By Melinda Mettai & Daisy Wallis
The current protests across the world, in response to the unjust murder of George Floyd and the police brutality in the US, have sparked a necessary global conversation about racism. Whilst people have taken to the streets and social media to protest, it is important to remember that there are other ways we can help support the movement in our everyday lives.
Following on from our articles recommending the best educational reads to understand racism and our list of some ways you can support black communities, this week’s Style Edit features just some of the many black-owned sustainable businesses and brands that you can support not just today but always.
Sami Miro Vintage is an eco-conscious clothing line specializing in sourcing and reconstructing one-of-a-kind vintage garments curated from around the world. Founded by Sami Miro in 2016, the brand has been donned by the likes of Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Kaia Gerber, Selena Gomez and many more.
The brand shows us the very definition of upcycling. All collections are made in Los Angeles with unclycled fabrics.
Míe is a lifestyle brand that provides design and fashion consciously made to be nature-friendly. They are based in Lagos, Nigeria where all their clothes are also made by seamstresses and artisans.
Launched in 2018, their focus are on resort wear, made with natural and biodegradable fabrics that are breathable, elegant and functional.
A A K S is a brand with authentic craftsmanship, style and sustainability at its heart. The brand’s founder, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, first created the brand to introduce the unique weaving techniques of Ghana to the world and create sustainable jobs in Africa.
Each beautiful bag is handmade using locally harvested raffia in Ghana and takes approximately one week to make. Every bag from each collection is vibrant and unique, but they all carry the exquisite craftsmanship and incredible story of the local artisan weavers and farmers that created them.
Luxury accessories and footwear brand, Brother Vellies, features sustainable products handmade by artisans across the globe. Using a range of sustainably sourced materials, including vegetable-tanned leathers and floral dyed feathers, as well as by-product materials, the brand creates accessories that are not only timeless but celebrate the cultures of the artisans that make them.
The brand recently launched its Something Special programme. Designed to bring special handcrafted items from artisans around the world to subscribers, the programme brings together the Brother Vellies’ community of artisans and customers in a loving and sustainable way.
Brother Vellies’ founder, Aurora James, has also started the hashtag #15PercentPledge to call for major retailers to purchase 15% of product from black-owned businesses.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Chelsea Bravo creates contemporary designs that are timeless and sustainable. Approaching her fashion designs with an artist’s eye, Chelsea plays with the modern concept of the silhouette, experimenting with simple and free shapes. Her unisex collections feature practical yet stylish designs and styles, including, oversized jumpsuits, summer dresses and culottes.
Every piece from her collection is made-to-order in her Brooklyn studio and is made with the future of the planet in mind. Her collections are unlike any other and demonstrate how style, functionality and sustainability can coexist in fashion.
Edas is a sustainable brand creating unique handmade jewellery and accessories. Founded in 2015, by head designer, Sade Mims, edas has evolved from creating unusual sustainable home goods to expanding into jewellery and accessories. The brand specialises in designing and creating pieces that “make women feel beautiful, one accessory at a time.”
From spiralised brass wire rings to colour block bucket bags made from avocado leather, edas creates truly beautiful and unique pieces that every woman needs in their collection.
Lisou is a London-based fashion brand specialising in beautiful silk pieces with a twist. The brand story start with Rene Macdonald, the head designer, who grow up in Tanzania and moved to the UK at a young age but always travelled back and forth to Africa where her family were based, a place that continues to influence and inspire her.
What we love about Lisou is that one of their core beliefs is to make a positive global impact; to that end they donate the proceeds from one piece per collection directly to helping young Africans with medical and educational needs.
They also dedicated a page to share petitions to sign, organisation to donate and educational books to read.
Selva Negra is a latina-owned brand which was founded in 2016 in a tiny Brooklyn apartment in Crown Heights. The collection represents drive, holistic energy, united empowerment, careful craftsmanship, and engineered comfort.
Designers, Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero found an immediate connection after meeting in New York post-graduation. They unite their Annie Hall tomboy style and bold feminine identity to embody a collection that aims to support women and their individuality.
They place ethics in the heart of their brand being active in non-profit donations such as RAICES, National Immigration Justice, Planned Parenthood and Wildlife Conservation. Consistent with their value Selva Negra is donated 100% proceeds to Black Lives Matters this week.
Launched in 2016, Tongoro is a 100% made in Africa label providing clothing that offers quality, variety and convenience, at affordable prices.
By sourcing their materials on the continent and working with local tailors, their long-term goal is to create a new dynamic for Africa-based manufacturing, and foster the economic and social development of artisanal workers in Western Africa.
The company and production facility is based in Dakar, Senegal.
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