Updated: May 5, 2021
‘Buying black’ isn’t something that we should do once to feel good about ourselves. To invest in black businesses is to invest in the black community as a whole.
As the business you buy from grows, the choice of high-quality products that anyone can consume increases as well as the number of jobs provided to the local community, generating wealth to be shared by locals.
Not only do black businesses provide jobs, but they also become customers for other local businesses, whether it be accountants, marketers, printer companies or lawyers. It is more likely that the business will donate to local black charities, and the uniqueness of an independent shop in a local area will attract tourism.
So not only should we buy from black businesses, but we should also make an effort to swap a big brand in our lives for a black brand. Regardless of how much our favourite celebrities endorse global brands or how many statements such brands publish promising support to the black community, it remains a fact that these companies have an ashamedly low number of black employees at the executive and corporate levels and are less likely to donate to charities supporting the black community.
These companies are owned by white executives who pocket black money without helping black people and, as a result, it is time that we permanently swap some of our favourite big brands for the following US and UK based black brands:
Clothing and Fashion
No Wallflower Project
Shop here: https://www.nowallflowerproject.com/
"Taking inspiration from a youth spent in her grandmother's workshop watching her craft elaborate tasselled curtains and upholstery for her customers, while sharing in her love of interiors and art history; Creative Director, Henrietta O'Connor combines this with her passion for visual storytelling and an eccentric approach to design to bring you luxury womenswear and accessories for sleep and street."
Nappy Head Club
Shop here: https://nappyheadclub.com/
"Systematically, women like my sister and I (and probably you, if you're reading this) have been excluded from conversations around beauty and under-represented in mainstream media. Despite our cumulative 40+ years toting the hair growing from our scalps, it wasn't until very recently, that we even began to explore our natural hair. The imagery we are bombarded with on a daily basis doesn't regularly highlight, or even acknowledge, the gigantic (and ever-growing) population of black women with hair like ours, and that takes a toll on our self-image.
We felt a transformation in ourselves, as we began to explore and proudly rock our 4c naps–and we wanted to share that feeling with as many 4c women as we could. Our goal is to be a source of information, tools, and community. For any girl who's ever felt hair-shamed, the pressure to alter/manipulate their curl pattern, or just wants to see more representation—this is for you."
Shop here: https://sincerelynude.com/
"I noticed that I could never find any nude clothing close to my skin tone whenever I went shopping or even browsing online. This realisation became somewhat of frustration as I noticed it everywhere I went. I've always loved fashion, and it felt dear to my heart to be part of the change I wanted to see in the world. From a discussion to fruition. Sincerely Nude wants to empower women to feel beautiful and sexy in their skin tone no matter what shade or size."
House of Kanai
Shop here: https://houseofkanai.com/
"My business specialises in made to order and bespoke resort garments for confident women that love to travel to holiday destinations. This includes swimwear and outfits for events and soirees that may take place abroad in luxury resorts.
A little something different to add to your wardrobe if you're looking for staple pieces to invest in."
Two Three Active
Shop here: https://www.shoptwothree.co.uk/
"Two Three Active is a London based activewear brand designed for the everyday girl who wants to feel comfortable & confident whilst achieving their health goals.
Est. since 2018 the brand was created by sisters Stefanie & Naomie who are the second and third born of 4 girls. The sisters found a passion for living a healthier lifestyle when they had faced their own personal battles of Depression and Hypothyroidism. Whilst on their individual journeys, they both found it hard to find quality gym leggings or sports bras at affordable prices and so the brand was born."
Shop here: https://www.damihow.com/
"DAMIHOW is a functional and fashionable brand, dedicated to perfecting the fit and fabrics of activewear to ensure that you look good but also feel comfortable. The brand is on a mission to encourage everyone to feel great through fitness without having to compromise on style, with activewear that crosses effortlessly into your everyday lives."
Shop here: https://mayascarlette.com
"Maya Scarlette is a London based brand specialising in Wirebras, swimwear and bespoke clothing. All pieces are hand made to order by me."
Rare Culture London
Shop here: https://www.rareculturelondon.co.uk
“At rare culture London we always try to tell a story with our clothing, empower People of Colour, we want people to learn something, make a bold statement while looking & feeling good at the same time. The world is constantly changing, but culture will always remain the same, and our culture influences the whole world!”
Shop here: https://www.madkollection.com/
"We are an African inspired women's wear clothing brand based in the UK, and we make custom and ready to wear outfits."
Shop here: https://www.jorae.co.uk/
"JoRae supplies swimming caps for dreadlocks, weaves, extensions or hair just too thick or long to fit in a standard-sized swimming cap. We make swimming and water sport activities accessible to all adults and children, through swimming caps designed to fit bigger hair. We recognise that hair can be a barrier when it doesn't fit into regular protective caps, and so our swimming caps are ideal for everyone.
Our slogan is 'Taking Care Of Big Hair'; we believe that all hair should be celebrated, particularly when it comes to swimming, a lifelong skill that enhances health, wellbeing and self-confidence."
Makeup and Cosmetics
Pink Salad Ldn
Shop here: https://pinksaladldn.com/
"Pink Salad London is for lip gloss obsessives. All our cosmetics are vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, which is good for you and the environment.
Pink Salad Ldn glosses are highly moisturising and non-sticky, with Vitamin E oil to repair and hydrate lips. With long-lasting application clear glosses, and a selection of fruity, glitter, and pigmented lip glosses, there's a shade for everyone at Pink Salad LDN.
Made by J Cosmetics
Shop here: https://www.madebyjcosmetics.co.uk/
"We sell handmade lip glosses and handmade matte liquid lipsticks, handmade beard oils, and cruelty-free faux mink 3D and 5D lashes. We are looking to expand the products we sell and start producing other items such as highlighters, eyeshadows, and skincare. We ensure that we use the best-certified vegan, cruelty-free and organic ingredients and ensure all of our packaging is either reusable or recyclable".
2 4 1 Cosmetics
Shop here: https://241cosmetics.com/
"Our beauty philosophy is deeply rooted in our earliest memories as political refugees from Eritrea. Beauty, to us, is grace and resilience. As twin sisters, we share everything, including our love for makeup and in particular eyeliner! We will never forget our teenage years as cashiers in high school, saving up enough money to buy our favourite beauty brands. Neither can we forget our mother getting ready for a midnight shift —always making sure she had her lipstick.
We believe makeup is a way to enhance a woman's beauty, not to conceal it. More importantly, makeup is transformative and is a vessel that can inspire deeper conversations.
Our mission is to create an effortless beauty brand that instils confidence, kindness and integrity."
Shop here: https://esscosmetics.com/
"Ess Cosmetics is a black-owned brand that believes every woman has a royal side to them. We sell glosses, lashes, accessories and also help people start their own business".
Shop here: https://www.momineral.co.uk/
"We are into the manufacturing and sales of makeup, skincare, haircare & beard grooming. We also offer Makeup services for various event when not busy with manufacturing."
ASANTÈ LUXÈ GLOW
Shop here: https://www.asanteluxeglow.com/
"Asantè Luxe Glow is a cosmetic product line that is hand made in small batches, vegan, organic and sourced internationally all whilst maintaining its ethical ethos injecting some well-needed love and care into the planet. Sourced and made from and for women".
Shop here: https://516polish.com/
"516 Polish is the UK's first indie nail polish brand championing "swatch diversity". This means actively creating inspiration and more visual representation for women of colour through inclusive swatch imagery.
516 Polish offers a wide range of over 25 traditional nail polish colours, 10 one-step gel polish colours, as well as nail care and tools. Being PETA certified, vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic, ensures 516 Polish customers can have beautifully manicured nails without the chemical nasties!"
Shop here: https://yangabeauty.com/
"YangaBeauty is the innovative powerhouse behind extraordinary beauty product and services located in Lagos, Nigeria. Our vision is to be the leading global beauty brand of African descent to women without borders.
Our mission is to be the preferred beauty brand by developing exceptional beauty products and services that are relevant, affordable and easily accessible to women without borders, suiting your every need and ensuring you get value for your money through effective customer experience and product education."
Shop here: https://www.planetalocosmetics.com/
"Planetalocosmetics is an upcoming cosmetic brand that started in October 2019, which creates fresh handmade products with love, as a brand we believe in equality & diversity which links to why our logo is a pink planet, everyone can enjoy our products! At Planetalo, we are against animal cruelty, and every product we make is 100% vegan! Instead of testing on animals, we swatch our products and get opinions before selling them as we want to provide the highest quality products with an affordable price to our customers!
Keep in mind; this brand is run & created by a 15-year-old young entrepreneur. We are still growing, but we appreciate all the support and positive messages towards what we stand for. We will continue to develop new ideas and formulas to expand our brand in the best way possible!"
Visit here: https://www.beautystack.com/
"We're an online marketplace connecting beauty professionals with clients. The app is in the App Store & you can book at beautystack.com"
Shop here: https://rvkbeauty.bigcartel.com/
"We are RVK beauty, a UK Based beauty/apparel business owned by 3 young black entrepreneurs with a big passion for beauty and all things fashion. We intend to make amazing products to please our customers, and we appreciate every order and all the support. We offer a range of products to satisfy everyone, and we have many more ideas to come."
Shop here: https://www.nmaldn.co.uk/
"As a lip gloss lover, our founder was fed up with buying lip gloss after lip gloss, and after years of searching for a non-sticky, lightweight, moisturising, plumping gloss without all the extras (chemicals) to no avail. Enough was enough. She decided to create NMA. At NMA, we understand how difficult it can be to find the right lip gloss, and we believe that everyone deserves a lush, kissable pout. We also understand the importance of using healthy natural products that are not only beneficial for your lip care but keep you looking cute at the same time. NMA products are for the lip gloss lovers who want plump lips, who want lots of moisture and non-stick. For those who want to look after the health of their lips. NMA products are made with you in mind!"