Whilst there are numerous petitions to sign and funds you can donate to, supporting our black community and those who are creating and committing to a more sustainable future is an important part of the conversation. Supporting a black-owned small business means working towards closing the racial wealth gap, creating jobs and showing retailers that there is a demand for this product to be on their shelves. It also provides better representation within the green community, which only grows the more we see visible diversity both online and in stores. Here we share seven fashion brands run by inspiring black men and women that you can support now, and bookmark for future reference. It’s a small way to use the power of our pounds, and as we’ve seen over the years we can make a huge difference with every penny we spend.
All of the garments sold by SIKA are designed in the UK and handmade in Ghana. They support the Ghanaian community by creating skilled employment with fair wages, something that’s incredibly important to creative director and founder Phyllis Taylor.
“Fashion has the power and potential to make a positive contribution to society.” – SIKA founder Phyllis Taylor.
SIKA’s cutaway dresses, wide-legged trousers that nod to the 70s, ruffled sleeves and preppy buttons, all wrapped up in their own unique prints and colours, are so uniquely designed you’ll feel like they were made for you. They also have a men’s collection that includes shirts, trousers and jackets.
Driven from seeing the effects of the fast fashion industry first hand, Sancho’s founders Kalkidan and Vidmantas opened their shop in 2014 and now have two stores in Exeter, Devon selling fairtrade, sustainable clothing, accessories and homeware. Their style is classic basics that will make up the staple of your wardrobe – neutral dresses, black jumpsuits, versatile shirts and multi-use vests, with the odd bold piece to brighten things up – think mustard jackets and red velvet trousers.
Whilst they don’t mention their ethical credentials, Nubian Skin deliver an important product that needed to be featured: nude underwear for women of colour. Their product line includes hosiery, bras, briefs and swimwear with four colour options, and bras are available in sizes 30B – 40G.
“My nude isn’t the nude I see in shops.” – Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan, MBE.
With the mission statement, ‘Not for you, for everyone’, Telfar create staple vegan leather unisex shopping bags in three different sizes – small, medium and large. They feature a double-strap, and the larger sizes include internal pockets and laptop compartments. They also have a tempting range of White Castle clothing. Founder Telfar Clemens priced his first sample at the going rate that a DJ earns in a night.
AleroJasmine make top and bottom separates that can be pieced together, with prints that are made for summer. Vibrant purples, yellows, greens, whites, all brought to life in their own unique print. All of their materials are ethically sourced and handmade by a group of underprivileged Lagosian artisans.
Long gone are her days as a Credit Risk Analyst, Yvonne Telford is now at the forefront of Kemi Telford, a brand born from a dream to sell beautiful clothes to women since she was five years old. Her brand seeks to draw out confidence in the women who wear her clothes, to empower them, stand with them and encourage them to take their rightful place in the world. Her patterned skirts and dresses are certainly show-stoppers.
A A K S
Made using traditional weaving techniques, every A A K S bag is handmade in Ghana by local artisan weavers. Akosua Afriyie-Kumi founded A A K S to provide sustainable jobs in Africa whilst shining a light on the craftsmanship, authenticity and ethical values demonstrated in production, and each bag carries with it traces of its maker, woven into the intricate designs.
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