One way to help fight systemic racial inequality? Shopping black-owned brands.
The events of recent weeks show that we still have a very long way to go to end the systemic racism that’s been a part of our country for over 400 years. In fact, the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finance from the Federal Reserve (which is the most recent survey to date) found that a median-income white family still has a net worth of nearly 10 times more than a black family.
There are several ways to bring about long-term change, from having conversations around race and privilege to learning more about the experience of Black Americans. One way to help right now? By being more conscientious about where you’re spending your money and shopping black-owned businesses, many of which have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing pandemic. Below are some black-owned brands that offer sustainable, chic and inclusive products across the beauty, fashion, home decor, children’s and food and beverage industries.
Black-Owned Beauty Brands
Pattern Beauty is all about empowering the curl, with a curl guide and products that match each texture. Plus, their products help benefit organizations and programs that aim to empower women and people of color.
Shop Pattern Beauty
The Honey Pot
Founder Bea Dixon launched the brand after seeing the healing powers herbs could have for women in areas relating to female hygiene. The Honey Pot focuses on creating plant-based hygiene products that keep your honey pot balanced and happy—all with the power of nature.
Shop The Honey Pot
KNC beauty creates products to ensure perfect, kissable lips—including all-natural and collagen-infused lip makes, retinol-infused eye masks and moringa and kukui oil lip balms.
Shop KNC Beauty
Lorraine R. Dowdy left her job in the finance industry to create a brand she longed for: an inclusive costume line that encourages self-expression and diversity. Coloured Raine is driven by the mission to spread awareness for diversity and inclusion, regardless of color, age or gender in all things beauty. Not only is the brand black-owned, but their small team of 8 employs black women and men.
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Hanahana came from the simple need of founder Abena Boamah-Acheampong of wanting to feel confident in her own skin. Her brand is focused on ethically-sourced, cruelty-free ingredients, always paying twice the fair trade price for the shea butter, which is sourced directly from Tamale, Ghana. Other areas of focus include consumer transparency and representation for women of color. It’s a win-win.
Shop Hanahana Beauty
Co-founder and CEO Trinity Mouzon Wofford launched Gold with her partner Issey Kobori three years ago the mission to bring good vibes into the wellness space. The brand prioritizes natural products, including face masks and latte blends, that look good, taste good and allow you to feel like your best self.Shop Golde
Oui the People
Growing up, Karen Young, founder of OUI the People, was purposely never exposed to beauty magazines, in an effort from her mom to protect her mental health. When she decided to launch her brand, OUI (Shave) she found that standards for women’s beauty often fell under descriptors like “anti-aging,” “flawless” and “perfect.” OUI the People is committed to products with a thoughtful design and empowers people to feel good in their own skin as it is. Karen changed the name of the company from OUI (Shave) to OUI the People to represent and support all its non-binary customers.
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The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar was born out of the belief that beauty shouldn’t compromise health—physically or mentally. The brand’s products are easy to use, vegan and cruelty-free. With people being told what the standard for beauty is on a daily basis, The Lip Bar is here to remind you that you’re beautiful and enough as you are.
Shop The Lip Bar
If you’ve ever struggled to find the perfect shade of nude lipstick, you aren’t alone—KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, founders of Mented Cosmetics, have too. They launched the brand out of the belief that every woman should be represented in the beauty industry, regardless of skin tone. Mented Cosmetics offers everything from nude lipsticks to eyeshadow palettes to blushes, all pigmented to match real skin tones, from light to tan to dark.
Shop Mented Cosmetics
Black-Owned Fashion and Accessory Brands
This artisan-driven clothing and home goods brand launched by supermodel Liya Kebede features a core collection handwoven from natural cotton in Ethiopia, Kebede’s home country, and all items offered through the brand are made exclusively in Africa. Here you’ll find easy-breezy clothes and even a mommy + me swimwear collection.
Finding high-quality, flattering clothes after giving birth is a struggle for new moms—something Prende Pants CEO TQ Evans knows first-hand. Which is why she created Prende Pants, specializing in eco-friendly, post-pregnancy leggings that incorporate technical fabrics with ancient belly wrapping traditions. The leggings are manufactured at a woman-owned, US factory.
Shop Prende Pants
zou xou, a New York City-based brand founded by designer Katherine Theobalds, offers modern shoewear that embraces a minimalist aesthetic. The leather sandals, mules and loafers are handcrafted by Argentinian shoemakers and produced in small batches in keeping with responsible manufacturing practices and the slow fashion movement.
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Every bag from Tree Fairfax is hand-cut and stitched using locally sourced, high quality leather with natural imperfections, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces that cut back on waste. You’ll find gorgeous crossbody bags, mini totes, clutches and wallets here.
Shop Tree Fairfax
From leather handbags to brass jewelry, pottery objects and more, you’ll find a range of handmade accessories at EDAS, a brand that prides itself on one-of-a-kind, eclectic items by head designer Sade Mims.
This jewelry brand offers on-trend items, from chunky chain necklaces to upcycled glass hoop earrings and brass metal cuffs, all handmade by Morgan Thomas in Astoria, New York. You can even spot a pair of triangular brass hoops on Lizzo in the “Good as Hell” music video.
Jam + Rico
Founder Lisette Scott draws great inspiration from the cultures and colors of Jamaica and Puerto Rico (hence the name, Jam + Rico), the birthplaces of her immigrant grandparents. It can be seen across her vibrant jewelry designs: colorful, silk tassel earrings; cowrie shell-inspired brass bangles and pieces adorned with cultured pearls and turquoise beads.
Shop Jam + Rico
Black-Owned Food and Drink Brands
BLK & BOLD
Founders Pernell Ceza and Rod Johnson set out to turn a cup of coffee and tea into a means of giving back. In addition to selling speciality coffees and loose leaf teas, the Des Moines, Iowa-based brand donates 5 percent of its profits to nonprofit organizations that support at-risk youth locally and nationally.
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Maison Noir, founded by sommelier André Hueston Mack, describes itself as a lifestyle project producing distinctive Oregon garage wines as well as a line of graphic T-shirts inspired by street culture of the punk and hip-hop scenes.
Shop Maison Noir
This Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn tea shop and online retailer is run by co-owners (and couple) Alfonso “Ali” Wright and Jamila McGill. They stock an impressive array of organic teas that are fair trade whenever available. They also partner with Tahuti Ma’at—an organization dedicated to fostering political, social and economic empowerment— to provide compast for local community gardens.
**Shop Brooklyn Tea
Hot sauce, anyone? Founder Hawa Hassan, born in Somalia, channels her passion for her native culture into her condiments—think: tamarind date sauce and coconut cilantro chutney. According to the brand, Basbaas is the only authentic, packaged Somali line of hot sauces and chutneys currently available in the US.
If you watched season 3 of Queer Eye, you’ll be familiar with Kansas City-ased Jones Bar-B-Q, as the Fab Five helped sisters Deborah “Little” and Mary “Shorty” Jones bottle their locally renown barbeque sauce. They continue to carry on their family’s legacy of smoking meats and making their from-scratch sauce (which you can snag on their website).
Shop Jones Bar-B-Q
A Dozen Cousins
You’ll find three varieties of slow-cooked beans (cuban black beans, Mexican cowboy beans and Trini chickpea curry) that infuse flavors from southern, Caribbean and Latin American cooking—the tastes founder Ibraheem Basir grew up with in Brooklyn as a child. The company provides an annual grant and volunteer support to nonprofits working to eliminate socio-economic health disparities in the US.
Shop A Dozen Cousins
As an on-the-go mom of a child with food allergies, Denise Woodard founded Partake Foods to offer parents tasty, allergy-friendly snacks for their kids. The brand’s cookies are gluten-free, vegan and school-safe, and free of the top eight allergens.
Shop Partake Foods
Black-Owned Home Decor Brands
Founded by interior designer Nicole Gibbons, the company aims to simplify the process of painting, with hundreds of expertly curated colors and an interactive guide to help customers find the perfect color for their space. Find the right nursery color for baby? Check.
Love Notes Fragrances
Founded by Brooklyn-native Nya Kam, Love Notes features products that breathe self-care. The company’s hand poured candles are made from natural soy wax, cotton-based (read: lead-free) wicks and unique custom blended fragrances. Pair your candle with one of the brand’s natural body teas, designed for baths and soaking, and you’ve got yourself one relaxing evening.
Bring the good vibes home with Jungalow. The brand started as a design-blog in 2009, which has largely become a go-to for bohemian design inspiration. In 2017 they launched a shop online featuring designs from founder Justina Blakeney, as well as art prints from female artists across the globe. The best part? Not only does the company plant two trees with every order purchased, it also gives back to non-profit orgs like the ACLU, Girls Who Code, Rainforest Alliance, National Organization for Women and Southern Poverty Law Center, among others.
Rochelle Porter Design
This Atlanta-based lifestyle brand specializes in vibrant home décor and fashion textiles. Founder Rochelle Porter has loved global design traditions all her life, from the hues of her Caribbean roots to the minimalism of Scandinavian design to the bold geometrics of West African weaves. Her brand combines her love of global design with ethical and sustainable practices. Her products use high-quality organic cotton and eco-friendly materials, allowing everyone who touches the supply chain to have a chance to live well—from the farmers who pick the cotton for textiles to the consumers who buy them to put in their home.
Marie Burgos Collection
Marie Burgos’ design draws inspiration from both her French upbringing and her family’s native home of Martinique, as well as her certification as a master of Feng Shui. Her collections not only offer a fresh perspective on the contemporary lighting, furniture and decor that fill her customers’ homes, but they also prioritize harmonious balance between spaces,
Johanna Howard Home
Founder Johanna Howard grew up in Sweden, making dresses by hand and gaining an appreciation for simple elegance of Swedish design. Her collection merges Scandivian and American aesthetics with Peruvian artisanry. Many of her home decor products feature sustainable and high-quality alpaca wool fiber, made in collaboration with small, family-owned, fair trade producers.
Shop Johanna Howard Home
Black-Owned Children’s Brands
Darlyng & Co.
Darlyng & Co., like many other kids’ brands, was born out of a need for a product that wasn;t on the market: a teether that worked for babies who started to teethe early and couldn’t yet hold them. The brand’s mission is to create aesthetically charming and toxic-free products with functional design and high-quality materials. They sell most everything a baby could need, including diaper bags, teething mittens, sippy cups, toothbrush, toys, apparel and much more.
Shop Darlyng & Co.
Tippy Tot Shoes
This baby brand is all about crafting shoes that provide support, comfort and build a strong foundation for healthy feet. Their designs feature hard bottoms to help baby walk sooner by providing extra support and protection against wobbly ankles and flat-footed steps. The shoes are suitable for newborns through kids aged 2 years old.
Shop Tippy Tot Shoes
With three kids under the age of 6, founders Matthew and Marnel Goins found themselves frustrated at the lack of diversity and representation in many of the puzzles on the market. They launched Puzzle Huddle in January 2018 to allow their kids and other kids of color to play with toys that look like them.
Shop Puzzle Huddle
Little Muffin Cakes
Little Muffin Cakes is a marketplace dedicated to representing the diversity of beauty in kids. Their products aim to empower kids of color with representation in blankets, bibs, apparel, pillows, quilts and more.
Shop Little Muffin Cakes
Just Like Me! Box
The Just Like Me! Box is a monthly subscription that grows with your child. The company has access to thousands of African American themed books, from board books to literature from new authors, and each box is filled with two to three children’s books that feature characters of color, along with educational tools and other fun items to encourage positive child development, all based on your child’s age.
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HarperIman Dolls are beautiful handmade, linen keepsake dolls and accessories. The company was founded by mother-daughter duo Cynthia Watkins and Kathryn Burnett in 2017, looking to offer more representation in skin tones and hair texture in the doll industry. Each doll in the collection is unique, with individual body shapes, hair textures and sense of styles.
Shop HarperIman Dolls
The Eco Baby Co.
Founder Tahwii Spicer has always been invested in the baby space. She formerly served as a baby planner, doula and infant massage instructor and ran a holistic baby planning service. But she decided on a change with the birth of her son and launched The Eco Baby Co. The brand is committed to natural, non-toxic products and packaging with a sharp focus on organic, sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients. The Eco Baby Co.’s products include pacifiers, toys, cloth diapers and more.
Shop The Eco Baby Co.