Starbucks is on just about every boycott list that conservatives have ever released. Why? Well, they supported marriage equality back before it was cool, for one. They have the endorsement of, and a 100 rating from, the Human Rights Campaign. They offer full medical benefits to even their part-time employees. Their non-discrimination policy specifically mentions sexual orientation and gender identity. Their medical coverage does not discriminate against transgender folks. Their inclusive policies go on and on.
Basically, they embody everything conservatives hate.
One area in which Starbucks has been surprisingly conservative themselves, however, is in their dress code. I worked at Starbucks myself about 16 years ago, and the dress code was strictly black or khaki bottoms, white or black collared shirt, black shoes. No colored hair, no facial piercings, etc.
I always found it interesting that Starbucks had such a traditional, old-fashioned dress code. They’re so liberal in so many other ways. I also figured that they would relax their dress code eventually.
I have purple hair. A few years ago, I went into a Starbucks wearing my teacher name tag from the school where I used to work. The barista said, “I wish I could do that to my hair, but they don’t let us do that here.”
That is no longer true.
This week, Starbucks announced their new dress code. Employees must still present themselves in a professional manner, of course, but the new rules represent a big change for the huge corporation. There are still some forbidden clothing items, but, overall, the employees are being encouraged to express their own individual style.
This move is really in line with the philosophy of Starbucks. As a progressive company, they recognize that encouraging creativity is a way to keep moving ever forward. I have a feeling that this will help show that Starbucks is happy to cater to the Gen X and Millennials that make up the vast majority of their clientele.
As for me, I think I’m going to go get a mocha.