We’re in a critical moment of change and advocacy in the United States. Protests have erupted across America in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American male at the hands of a white police officer. Prior to that, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many more, are fueling the fires of protest calling for justice and police reform.
The lives of Black Americans have been devalued by police and institutions across the country for far too long, and everyone is waking up to the reality that if we’re going to save lives and champion reform as a nation, we have to do it together. If you’re looking for ways to support protesters and communities impacted by police violence, we’re here to help provide you with resources.
First and foremost, we encourage peaceful protest and donations to charities and organizations with missions surrounding the betterment and protection of Black lives and the human rights of Black individuals. This list includes, but is not limited, to: the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Lives Matter, George Floyd Memorial Fund, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, the ACLU of Minnesota, Color of Change, Black Visions Collective and many more.
Alongside donations, support of Black-owned businesses is one of the most impactful ways you can continue to support Black individuals. We’ve included a list of Black-owned businesses below you can purchase from and support online to use your purchasing power to do good.
Note: Any commission we receive from purchases made through this article will be donated to support the Black Lives Matter movement by July 1st.
LFLS is a Black-owned designer dress show company that’s based in Los Angeles and sports the motto “Put Yourself in My Shoes.” Their founder, Eric Jones, grew up in a harsh environment in a small town in Arkansas and watched his mother work tirelessly for years while barely making it. He was inspired and motivated to venture off and make a name for himself, dedicating all of his efforts and success to his mother, his number one support system.
Dress for success certainly seems to be one of their values, as the polished footwear they offer all has a classic design with a little flair added to it in a shiny toe or extra tassel. They ship their products both domestically and internationally, and have shoes for men/kings and women/queens. They’re all about creating the highest quality shoes with unique, eye-catching designs at affordable prices.
krio Skin Care
Tony, the founder of krio Skin Care, struggled with dry skin for years before discovering the power of plant-based oils in moisturizing and keeping you “anti-ashy.” Everyone can get “ashy” from time to time according to the krio brand, no matter the color of your skin, and they want to help you hydrate your skin while knowing exactly what you’re putting on your skin.
Rooted in the skincare routines of his Sierra Leonean ancestors, Tony designed a line of moisturizing body oils packed with antioxidants, fatty oils and the vitamins your skin craves that are natural, lightweight and feel great. With their products, you never have to question the ingredients or worry that you don’t understand why a certain ingredient is included — all of it is clear and from the heart. They’ve got three body oils, each named after a beautiful natural site in Sierra Leone.
Looking for literature to read and inform yourself right now? Try supporting a Black-owned bookstore like Mahogany Books in Washington, DC. Founded by a husband and wife duo, Derrick and Ramunda, eager to inspire reading, writing and cultural awareness about the African Diaspora within the African American community. Their hope is to give people educational tools to educate, inspire self-esteem and ultimately improve the community.
They offer a wide range of books and materials written by African American authors including works of fiction, cultural literature, non-fiction and books for children and young adults. They ship nationwide and are a great resource if you’re looking to support the Black community while educating yourself on history, the past and present.
The Brooklyn Circus
The Brooklyn Circus is a menswear brand stationed in Brooklyn that has become a community staple and was featured in Black-Owned Brooklyn. The founder, Ouigi Theodore, reopened the store formerly focused on a Harlem Renaissance aesthetic in 2018, paying homage to Spike Lee, Jay-Z, sports and Cooley High.
The store focuses on “tailored casual” streetwear that you can don just as easily at the barbershop as you can during a business meeting. They’ve got branded varsity jackets, graphic t-shirts, vintage Levi’s and sneakers. They’re on a 100-Year Plan to change the way Americans dress and consistently emphasize the importance of presentation.
Moshood Afariogun, a Nigerian-born black designer out of New York has been around for over 25 years creating signature pieces including dashikis, Buba tops and drop crotch drawstring pants. His storefront, Moshood Creations has served as a neighborhood staple for black creators including Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder.
They were also featured in Black-Owned Brooklyn and regularly host cultural events in New York that celebrate Black culture in the design and wardrobe world. Their motto, “Wear Moshood, Wear Yourself” reflects their emphasis on owning Blackness through the clothes you wear. Their colorful graphic tees and distinguished logo solidify their status as a pillar of Black culture, alongside Afariogun himself.
Post-Imperial is a menswear brand made unique by their fabric-treatment process done in Nigeria called Adire. This hand-dyeing process was developed by Yorubas in Southwest Nigeria and involves an artist painting a pattern with a dye-resistant wax base and then treating the fabric. Their goal is to give these traditional practices a modern perspective and new life through using the fabric to make elevated, modern-day designs.
The fabric is then brought to New York and sewn into t-shirts, button-up short sleeve shirts, jackets, sweatshirts and button-up long sleeve shirts. The unique streetwear designs range from perfect for a casual day in the sun to a stand-out jacket for a cocktail party. They’re now accepting summer pre-orders for their great summer prints.
Bolé Road Textiles
With a passion for interior design and a deep connection to Ethiopian textiles, Hana Getachew decided to marry the two passions and create Bolé Road Textiles. Bolé Road is all about the power of interiors and how textiles can transform spaces and the people within them. She was an architect for 11 years in New York before realizing that vibrant colors and patterns was always what she leaned towards, a connection to the home she grew up in and the global aesthetic she’s accustomed to.
Now, Bolé Road is designed in Brooklyn, New York and constructed in Ethiopia, making the products authentic, high-quality and completely handmade from start to finish. Their products are made with hand spun cotton and yarn, mostly by women artisans that are directly supported by the business. They offer a variety of goods for your home including pillows, rugs, linens and beautiful wall hangings. Liven up your space while supporting female, Ethiopian artisans on the Bolé Road website here.
Founded by award-winning musician Rihanna, Fenty Beauty is the result of her experimenting and trying various makeup products and routines over years of work in the entertainment industry only to find that there was a void in product availability for all skin types and tones. They’ve created a whole line of foundations, bronzers, primers, concealers, highlighters and other makeup products in universal tones and formulas that work for a variety of skin types. They’re lightweight and made to be layered, and they’ve even got a shade finder quiz on the site if you’re unsure of which tone will work best for your individual skin tone.
Hot sauce, anyone? Basbaas is a Somali foods store that focuses on high-quality condiments that include ingredients central to Somalian cuisine including turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and pepper. They’ve got the recognizable bold flavors of the traditional cuisine, with some American influences mixed in including herbs, fruits and other twists.
Their founder, Hawa Hassan’s story encapsulates the cultural diaspora her food reflects. After getting separated by a brutal civil war in their home country of Somalia, Hassan moved to the U.S. without her mother and built a career in fashion. After moving to Norway and opening a Somali good store, her and her mother reunited and rediscovered a love for cooking.
Their whole line of authentic hot sauces and chutneys is available in the US and perfectly complements Middle Eastern, African and Indian cuisines. Some of their flavors include Tamarind Date Sauce and Coconut Cilantro Chutney. All of their sauces are hand-crafted and bottled in Hudson Valley, and are all-natural, gluten-free, vegan and locally-sourced.
Founded by Nancy Twine, an NYC transplant and beauty haircare expert, Briogeo is her answer to the lack of natural haircare available on the market. After moving away from home in her early twenties, where her and her grandmother specialize in creating natural haircare formulas from all-natural ingredients, Twine realized there was a lack of high-quality natural haircare with ingredients you could trust, and decided to take matters into her own hands.
The result is Briogeo, Brio in Italian means “vibrant and full of like” while Geo means “of Earth and nature” in Latin. They’ve created a whole line of haircare products that are 6-free, meaning totally free of harsh sulfates, silicones, parabens, DEA, synthetic color and phthalates. Every one of their products is between 90-100% naturally derived, and all of them are cruelty-free. They’ve got something for everyone — whether you’re looking to take care of natural hair, gain more volume, boost natural curls or reclaim some moisture.
Maison Noir Wines
Maison Noir Wines is named using the French words for “black house,” a name evocative of their “black sheep” mentality when approaching wine-making and the rules surrounding this traditional art. André Hueston Mack, the sommelier and winemaker behind the business is all about rule-breaking and doing things differently for the purpose of pushing the creative envelope.
Their website touts that Maison Noir is not afraid to make wines that “have a good time” and disrupt the industry in the process, freeing the makers and drinkers to do what they please. We love this, and fully support this approach to making a drink that should be enjoyed and savored. Luckily they’ve got plenty of options for you to choose from — including everything from their “Other People’s Pinot Noir” to the “Knock on Wood” Chardonnay.
Founded by Diishan Imira with a mission to serve hairstylists and the important work that they do, Mayvenn offers high-quality virgin hair wigs and beauty products aimed at giving the Black community ownership over the beauty industry they pump billions into every year.
Imira went from a box of wigs in the trunk of his Toyota Corolla to a nationwide network of over 50,000 stylists and customers with millions of dollars invested back into their community. Their wigs are virgin hair, meaning human hair completely untreated by chemicals or harsh dyes, and they offer salon products as well aimed at arming stylists with the best tools possible and helping customers feel good about their new look.
This next business is Kansas City barbecue at its finest. Two sisters Deborah “Little” and Mary “Shorty” Jones carry on their father’s legacy by smoking meats and creating their family’s signature barbecue sauce daily at the famous Jones Bar-B-Q. You may have seen them featured on the last season of Queer Eye? Needless to say, they’re barbecue masters and masters of the art that is sauce from scratch.
You might not be able to visit their flagship location down south anytime soon but you can order their barbecue sauce online as well as other merch. Enjoy their signature sauce on ribs, pork, chicken — you really can’t go wrong. The ingredients are all-natural and while the recipe is top secret you can rest assured knowing there’s a ton of heart and decades of family mixed inside.
BLK + GRN
BLK + GRN is a marketplace of Black artisans of all-natural beauty products aimed at connecting Black communities with non-toxic, high-quality brands. The marketplace has a wide variety of green brands from beauty to skincare to haircare and home goods, all created and run by Black makers. They’ve compiled a list of 20 harmful ingredients that they don’t allow in any of their products nor let “clog their self care” — only some of which have been banned by the FDA.
Anita Grant is a haircare and beauty line with a whole host of products derived from high-quality, natural ingredients designed to make you look good, feel good and know that what you’re putting onto and into your body is good for you. They’re focused on raw ingredients that work when it comes to beauty and serving a variety of hair types from afro natural to coily to loose curls. Their products range from oils, butters and sprays to clay and floral waters. All of the used ingredients are fair trade, purchased directly from organic farmers and suppliers.
Sol Cacao is a chocolate company founded by three brothers, Dominic, Nicholas and Daniel, who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago surrounded by cacao trees. They loved eating chocolate from the cacao they had grown themselves, and now they want to share that art with you.
Their chocolate bars are made with two simple ingredients: cacao and raw cane sugar. The three brothers have grown to understand and own every part of the chocolate making process — from the growing of the cacao to the production of the actual chocolate bars. They’re focused on the quality of the product as well as the environmental and social impact of their business, so you know you’re purchasing something delicious and responsible at the same time. You can find their chocolate bars here on the Sol Cacao website.
The Mane Choice
Courtney Adeleye was on a healthy hair journey and took to YouTube to share her personal haircare tips with others and soon found herself with a band of loyal followers seeking her help with their own manes. With her Bachelor’s in nursing and unique, medically-oriented perspective on haircare she realized there were gaps she could fill for people seeking better, healthier haircare and The Main Choice Hair Solution was born. Each product she creates fulfills a dual purpose — beautifying and improving health at the same time.
Now, they’ve grown to become a multi-cultural hair growth company with a line of products infused with essential nutrients backed by scientific data. Some of these products includes scalp oil, hair masks, moisturizing sprays, leave-in conditioner and more. You can find all of their products online with Ulta beauty and more information on the company on The Mane Choice website.
The Reparations Club
GIFTS + HOME GOODS
Founded by Jazzi Gilbert, a black consumer looking to buy things she needed from Black-owned businesses, The Reparations Club is all about pooling Black-owned enterprises together and making it easier for people to support them. It makes it simple to support Black entrepreneurs and rids someone of the excuses “I don’t know where to look” or “I can’t find them.”
The marketplace opened in Los Angeles in June of 2019 and is completely curated by Black creatives and people of color. You can order items to be shipped nationwide on their online store where they’ve got a wide selection of books and apparel. The selection of books is curated to highlight the voices of authors of color and the experiences of Black individuals.
Launched in 2008 and designed by Carly Cushnie this line of luxury women’s ready-to-wear and bridal clothing is created with the modern woman in mind. Cushnie focuses on what women want from their clothes — from the right fit to comfort to elegance and confidence. She’s all about making women feel sophisticated and powerful at the same time, and has been worn by numerous influential women including Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o and more.
Her clothing includes minimalist, simple pieces you can wear anywhere to formal and bridal couture aimed at special occasions. No matter what your silhouette is, Cushnie is here to complement, support and give you that boost of confidence that can only come from wearing a great-fitting, great-looking item of clothing.
Christopher John Rogers
Christopher John Rogers is an up-and-coming designer who you’re going to want to keep your eye on in 2020. His clothes are bursting with color, vibrancy, energy and daring silhouettes that has everyone in the fashion world excited to see what he does.
His sharp tailoring makes his clothes artistically worthwhile alongside being a cacophony of color and has earned him a CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. He’s also garnered himself a growing celebrity fan club that includes Ashley Graham, Rihanna and Michelle Obama. Swoon. You can check out his collection on Net-A-Porter here.