerning company culture by former employees, joining Everlane, Reformation and Refinery29.

A collective of former Glossier retail employees, known as “Outta the Gloss,” published an open letter on Medium and Instagram, calling out Glossier management for racism and other inappropriate behavior.

The anonymous group detailed disturbing instances of racism and sexual harassment.

Latinx workers were called “illegals” by a woman that was repeatedly allowed into the store. A group of white teens applied some of the darkest complexion products, sporting blackface. And a man felt entitled enough to massage an employee without her consent. 

The authors of the letter said that human resources wasn’t helpful at all and that there was little-to-no intervention from management regarding these incidents. 

“We as a collective of former retail employees, aka ‘editors,’  have experienced an ongoing insidious culture of anti-Blackness, transphobia, ableism and retaliation. We know the proclaimed brand values of inclusivity, accessibility and equity should apply to us. We ask Glossier’s devoted community: if this democratization is only achieved by perniciously silencing Black and Brown editors and without treating marginalized staff equitably — have they democratized beauty at all, or is it more of the same?” they wrote. 

Beyond the issues of BIPOC editors feeling disposable, the working conditions were less than ideal. According to the letter, their working space was still under construction and they overheard an inspector say that the girls “don’t even know what kind of fumes they are inhaling.” 

The editors also shared that they took lunch breaks on a “floor riddled with rat waste because we retail employees lacked a break room of our own.” 

Outta The Gloss shared a list of demands, including an apology, a public acknowledgement of the damage caused, and a number of plans for change in the future. 

In Instagram posts Monday, Founder and CEO Emily Weiss acknowledged that the company had “failed to create” an “inclusive, safe environment” and outlined a plan to address the complaints. 

Weiss apologized for creating a workspace where not everyone felt supported. 

“I am sorry we let you down,” she wrote. 

In response, Outta the Gloss posted on their Instagram account that they are grateful for the apology and acknowledgement of their demands, but made sure to emphasize that the work is not done. 

“This is only their first step. Expect a full response from us soon,” they wrote. 

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