By Emily Potts
As most readers will be aware, alongside the Covid-19 pandemic this past summer was marked by numerous Black Lives Matter marches and protests, rallying behind calls for broader equality following the murder of George Floyd. One of the easiest and most accessible ways to contribute to this cause is to actively support black culture and communities by choosing to buy from black-owned businesses. Recurring financial contribution to these businesses, examples of which are included below, enables the creation of a more concrete form of change, ensuring it is ‘not a moment but a movement’.
Designer Heza Higiro founded the sustainable lifestyle brand HEZA five years ago in Shoreditch, London. All materials and the processes used in producing these clothes are completely environmentally friendly, so is a good option for those who are environmentally conscious and wish to champion sustainability. Selling a wide range of clothes from casual T-shirts and sweatshirts, to dresses and shirts, with a kids section and tote bags, HEZA has something for everybody. The shirts, I think, are a particularly good value for money, having a variety of colours and, sizing from S to XXL, ranging in price from £30-£45.
Remake London is a streetwear brand based in London that is inspired by the new generation where purpose and passion are synonymous. They believe in the motto that a new you are never out of reach and base their style around this with comfy, yet stylish clothes been their primary product. Specifically, the Remake Change T-Shirt, featured above, is £15 and displays the names that have been victims of police brutality in the UK. 10 per cent of the proceeds of the T-shirt will go to the social enterprise The Black Curriculum which seeks to address the lack of black British history present in the current school curriculum.
AKOJO Market is the leading platform in the UK for selling fashion, homeware and accessories from independent African designers. Their ethos is to champion and support small and independent businesses. All 30 brands that are a part of AKOJO Market have pledged to prioritise a sustainable and transparent way of working.
In particular, the brand Origin Africa stands out as a good choice for clothing and fashion, being the UK’s first 100 per cent not-for-profit fashion brand, funding community and needs based projects. As part of their zero-waste sale, which ensures that every single piece that is created is sold and does not go to landfill, they sell a Sleeveless Eye Top in white or black for £17.50. As well as looking stylish, all of the profits from this top goes towards the projects running in Gambia, Ethiopia and Mali.
Founded in 2014 and based in Devon, Sancho’s is committed to creating quality garments. All products are certified fair-trade and constructed from sustainable and natural materials. The brand uses Transparent Pricing for some clothes in order to make ethical clothing a more affordable option for a larger number of people.
Founder of Sancho’s, Kalkidan Legesse released a statement about the pricing strategy explaining that: “Each month we’ll release a small collection and allow customers to buy it at three price points, the first will cover our costs, the second will also include the cost of marketing, and the third will allow for business development. You can choose what you pay. You can pay what you can afford.”
A great option that is opted in for the transparent pricing is the Trapeze Jumpsuit in coal pictured above, which can be dressed up with a pair of heels and statement jewellery or dressed down with a pair of white chunky trainers and potentially a turtleneck underneath.
Kemi Telford, founder of the brand with the same name, developed her online fashion empire from her online blogging career. Telford designs bold clothes that have a Nigerian influence but with a westernised twist. In order to stay ethically conscious and environmentally friendly, the website has the section ‘Samples and Seconds’ which are items that either have imperfections or sample items that did not go into production. A stylish choice is the Green Garden Gathered Skirt, which has few stitching problems. This skirt comes with belt loops which is a rarity for a maxi skirt, so will be a bold and practical choice that provides something new for your collection.
Feature Image: @ninjason via Unsplash