Written by: Anjali Tandon
Graphic credit: D’Ara Nazaryan
While August, also known as support Black-owned businesses month, may be over, the Black community remains the blueprint for much of mainstream fashion and paying that back is still necessary. Plus, there are some really sick Black-owned fashion brands!
Before I share a few of my personal favorites with you, let’s delve deeper into why ‘buying Black’ is so important. The first and most significant to me personally is about cultural respect. So many of our favorite fashion trends and concepts originated in the Black community yet there is always a double standard attached. Gigi Hadid wearing huge hoops and lowrise jeans? Fashionable. But when Amandla Stenberg does it? It’s ‘ghetto’, ‘ratchet’ and every other word that condemns WOC for wearing their own cultural clothing and accessories.
As a non-Black POC, I exist in a strange multitude: I am a BIPOC person in America so I know the pains of cultural appropriation, but I also am a fashion fanatic especially for streetwear which has largely been shaped by the Black community. My number one method for appreciating different cultures is shopping directly from those communities. When you buy from a Black-owned business you are putting money back into the community you are borrowing from and in a world where race affects accessibility in every way, whether that be for loans to start a business or customers to maintain a business, that reinvestment is critical.
That brings me to my next point: shopping Black-owned businesses is a key step to moving towards closing the racial wealth gap. Due to this country’s essential entire history of institutionalized racism, BIPOC Americans, specifically Black Americans, are at a severe disadvantage regarding intergenerational wealth. This inequity also affects accessibility to loans and increased debt, making it even more difficult to start a business and keep it. By regularly shopping for fashion, but also general products, at Black-owned businesses instead of large corporations you can do your part in helping create a more equitable future.
Lastly, buying Black is probably better for your community. In addition to the fact that many Black-owned businesses are local businesses, they also consistently hire more BIPOC employees. And whether you realize it or not, that representation in the fashion and beauty industry, just like in any other workplace, is really significant to all the little kids of color who grow up never seeing anybody like them in their favorite shops and brands.
If all of these reasons weren’t enough to convince you to start buying Black, then I strongly urge you to look at the brands below and I am positive you’ll reconsider!
And last but not least one of my favorite mask brands: Shami Oshun (ig: @shamioshun)
Comment your favorite Black-owned business below!