Earlier last summer, the world erupted in protests and outrage after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis. His name is the latest tragic addition to the long list of Black people who have been killed in police custody.
Between the coronavirus—which has affected Black Americans, and their businesses, at a disproportionately high rate—and the communal grieving that comes with losing another Black life, Black people are facing more daily trauma than we already do. Accordingly, it’s critical to find ways to support the Black community in a harrowing time. As Lesley Thornton, founder of Klur Skincare, wrote on Instagram: “A post is not enough. Do the research. Do the work. Do better. Talk to your friends, families, and coworkers about race even if it’s uncomfortable, hold space for your Black and Brown friends, take accountability for your actions, and do the work to make Black beauty normal.”
She reminded followers that—in addition to on-the-ground work protesting, signing petitions, making donations, and making calls to government officials—another way to make your voice heard and support a devastated community is to purchase from Black-owned beauty and fashion brands. “Black people are less likely to have access to capital to fund their businesses, so it’s critical non-POC support them because these purchases can make a major impact on the potential growth,” Thornton added in a comment to Vogue. “It’s small actions like supporting Black-owned beauty brands that help level the capitalist playing field for us.” It’s also demonstrating you stand with Black and Brown communities, rather than upholding brands that might instead exploit black and brown cultures and rituals.
Brother Vellies designer Aurora James made a similar argument in a recent Instagram post, urging major retailers like Sephora and Whole Foods to buy at least 15% of their products from black-owned businesses. “So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power,” she wrote. “So many of your stores are set up in Black communities.” If retailers were able to make the 15% pledge, she continued, then “real investment will start happening in Black businesses which will subsequently be paid forward into our Black communities.” In the spirit of such investment and redistribution of wealth, you can help Black business owners by purchasing from them directly.
Here are 93 Black-owned beauty and fashion brands to support now and always—keeping in mind that solidarity is not a one-time thing. As Angela Davis put it, “The importance of doing activist work,” big or small, “is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever, but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement.”
Esthetician Lesley Thornton’s Klur is an eco-inclusive skincare brand with skin-barrier-strengthening ingredients like vitamins C, B5, and E.
Shop it: Klur Botanical Oil, $35, klur.co
Shop it: Klur Immersion Serum, $68, klur.co
Brother Vellies, founded by Aurora James, is an accessories brand of handcrafted shoes and handbags from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco.
Shop it: Brother Vellies Burkina slides, $285, brothervellies.com
Shop it: Brother Vellies Nusa clutch, $250, brothervellies.com
Nicholas Kingsley is a luxury, UK-based brand inspired by royal living. Known for its luxe diffusers, layered with scents like Oud, bergamot, cedarwood, and sandalwood, cinnamon, and vanilla, Nicholas Kingsley wants its customer to embrace their inner king and queen.
Shop it: Nicholas Kingsley Serenity Allure Diffuser, $69, Nicholaskingsley.com
Edvin Thompson is the designer behind the contemporary clothing brand, Theophilio. Described as a “wearable geography,” Theophilio is inspired by Thompson’s Jamaican heritage and New York City’s progressive culture. The brand also focuses on sustainably-sourced material and upcycled fabric.
Shop it: Freedom Rasta Tank, $85, Theophilio.com
Founded by Jamika Martin, Rosen Skincare is all about making acne care products that are clean, accessible, and approachable with affordable price points and nourishing and acne-zapping ingredients like willow bark, clay, eucalyptus oil, and more.
Shop it: Rosen Skincare Paloma Serum, $14, Rosenskincare.com
Shop it: Rosen Skincare Earth Cleanser, $18, Rosenskincare.com
Leigh NY is a brand specializing in silk-based garments, which are made-to-order in NYC. Founded by Morgan Johnson, Leigh strives to responsibly make meaningful clothing; in a classic, sustainable, and refined way.
Shop it: Rihanna Dress, $450, LeighNewYork.com
Essentials By Temi, founded by Temi Shobowale, is a line filled with nourishing, quality vegan ingredients. The products are made “to assist others with finding balance with their daily well-being regimen.”
Shop it: Essentials by Temi Bergamot + Patchouli Buttercream, $28, essentialsbytemi.com
Shop it: Essentials by Temi Mini Facial Essentials Duo, $42, essentialsbytemi.com
Anser was founded by actress Tia Mowry after being diagnosed with endometriosis in 2006. Mowry took it upon herself to adopt a new diet and healthy lifestyle, which included supplements. She then launched Anser, which provides supplements for every need: from beauty-vitamins (for hair, skin, and nails) to daily multivitamins and detox supplements.
Shop it: Anser Women’s Multivitamin, $30, Shopanser.com
Blk Mkt Vintage, cofounded by Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart is a compilation of black collectibles representing the richness of black history, both lived and experienced.
Shop it: Blk Mkt Vintage Fight the Powers tee, $140 blkmktvintage.com
Shop it: Blk Mkt Vintage Exclusive: Angela Answers 13 Questions booklet (first edition, 1972), $225 blkmktvintage.com
Makeup brand Uoma, meaning beautiful, was founded by Sharon Chuter and aims to “to create a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.”
Shop it: Uoma Beauty Brow-Fro Kit, $49, uomabeauty.com
Shop it: Uoma Beauty Badass Icon Matte Lipstick, 24, uomabeauty.com
Pyer Moss, founded by Kerby Jean-Raymond in 2013, is a men’s and women’s fashion label concerned with building a narrative that speaks about heritage and activism.
Shop it: Pyer Moss Sister Rosetta Tharpe cropped hooded sweatshirt, $350, pyermoss.com
Shop it: Pyer Moss wave sweatpant, $255, pyermoss.com
Epara, founded by Ozohu Adoh, means to cocoon oneself in the Nigerian dialect Ebira. The products are comprised of hydrating African botanicals like marula oil and moringa oil.
Shop it: Epara Brightening Night Balm, $124, eparaskincare.com
Shop it: Epara Natural Cleansing Oil, $56, eparaskincare.com
Born from a love of travel, Ashya, founded by Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece, reclaims the belt bag and other travel-friendly accessories in cool, unisex styles.
Shop it: Ashya Palmetto bag, $495, Ashya.com
Epi.logic was founded by oculofacial plastic surgeon Chaneve Jeanniton, M.D., of Brooklyn Face and Eye, and is made up of products that are free of parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, and dyes.
Shop it: Epi.logic Even Balance CoQ10 Facial Toning Formula, $40, brooklynfaceandeye.com
Shop it: Epi.logic The Total Package Fortifying Facial Moisturizer, $90, brooklynfaceandeye.com
Edas, founded by Sade Mims, delivers feminine and staple accessories. Each item is made-to-order, meaning the company as a whole creates less waste.
Shop it: Edas prime earrings, $75, edas.store
Shop it: Edas Yshaia mini bag in crimson, $275, edas.store
Whimsy Official is all about combining beauty with wellness. Products range from collagen-boosting powders to matcha kits and botanic serums with delicious and nourishing ingredients like Kalahari watermelon oil, strawberry seed oil, apricot oil, and more.
Shop it: Whimsy Official Glow Getter Collagen Blend, $49, Whimsyofficial.com
Namesake brand Romeo Hunte is a contemporary brand consisting of a curation of luxurious, transitional yet transformable pieces for the modern woman and man.
Shop it: Romeo Hunte x Coogi Babushka scarf, $150, romeohunte.com
Pear Nova, founded by Rachel James, is a Chicago-based nail polish brand and nail studio that’s “five free,” meaning devoid of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, toluene, and dibutyl Phthalate DBP.
Shop it: Pear Nova Diana Boss Nail Lacquer, $12, pearnova.com
Shop it: Pear Nova Moss Def Gel Lacquer, $15, pearnova.com
Since launching his eponymous brand only a few seasons ago, Christopher John Rogers is already known for his voluminous silhouettes, bright colors, and striking silhouettes.
Shop it: Christopher John Rogers bow-detailed halterneck cady gown, $1825, netaporter.com
The Lip Bar, founded by Melissa Butler, is a vegan and cruelty-free makeup line known for its shea butter and avocado-infused lipsticks, as well as their recent collection collaboration with Justine Skye.
Shop it: The Lip Bar Brickhouse Liquid Matte, $13, thelipbar.com
Shop it: The Lip Bar Merlot Lipstick, $13, thelipbar.com
Lemlem, founded by Liya Kebede, is an artisan-driven sustainable fashion label for women, men, and kids.
Shop it: Lemlem Koki peasant dress, $455, lemlem.com
Petit Kouraj is the creation of fashion stylist Nasrin Jean-Baptiste. Handmade in Haiti, Petit Kouraj makes fun, stand-alone pieces of wearable art that celebrates a love of knitwear, sculpture, and identity.
Shop it: Petit Kouraj lime daye tote, $225, petitkouraj.com
Mented Cosmetics was founded by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson out of the urgent need to redefine what “nude” means within the beauty space. All lipsticks are vegan, paraben-free, and nontoxic.
Shop it: Mented Cosmetics Blush in Berried Away, $22, mentedcosmetics.com
Shop it: Mented Cosmetics Everyday Eyeshadow Palette, $28, mentedcosmetics.com
Martine Rose is a London-based designer whose self-titled label has become a cult favorite in design since 2007.
Shop it: Martine Rose Ackee and saltfish-print linen shirt, $201, matchesfashion.com
Pat McGrath is one of the most influential makeup artists in the world, and her brand is filled with luxurious glittery shadows and last-all-day lipsticks.
Shop it: Pat McGrath Labs Xtreme Eye Trio, $74, patmcgrath.com
Shop it: Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in Deep Orchid, $38, patmcgrath.com
Wales Bonner, established in 2014 by Grace Wales Bonner, explores European and African history through its modern designs.
Shop it: Wales Bonner Havana floral bowling shirt, $422, walesbonner.com
Hanahana is a clean and ethically-sourced skincare and wellness brand “committed to empowering women of color.” They pay twice the fair-trade rate for shea butter that is exclusively sourced from the Katariga Cooperative in Tamale, Ghana.
Shop it: Hanahana Beauty Eucalyptus Shea Body Butter, $7, hanahanabeauty.com
Shop it: Hanahana Beauty Laced Package, $45, hanahanabeauty.com
Cushnie, founded by Carly Cushnie, is a luxury women’s ready-to-wear and accessories brand that empowers women and celebrates diversity.
Shop it: Cushnie ivory silk draped tank, $695, netaporter.com
Vernon François is an incredible celebrity natural hairstylist and his line of products nourishes all kinks, coils, and Afros.
Shop it: Vernon François Pure~Fro Shampoo, $14, vernonfrancois.com
Shop it: Vernon François Pure~Fro Conditioner, $18, vernonfrancois.com