Blackout Day 2020 has come and gone but the drive to achieve racial equality through economic power remains.
There’s power in the Black dollar. So, buy from Black-owned businesses. Support Black entrepreneurs. Champion Black artists. The racial inequality gap can be closed when the Black community shares in the economic opportunities afforded all others.
To help accelerate the Black Lives Matter movement and empower the Black community, we’ve curated this list of Black-owned conscious businesses that you can support not just on Blackout Day, but every single day.
Founded by Nigerian-born model, designer and creative director Asiyami Gold, A.Au offers beautiful handcrafted pieces made by the highly skilled artisans of her home country. The selection of thoughtfully designed, elegant clothing made for the ever-evolving woman is produced in a way that pays homage to Gold’s culture and heritage. The business also give back; 10% of profits is donated to help educate children.
Launched in 2016, this Black-woman owned eco-conscious fashion label has received exposure from the likes of Vogue, Refinery 29, Hypebeast and Nylon. Founder Sami Miro sources and reconstructs one-of-a-kind garments from vintage and recycled materials that exude LA cool girl vibes. All collections are made in Los Angeles.
Established in 2015 by Dechel McKillian, an ex-celebrity stylist whose clients included Drake, Fergie, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Lionel Richie, and The Black Eyed Peas, GALERIE.LA was founded to counteract the fashion industry’s negative impact on people and planet. McKillian left fast fashion behind to start her own sustainable fashion brand with a mission to socially conscious fashion to mainstream shoppers.
Nana Boateng Osei launched Bohten with the aim of creating eco-luxury eyewear that pays “homage to a love of fashion without the loss of social responsibility.” Bohte offers stylish specs inspired by the beauty of the landscapes in Ghana. The eyewear frames are made from reclaimed materials and wood which are found in West Africa.
This sustainable clothing store curates stylish, ethically produced clothing for men and women and stocks other items such as fair-trade homewares, green beauty and eco lifestyle products. Established in 2014 by Kalkidan Legesse and Vidmantas Markevicius, Sancho’s has two store locations in the UK as well as an online store and aims to bring conscious fashion to the masses.
Raised by parents who hailed from Trinidad, speech therapist by day and slow fashion designer by night, Aliya Wanek founded her eponymous label in 2016 and produces items in small batches in the Bay Area. Blending classic American style with a Japanese twist, these exquisite yet timeless garments are made from natural fibers and will complement many items in a sustainable woman’s wardrobe.
Nigerian lawyer turned ethical fashion designer Lisa Folawiyo founded her eponymous label to bring African Ankara prints (fabric with distinct vibrant patterns associated with African culture) to the masses. Featuring locally-sourced traditional West African fabrics and textiles and fashion-forward designs, it is little wonder the designer was chosen to participate in the Ethical Fashion Initiative program.
Established by Bea Dixon in 2014, plant-based, all-natural feminine hygiene care business The Honey Pot Co. has grown from strength to strength; the brand is stocked in many big box retail stores including Walmart, Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and has been featured in many popular women’s publications including Vogue, Marie Claire and Refinery 209.
Made with love to help women love and care for their bodies, The Honey Pot Co. produces feminine care products that balances, protects and cleanses your vagina, from cleansing washes through to menstrual products.
Dixon launched the business when an ancestor visited her in her dreams: “I suffered from bacterial vaginosis for months. An ancestor gave me the ingredients to heal myself in a dream. I created the formula for an effective, clean feminine wash. It worked!”
First launched in 2015 (and relaunched and re-branded a year later) natural beauty company Base Butter founded by Howard University graduate She’Neil Johnson produces a range of cruelty-free products that protects, moisturises and rejuvenates skin health. The company’s signature product ‘Radiate Face Jelly’ contains skin-balancing ingredient aloe vera which helps to treat and heal acne-prone skin.
As part of their commitment to Black Lives Matter and empowering the Black community, Base Butter is donating 10% of all profits each month to organizations doing critical work to dismantle systemic racism such as Loveland Foundation.
Beelove is an all-natural line body care and relaxation products infused with natural honey harvested from apiaries in Chicago. Through the success of its business, the company hopes to is assist in providing long-term, sustainable job opportunities for North Lawndale, Chicago locals and particularly those with criminal convictions, to help build consistent employment history and ensure they become productive members of society.
Founded by Abena Boamah, Hanahana Beauty all-natural skincare and wellness products are made from ethically-sourced ingredients and suitable for all skin types. Committed to uplifting women of color, the business handcrafts all products using natural ingredients such as shea butter, which is sourced directly from the Katariga Women’s Shea Cooperative in Ghana. This clean beauty business also launched its Hanahana Circle of Care, to serve and support the sixty women of this cooperative.
“We are serious about producer to consumer transparency, remaining cruelty-free and always paying 2x the fair trade price for our shea butter sourced directly from Tamale, Ghana.” – Hanahana Beauty
In 2016, fed up with sunscreens that left white residue on her skin, Miami-based Shontay Lundy created Black Girl Sunscreen, a sunblock for women of color that is vegan, reef-safe, paraben-free, fragrance-free, water-resistant and made from natural ingredients such as jojoba, aloe and cocoa butter which help moisturise skin with melanin. Its two signature products, SPF30 and Kids SPF50, can be found in independent shops such as Blk & Grn as well as 200 Target stores across the US.
Elan Byrd is an artist and textile designer based in Miami, Florida who creates unique pieces that can brighten up your home – wall hangings made from linen and raffia, printed artworks and collages made from upcycled vintage grasscloth. Commissions are welcome.
Originally from Senegal, West Africa, former photographer Sofi Seck launched Expedition Subsahara to bring authentic handcrafted and traditionally woven African goods such as woven baskets, beaded jewelry and mud cloth bags to a global audience. These intricate, handmade pieces tells a unique story while bringing style and happiness into your home and wardrobe.
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Cover image via Lisa Folawiyo