Earlier last summer, the world erupted in protests and outrage after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis. His name is the latest tragic addition to the long list of Black people who have been killed in police custody.
Between the coronavirus—which has affected Black Americans, and their businesses, at a disproportionately high rate—and the communal grieving that comes with losing another Black life, Black people are facing more daily trauma than we already do. Accordingly, it’s critical to find ways to support the Black community in a harrowing time. As Lesley Thornton, founder of Klur Skincare, wrote on Instagram: “A post is not enough. Do the research. Do the work. Do better. Talk to your friends, families, and coworkers about race even if it’s uncomfortable, hold space for your Black and Brown friends, take accountability for your actions, and do the work to make Black beauty normal.”
She reminded followers that—in addition to on-the-ground work protesting, signing petitions, making donations, and making calls to government officials—another way to make your voice heard and support a devastated community is to purchase from Black-owned beauty and fashion brands. “Black people are less likely to have access to capital to fund their businesses, so it’s critical non-POC support them because these purchases can make a major impact on the potential growth,” Thornton added in a comment to Vogue. “It’s small actions like supporting Black-owned beauty brands that help level the capitalist playing field for us.” It’s also demonstrating you stand with Black and Brown communities, rather than upholding brands that might instead exploit black and brown cultures and rituals.
Brother Vellies designer Aurora James made a similar argument in a recent Instagram post, urging major retailers like Sephora and Whole Foods to buy at least 15% of their products from black-owned businesses. “So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power,” she wrote. “So many of your stores are set up in Black communities.” If retailers were able to make the 15% pledge, she continued, then “real investment will start happening in Black businesses which will subsequently be paid forward into our Black communities.” In the spirit of such investment and redistribution of wealth, you can help Black business owners by purchasing from them directly.
Esthetician Lesley Thornton’s Klur is an eco-inclusive skincare brand with skin-barrier-strengthening ingredients like vitamins C, B5, and E.
Brother Vellies, founded by Aurora James, is an accessories brand of handcrafted shoes and handbags from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco.
Nicholas Kingsley is a luxury, UK-based brand inspired by royal living. Known for its luxe diffusers, layered with scents like Oud, bergamot, cedarwood, and sandalwood, cinnamon, and vanilla, Nicholas Kingsley wants its customer to embrace their inner king and queen.
Edvin Thompson is the designer behind the contemporary clothing brand, Theophilio. Described as a “wearable geography,” Theophilio is inspired by Thompson’s Jamaican heritage and New York City’s progressive culture. The brand also focuses on sustainably-sourced material and upcycled fabric.
Founded by Jamika Martin, Rosen Skincare is all about making acne care products that are clean, accessible, and approachable with affordable price points and nourishing and acne-zapping ingredients like willow bark, clay, eucalyptus oil, and more.
Leigh NY is a brand specializing in silk-based garments, which are made-to-order in NYC. Founded by Morgan Johnson, Leigh strives to responsibly make meaningful clothing; in a classic, sustainable, and refined way.
7.Essentials By Temi
Essentials By Temi, founded by Temi Shobowale, is a line filled with nourishing, quality vegan ingredients. The products are made “to assist others with finding balance with their daily well-being regimen.”
Anser was founded by actress Tia Mowry after being diagnosed with endometriosis in 2006. Mowry took it upon herself to adopt a new diet and healthy lifestyle, which included supplements. She then launched Anser, which provides supplements for every need: from beauty-vitamins (for hair, skin, and nails) to daily multivitamins and detox supplements.
9.Blk Mkt Vintage
Blk Mkt Vintage, cofounded by Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart is a compilation of black collectibles representing the richness of black history, both lived and experienced.
Makeup brand Uoma, meaning beautiful, was founded by Sharon Chuter and aims to “to create a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.”