14 Black-Owned Sustainable and Ethical Brands You Need to Know
We’ve curated a list of 14 sustainable and ethical Black-owned companies that we're excited about, and hope this can be a resource for you to support the Black community - now and in the future. We want to use our platform to support Black business owners, and hope that you can find some new favorite brands to shop!
We’ve categorized each company based on a focus on people, the planet, and/or animals – so you can shop by your values while making a difference.
People- brands that adhere to ethical labor practices including fair wages, safe facilities, or better benefits for members of their supply chain.
Planet- brands that use sustainable ingredients and materials, and seek to reduce their overall environmental impact.
Animals- brands are either cruelty-free, vegan, or made without animal products.
Golde, Beauty + Wellness (Animals + Planet)
Trinity Wofford co-founded Golde in 2017 in Brooklyn, with the goal of bringing good vibes to the wellness industry with products that “look good, taste good, and help you feel like your best self.” Golde currently offers products ranging from superfood latte tonics to face masks. Each of their superfood boosted essentials are organic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and bonus- no added sugars or sweeteners to any of their daily tonics. We love adding the Matcha Turmeric Superfood Latte Blend to our daily smoothies for an extra boost of energy and focus, as well as a boost for skin health and immunity wellness!
We love how transparent (and cute) the packaging is, so you do not have any questions about what you are consuming. Golde products can be purchased in kits on their website, and at a number of retailers- including Sephora and Urban Outfitters.
Briogeo, Beauty + Hair (Planet + Animals)
Founder Nancy Twine grew up helping her grandmother make her coveted homemade haircare products in West Virginia. When Twine moved to NYC, she found a gap in the natural hair care market, and thus founded Briogeo as a high-performance haircare brand that is naturally based, ethically sourced, and transparent about their ingredients! They are committed to avoiding an ingredient list of six chemicals that are controversial and potentially harmful, such as silicones, sulfates, synthetic dyes, and DEA.
On their site, you can take a quiz to find out which haircare products are right for you, making it easier than ever to transition to natural hair care products. Briogeo has become a cult favorite and can be found online and at Sephora.
Brother Vellies, Shoes (People)
Aurora James founded Brother Vellies in 2013 as a luxury accessories company that celebrates traditional African design practices and timeless design. With a passion for creating and sustaining artisanal jobs, the Brother Vellies collection is produced across the globe - South Africa, Kenya, Mexico Morocco, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Italy, Haiti, and at home in New York City. Their collections boast everything from Mermaid Doodle Mules to strappy grapefruit suede sandals, and hand-woven bags that make a statement.
Brother Vellies creates its products with careful attention to their artisans and the planet. Some of their accessories use by-product materials sourced from farmers, such as soiling from recycled tires and floral dyed feathers. You can check out their website if you are unable to make it to their Brooklyn location!
Galerie.LA, Clothing + Lifestyle (People + Planet)
Galerie.LA makes it easy to find chic, ethically made products at their LA store or online platform! Their team finds the highest quality sustainable products ranging from loungewear and accessories to home products. You can filter products by the values you are most interested in. Select ‘Local’ and you can find Botanica Candles made in the USA or Golden Paperbag Pants, made from one of our favorite sustainable materials, Tencel.
One of the biggest deterrents for consumers that are used to shopping for fast-fashion is the lack of information and access. Founder Dechel Mckillian has used her time in the entertainment and lifestyle industries to bring socially conscious fashion to the masses. We can’t wait to stop by their DTLA shop next time we are on the West Coast.
AcARRE, Beauty & Skincare (People + Planet)
AcARRE is the perfect brand for the beauty minimalist, as their small-batch, multi-use products work in sync with the skins’ natural elements. They use ethically sourced materials focused on economic, social, and environmental commitments! You can find ingredients such as Baobab, Rosehip fruit oil, and Kalahari melon seed oil in their multi-use moisturizing oil, the Beauty Edit.
We love brands looking to minimize the number of beauty products we need on our counter that are honestly made with quality ingredients. We have our eye on their moisturizing beauty oil and Jade Gua Sha tool.
Omi Woods, Jewelry (Planet and People)
Omi Woods, founded by Ashley Alexis McFarlane, makes contemporary heirloom jewelry for everyday wear. Each piece is individually and ethically handmade, using fair-trade gold and conflict-free fine metals. We love their commitment to using small-scale, artisanal mines that focus on fair pay to make their pieces. Collections are named after the African country of inspiration or emblems of their surroundings.
You might have caught a look at her pieces on the May 2020 Issue of British Vogue, with cover girl Rhianna wearing pieces of their first collection of African Fair-Trade gold!
Two Days Off, Apparel, (People + Planet)
Two Days Off gets its name both from the ease and comfort of the designs and from the two days a week that founder Gina Stovall uses to build the brand while she continues her work as a Climate Researcher. The clothing is either made-to-order or created in a small batch in their Los Angeles factory, which ensures that they avoid overproduction and limit waste. Two Days off is also certified Climate Neutral and ships every item plastic-free.
Two Days Off also uses deadstock and natural fabrics to create their timeless, minimal pieces. Shop their site for some of made to order pieces, like the Safia Skirt or ready to ship pieces such as the Haruko Dress in Gingham!
Hanahana Beauty, Beauty + Skincare (People + Planet)
Hanahana Beauty is an all-natural skincare and wellness brand that seeks to disrupt the beauty industry by focusing on increasing accessibility, transparency, and sustainability for their shea butter products. Founder Abena did not have to look far for inspiration, as her own mother used her unique concoctions of shea butter and cloves to help relieve family members' ailments, from migraines to dry skin. Their products are made with love by the Katariga Women's Shea Cooperative in Ghana.
In keeping with their core philosophies, Hanahan is able to offer the Katariga women above-average pay, health benefits, and leadership opportunities. Everyone needs to snag some of their best-seller: the Vanilla Lavender Shea Body Butter.
Tree Fairfax, Accessories (People)
Tree Fairfax makes hand-made, minimal leather goods that classic yet unique. Based in Roanoke, Virginia, Designer Tricia Hash was inspired to make her own pieces after years of thrifting leather goods to make her own bags. She loved the distressed details found in each piece, so when she started her own line, she wanted to include any imperfections found in her leather as a way to eliminate any waste and make every bag unique.
The Original Half-Moon Leather Waistbag seriously deserves a spot in your closet, and we recommend pairing it with the Mini Moon Wallet for the complete set. Hash makes every stitch, cut, and stamp of these bags which can be found on her website or Etsy shop.
Local European, Apparel (Planet)
Determined to do good from the beginning, Local European makes all of their pieces with deadstock fabric, to reduce waste, save energy, and lower their carbon footprint. Their clothing is made in Los Angeles, and they continue to improve their manufacturing processes and inspire their customers to consume mindfully. Since everything is made in small batches, they do not frequently restock items, making their sustainable pieces a more unique addition to your wardrobe.
We can’t resist the Merci Slit Wrap Skirt and the Noir Chiffon Blouse. Since they do not restock items as frequently, we recommend snagging any pieces you have your eyes on before they’re gone!
MySampleHAUS, Décor (Planet)
After seeing the conscious changes in the interior design and architecture industries to create sustainable designs and reduce their carbon footprint, Diana Adams noticed they were also simultaneously creating excessive waste. This led Adams to be inspired to make her own products using their leftovers into her a line of art and décor. Her collection of ceramics are made from upcycled pots, leftover marketing samples, and scraps from upholstery/buildings.
The pieces can be used to house your many plants, flowers from the market, or any odds-and-ends you have! We are obsessed with their brightly colored planters and her made-to-order bathroom vanity accessories!
lemlem, Apparel (People)
During a trip to her native Ethiopia, founder Liya Kebede met with traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their craft. This inspired her to create lemlem, an artisan-driven collection of beautiful handmade goods made entirely in Africa. A portion of their sales goes to the Lemlem Foundation, a non-profit organization with the mission of connecting women artisans in Africa to healthcare, education, and jobs.
We love lemlem’s relaxed and ethereal aesthetic, and their beautiful lightweight cotton dresses and tops. You can find lemlem online, or at many retailers across the country including Fred Segal, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Intermix.
NXC Vintage Shop, Vintage (Planet)
After years of sifting through vintage shops, founder Avry wanted to share her expertise with a bigger audience and opened NXC Vintage. Each new drop is anxiously awaited by her Instagram followers and shoppers, where she features many brightly colored blouses, skirts sweaters and accessories. Do not be surprised if a pair of cowboy boots or a floral evening gown make an appearance! Shopping with NXC means extending the life of each garment and they will shine brightly in your closet. We can guarantee no one else will be wearing the same outfit as you!
Zou Xou, Shoes, (People)
Zou Xou footwear is made using age-old techniques and premium leathers, for elegant, slow fashion footwear that lasts. After many trips to Buenos Aires, Katherine Theobalds had the connections and the courage to launch her own collection by partnering with local artisans. Every piece is ethically handcrafted by Argentinian shoemakers in small quantities. Their focus on ethical manufacturing processes that reduce waste and energy consumption make them a must-have in our wardrobes.
Zou Xou shoes are designed to make you feel like you are living your best (most comfortable) life! We especially love the Mules and Lagos Sandal- which pair perfectly with minimal and classic wardrobes.
We’ve curated some of our favorite sustainable businesses above, but here are some resources to that feature even more Black-owned companies to support:
- Dough is a platform for women makers, and has the option to sort by impact and community hashtags, such as #blackgirlmagic.
- You can find some great Black-owned Etsy shops here: https://www.hunker.com/13724352/black-owned-etsy-shops
- And here is a directory of businesses owned by Black women: https://www.buyfromablackwomandirectory.org/
There are many ways to support Black-owned brands: purchasing their products, giving them a follow on Instagram, subscribing to their mailing list, and sharing their stories with your friends. We hope that this list is a helpful reference for shopping sustainably and supporting the Black community – now and always.