This small business directory will be specifically focused on the wonderful variety of Black-owned businesses, both in the UK and internationally.
To make sure all of our anti-racism work has true depth and longevity, we need to think about lasting change and effective action in so many aspects of life, and one of these is where we shop and who we buy from - there needs to be real investment in Black creators, businesses and communities.
There is real power in where we spend our money and in an ideal future we’d love to see indie businesses with all their passion, talent, craft and diversity being the norm! There are so many wonderful businesses out there - creating delicious food, stunning jewellery, beautiful fashion, eye-catching homeware, luxurious skincare or important books. A huge number have a focus on sustainability and ethical practices, some advocate social change, empowering and championing communities, crafters and artisans all over the world. In all cases, the effect of shopping with these businesses spreads further than individuals.
This is a list of our favourites along with your wonderful suggestions too!
We will be doing another list of artists, creatives, illustrators, platforms, services, consultant and educators, as we just had too many to squeeze in to one!
SOFT BODY STITCHES
Soft Body Stitches is a small, but growing, online thrift store that seeks to achieve the following goals:
- Make quality clothing accessible to fat bodies, especially those that belong to Black queer trans and nonbinary folks
- Encourage sustainable living
- Reduce textile waste
Shop owner Syon is active in seeking out opportunities to rescue damaged, faulty or dead stock to join Soft Body Stitches' selection of unique pieces; championing a closed-loop economy that prioritises marginalised and maligned bodies.
You can also check them out on Instagram here.
We feel like their bio says it all: “We are a business with purpose. We are proudly Ghanaian made. And we believe in the transformative impact of economically empowered women. We also make kick-ass clothing in mind blowing prints”
Yevu’s stunning bold prints inspired by traditional african dress in modern cuts are ethically made in Ghana, with an aim for social change through quality job creation, stable income, skill learning and financial independence. They pay above minimum wage, and 2-3 times what workers were previously used to. Co-owned by the wonderful Felicia, you can meet the team on their website, as well as lots of wonderful info and data.
Their philosophy around design is to ‘keep it simple and let the print do the talking’ - YEVU have their iconic classic cuts, and introduce only a handful of new, really considered designs in each range, and release only around four ranges per year - “which have absolutely no correlation with fashion seasonality. Our garms are for anywhere, anytime fun.”
Some of our team own their truly special pieces and we are in love!
Two beautiful sustainable clothing and lifestyle shops based in Exeter, Devon - of course with an online store too! They source and bring together a carefully curated range of clothing, accessories and gifts from organic and fair-trade producers. They were one of our very first suppliers when we used to sell wholesale and we were always in amazing company with the other amazing brands they stock!
Founded in 2014 by the lovely Kalkidan and Vidmantas, who while travelling, saw the detrimental effects on parts of the world from the fast fashion industry and wanted to do something about it. They literally built their shop and business by hand, so are super helpful and knowledgeable, and want to support a community of like-minded individuals that want to know the truth behind their clothing and the effect it has on our planet. They ultimately want to make it easier for customers to make conscious decisions about what you buy and encourage you to ask questions wherever possible.
Owned by the lovely Yvonne who designs the most beautiful, stylish, loud, bold and fabulous clothes. Stunning dresses, skirts and accessories in some of the most amazing prints ever. They work closely with manufacturers based in the UK, India and China to ensure great treatment across their whole supply chain, with a specific focus on empowering women. They also have a commitment to the environment, are low waste, use remnants and sell samples and seconds too! We are in love and lots of you guys suggested them too!
Nude clothing brand celebrating all shades in sizes XS-2XL, Sincerely Nude was founded by London based Michelle Asare in 2018. “I noticed that I could never find any nude clothing close to my skin tone whenever I went shopping or even browsing online. This realisation became somewhat of frustration as I noticed it everywhere I went. I’ve always loved fashion and it felt dear to my heart to be part of the change I wanted to see in the world. From a discussion to fruition. Sincerely Nude wants to empower women to feel beautiful and sexy in their skin tone no matter what shade or size.
Founded by Ethiopian model, actress, designer and maternal health advocate Liya Kebede, lemlem is an artisan-driven collection of women’s, men’s, children’s and home goods made entirely in Africa. Their designs draw from the traditional cotton handweaving techniques of Liya's homeland. Meaning to bloom and flourish in the Ethiopian language of Amharic, lemlem is committed to elevating artisanship and expanding production and jobs across Africa. The core collection is handwoven from natural cotton in Ethiopia - Women are at the heart of the business and the brand is committed to helping them thrive both within its workshops and beyond through its support for lemlem Foundation.
Earth Toned Collective
Fashion wear made with the environment in mind! Upcycling and repurposing dead stock is second nature to this amazing brand.
"Earth Toned Collective is a sustainable and ethical women’s apparel brand. Designing with the Earth in mind via eco friendly and revived materials. Our form of luxury is meant to connect you to Nature, liberate and celebrate you. It is our understanding that Service and Style can coexist. At ETC sustainability is about Setting The Tone for how you show up for self, for nature, and for humanity. We spend most of our lives in our clothes, so we design with care to our environment, and the people who play an integral role."
An evolutionary platform that celebrates the communities of colour and indigenous culture in Sustainable fashion and beauty industries.
"We are giving the ethical industry an authentic and culturally relevant voice. We care about sustainable development, social innovation and holistic living. We elevate discussions of pioneers who stylishly empower communities and cultivate change. "
Since launching in 2014, the Love YaaYaa fashion brand has been home to statement head wraps and belts, developing a distinctive, eclectic, collections and bringing the beauty of the Obi Belt to the UK. Their growing collection of apparel; including Headwraps, T-shirts and Hoodies is inspired by the West African and African Diaspora.
Founded by @nanaevans.co
Mitra The Label
Sustainable swimwear made from ocean waste - ethically handmade & designed in the UK by Emily, the brand was born from a love of travel and the ocean, and not being able to find swimwear to her taste which had been made in ethical and sustainable ways. Emily speaks a lot about the stats and statistics around fast fashion and the environment, and a lot of hard work has gone into optimising patterns, sourcing the best fabrics and suppliers, and using new sewing techniques to make super high quality, versatile pieces which last. And even better, everything is shipped in biodegradable packaging!
Sami Miro Vintage
Little Sister Rocks
Aarica Nichole Vintage
Rachel Ama, Cookbook author and vegan recipe creator shares simple yet delicious plant based recipes on her instagram and in her cookbook! You just have to take one look at her feed to know that the food she makes is out-of-this-world delicious. Rachel’s recipes are quick and often one-pot; ingredient lists are short and supermarket-friendly; dishes can be prepped ahead AND she includes a song with each recipe so that you have a banging playlist and a lot of dancing to go alongside every delicious plate of food.
"These days, there seem to be more vegan food writers and influencers than you can shake a carrot stick at, yet Rachel stands out thanks to her relaxed, telegenic manner, her funky dance moves and her bold, inventive Afro-Caribbean flavours, which draw on her heritage" - Sunday Times
Recipe creator, food stylist and co-founder of @thesistertable.
Benjamina was a total joy to watch on the Great British Bake Off and have followed her beautifully styled minimally photographed delicious recipes ever since. She has lots of recipes on her blog, but her book The New Way to Cake is packed full of such beautiful, simple food, that it’s a true staple for every baker. Benjamina also leads baking workshops and classes for private events and press launches.
Brooklyn Brownie Co.
A Father/ Son baking duo serving up delicious desserts and sweet treats! Operating from Northampton, but ship all over the UK. Their instagram is so appetising you’ll be ordering before you know it!
The Treats Club
‘Female owned, female led and run by black girl magic’ this desert bar brings joy with every bite! Their insane looking creations are the dream for anyone with a sweet tooth and we can’t stop looking! Based in Essex/London, Treats Club has moved itself online during lockdown, but watch their insta for where they’ll be popping up once normal life resumes! For now, you can order their dangerously good donuts online - they’re offering nationwide delivery (which we are very excited about.)
Handmade luxury confectionary from ethically sourced Jamaican Cocoa Nibs. Their beautiful chocolate is organic and preservative free, with no refined sugars - what could be better? Well, exciting flavours like Ruby Chocolate, Spiced Ginger and Hibiscus, White chocolate and coconut, CBD, AND 5 vegan options too - these absolutely made ideal gifts (to yourself) or others.
The Gourmet Dinner Lady
GDL Creates the most stunning, relaxed, stylish grazing boards for modern, stress free, beautiful catering. From brunch boards to cheese platters and whole spreads of colourful fruit, this amazing small biz hits a great balance between fancy and simple food, ‘from comfort food and old fashioned favourites to more intricate flavour combinations.’
We love their ethos of creating food which starts conversations and focuses on sharing and food experience, and bringing people together. The majority of their eye catching creations are made in house or sourced from local producers, so they know what’s in every mouthful - fresh and organic food which looks the part AND tastes the part - for events of any size.
“Feeds the eyes and the stomach - the flavours burst with as much excitement as the visual details” - we want to dive RIGHT in.
A Black-owned vegan cafe, juice bar and co-working space in Streatham, who are offering delivery soon! We love the look of their plant-filled space and delicious food!!
📍22 Streatham High Road SW16 1DB
Ethically made jewellery that is created to last, with collaborators who are paid fairly and materials that are eco-friendly. Yala is a certified B Corp and proudly made in small batches in Kenya. African and Modern, their beautifully made pieces are designed to be either layered or totally speak for themselves. They ensure everyone has a safe, happy work environment, and their designs are brought to life by skillful, valued people who are paid triple the daily wage for jewellery artisans in Kenya - you can read their story and meet the makers on their website.
The Baked Clay Studio
Gorgeous statement polymer clay earrings, lovingly made in slow, small batches. We love the colours, shapes and textures that Kristin creates and can’t wait for her shop restock!
Feathers and Wings
Feathers and Wings create unique, quality pieces of jewellery; each piece being individually handcrafted in London, UK. Their style is bohemian luxe with a touch of minimalism, using precious gemstones such as opals, freshwater pearls and diamonds. They are careful to use sustainable metals , which includes Eco-Silver, Recycled 14ct Gold as well as 14ct Gold Fill, and wherever possible source metals and materials from credible UK suppliers. Stunning!
Weaving The World Into A Better Place - La Basketry was launched in 2017 by Tabara, along with her sister Mamy as an online boutique, offering baskets and unique woven products for the home, all handwoven by a group of female artisans they met in Ngaye Mkeke, a small village outside of their parents’ hometown called Thies in Senegal. She runs basketry workshops and her book ‘Baskets’ is a stylish guide to basket-making featuring 16 projects - think basket bags, tableware and storage baskets - using different materials. Today, La Basketry wants to celebrate all things woven – be it inspiring you to weave and craft your own creations at one of my workshops, or to purchase a beautiful piece made by a skilled artisan online.
Mind The Cork
Considered craftsmanship, innovation and sustainable design are at the heart of Mind the Cork. Formed from the belief that we don’t need to destroy the world to make our homes beautiful, Jenny takes one of the world’s most underrated materials and creates natural, beautiful pieces for urban living. Cork is harvested without causing damage to trees, meaning that we can benefit from its unique properties without any detriment to the environment. Inspired by its natural values and the sense of heritage it embodies, as well as a love of craft, Jenny makes planters, home accessories and stationary from this wonderful material and the results are just wonderful in all ways - shape, colour, texture and ethos!
Grain & Knot
Beyond stunning wooden goods, lovingly hand-crafted by Sophie in her home studio. Sophie graduated from the Manchester School of Art in 2009, and now lives and works in London. From early beginnings at a spoon carving and bushcraft workshop, a few cut fingers and splinters later, Grain & Knot was born, and Sophie is now working as a full time woodworker. Her craft was born from a love of nature, exploration and the need for purpose in creation. The results are beautifully tactile, and functional, with each item made from reclaimed timber. We can’t stop looking at all of the incredible, unique pieces - those patterns and textures are just amazing and we have our eye on her next small batch drop!
Bespoke Binny Home & Lifestyle
Created by Natalie Manima, Bespoke Binny is a British based business offering a range of handmade homeware and gifts items made from West African cloth. With wonderful statement products like pillows, lampshades, aprons, oven gloves, table runners and card holders. Natalie grew up surrounded by vibrant colours and prints from her Ghanaian heritage. Motivated by her experience and love of sewing, Natalie went on to build an eclectic homeware brand rooted in uplifting African expression.
She sells through her website as well as Etsy, and is planning a virtual Lampshade making workshop for all you keen DIYers - get involved!
Prick is London’s first boutique entirely dedicated to cacti and other succulents. Based in Dalston, East London, it offers a selection of the most unusual and exotic plants sourced from across the UK and Europe. Every plant deserves an equally great pot, so Prick have designed and made their own contemporary terracotta pots, created to perfectly fit their plants, as well as curating ceramic pieces crafted by local artists. From large statement plants to little guys small enough for your windowsill or bookshelf, there is something for everyone and every space!
Play Wooden is an ethical and ecological company that dreams to nurture curiosity and experimental exploration back into our community through the use of wooden games from around the world! They have an amazing selection of games on sale on their website, and are currently offering you the opportunity to hire their games for your family during lockdown!
Our Lovely Goods
A family run business based in Scotland who are passionate about creating products that are good for you, your home and the environment - whilst being beautifully designed too.
They handcraft natural wax candles, botanical skincare and work with talented artisans in Nigeria to curate their collection of homewares. They also promote wellbeing and exploring creativity through workshops and events.
Yard and Parish
Inspired by a deep love of their Caribbean heritage and the many luxuries of island life, their beautifully curated focus of back-owned independent brands offer affordable luxury and champion everything natural, conscious and colourful.
Self-made Candle is the black-owned wellness brand for the modern day maker. They use natural soy wax infused with 100% essential oils to provide lavish scent experiences with guilt free products. Their products are eco friendly and vegan friendly all the way down to the ink they print with and the glue we use on their labels! They're all about getting lit, responsibly.
New Beacon Books
New Beacon Books was founded in London in 1966 by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White and was the UK’s first black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor. For over 50 years New Beacon Books made poetry, literature, non–fiction, history and children’s books, specialising in African & Caribbean literature available to Britain and its communities. New Beacon was never just a book business, as a publishing house it has produced an important body of publications, and the bookshop has been at the centre of many ground-breaking political and social projects, organisations and campaigns.
Like many bookshops in a kindle-filled world, they recently encountered struggles but with the power of social media along with community support and crowdfunding, they have established a new website and I.T. system to sustain its survival and raise New Beacon’s profile for a new generation of the public - including activists, students, educators, parents and children, through hosting talks with authors, book signings and other community events.
Award winning online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from women and non binary people of colour.
For four years now Gal-dem have been bringing uplifting, funny and powerful content. They’ve continued to platform and champion the stories of women and non-binary people of colour, in an industry that is 94% white and 55% comprised of men. Through their work with authors, artists, filmmakers and editors almost a quarter of a million pounds has been put back into the hands of the community, and they’re just getting started!
We’ve read many an article of theirs, from news and politics to relationships, to think pieces, to the environment, to music - and watched some amazing videos and panel discussions too, which are always so valuable and feature incredibly important and diverse viewpoints - so if you’re a fan of their content too, please consider becoming a member or making a donation so that they can continue to do their amazing work for the future, and especially during the current pandemic.
We Love Colourful Books
A platform celebrating all the wonderful books which feature characters of colour.
This wonderful Black-British owned brand are the experts in afro and curly hair. Passionate about the planet as well as curls, they use fair trade ingredients wherever they can, are sulphate, silicone and paraben free, have had their preservatives eco certified and never test on animals.
Based in Cheltenham & Hackney, LIHA products are, like their founders, a mix of natural African roots and a quintessentially British attitude.
Founders Liha - Gloucestershire girl, art publisher and mother, and Abi - Londoner and professional athlete who competed in the Olympics twice, met at University in 1998 and have been close ever since.
Using raw, organic, ethically sourced ingredients, Liha combines her mother's aromatherapy knowledge and the Yoruba (Nigerian) tradition of making oils, soaps and lotions from native nuts, tree bark and plants. ‘Whenever Abi would travel I would ask her to bring back different ingredients - especially that good Nigerian Shea from her father’s town!’ Their luxurious, specialist products are in minimal packaging and glass bottles, and their website is filled with lots of info about their products usage and benefits. They sell gift sets and do online workshops too.
DWIRA is a vegan and sustainable Holistic Skincare & Wellness brand providing pure potent West African products without compromise, crafted to rejuvenate, nourish and #FeedYourSkin.
Their bestselling Hemp Superfood Oil is a nourishing and rejuvenating face oil formulated with a botanically active blend of Hemp and nutrient rich African superfood oils to feed your skin. Lightweight and absorbent, this dry oil formulation is easily absorbed for instant hydration, leaving skin with a fresh, healthy & radiant glow.
To the clothing, jewellery and accessories we style our shoots with, to the decor of our shop and studio, to the books we read and the food we eat, we’ll be making sure we buy diversely as a company and as individuals.
We have so many more we want to add to this growing list - continue to add your suggestions on our social media post or email firstname.lastname@example.org - we'll be updating regularly, and adding further lists of all the lovely artists, creatives, illustrators, platforms, services, consultant and educators soon!