If you are wanting to be a more ethical shopper, why not start with these Black-Owned Canadian Sustainable Businesses that you can support now.
Why do we need to support Black-Owned Canadian Sustainable Businesses?
The fashion industry has a really bad track record when it comes to inclusivity, fair wages, safe working conditions, and basic human rights. A lot of the big brands like Zara, H&M, and Adidas, just to name a few, are responsible for harming people, mostly women in the developing world. They can all do way better. Before you shop, make sure you understand what ethical and sustainable fashion actually is.
When the pandemic hit, shopping took a real hit and part of me is happy about that. It's given us the opportunity to really look at what we have, find value in it, and ultimately reduce consumption of the stuff we really don't need. Many people have also turned to shopping online and we have seen a real surge recently with a focus on small businesses that can really use our support.
Supporting Black-Owned Canadian Sustainable Businesses is so important to me and my goal is to use this website to bring some of these great brands to your attention.
Fast fashion sucks! It's second only to agriculture as the largest polluter of clean water globally and there is a total disregard for legislation and oversight when it comes to human and environmental welfare.
So many large brands can take advantage of economic opportunities in developing countries leaving supply chains and transparency unaccounted for.
Black-Owned Canadian Sustainable Businesses to support
Change can really only begin with us, collectively coming together to demand the industry move towards a more sustainable future.
I can't say enough good things about this brand. They are taking the green beauty industry by storm by offering up multi-purpose skincare that not only is great for your skin but also helps you to cut back on all those skincare products you have and most likely don't need.
They are committed to the people, culture, and environment they source from. Their goal is to provide skincare that does not cost the environment while thinking and acting sustainably wherever possible. This means they always consider health, safety, and environmental standards in everything they do. Through this commitment, they have implemented the following and are always looking for ways to further become more sustainable:
- Packaging & Waste Reduction: all their bottles are 100% recyclable
- Made in Canada: formulated and packaged here at home
- Plant trees in Canada with the NGO, One Tree Planted
- Carbon Footprint Offset
This gorgeous brand was founded by Denisha (Dinn) Stephenson after feeling frustrated by the lack of representation in the beauty industry, stating:
"As a Black woman, I struggled for the right shade of foundation, the right product to detangle my 4C hair, hyperpigmentation treatments that wouldn't alter my melanin...just to list a few. For too long, women of color have been underrepresented in medicine, medical research, and the decision-making positions at cosmetic companies, and that is reflected in the products we see on the shelves."
"This void brought me on a lifelong journey which resulted in Glow'rious Routine - truly inclusive, and diverse for all skin types and all complexion regardless of your gender."
Glow'rious never, ever tests on aminals, uses ethically sourced, local ingredients, and is free from synthetic and toxic ingredients like parabens, fragrance, and SLS. They carry 3 super-natural products... because what else do you really need?
The Glow'rious Resurfacing Serum is perfect for all skin types (except sensitive) and has a citrus, ocean-fresh scent. It will leave your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The 2-In-1 Radiance Exfoliating Mask has citrus, herbal, floral, and sweet scents and is packed full of beneficial botanicals like papaya and pineapple.
The Illuminating Daily Moisturizer has a fresh, warm, nutty, green, and sweet scent and contains
the rare Swiss Apple "Uttwiler Spatlauber", which enhances the longevity-enhancing properties of this anti-aging moisturizer.
Arlokea makes some of the most gorgeous ethical and sustainable jewelry on the market today. They are all about transparency when it comes to their environmental and social impact. They partner with artisans from all over the world who are all dedicated to building a market of high-quality, beautiful, ethical clothing and social change.
If you are looking for a piece of jewelry for a special occasion or just a little fun, they've got it. From earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings, each one tells a lovely story. Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but not if they are not ethically sourced. You will only find recycled and conflict-free metals with Arlokea.
When you click on an item you love, you will be able to see how and where the item was made, what materials were used and its impact, and much more.
Arlokea works with artisans in Mexico — this woman's group is made up of 12 single mothers. In India, they partner with artisan cooperatives that are made up of 6000 women and in Ecuador, they partner with Fair Trade Winds another artisan co-op. All the work they do is handmade using upcycled and recycled materials that are also non-toxic and their goal is to lift up the women who make all of their beautiful creations.
They are all about equality, fair wages, and safe working conditions. They actively look for ways to reduce waste, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions in everything they produce and they collaborate with The Komenda Project a nonprofit focused on providing education and mentorship to create long-term change in underprivileged communities.
Bôhten makes and sells lightweight eyeglasses made of reclaimed redwood, zebrawood, and bamboo harvested in Ghana and reclaimed acetate. They are designed in Canada, hand-crafted in a zero-waste facility, and manufactured in Japan and China.
Owner Nana Osei is on a mission. He wants to create fair-wage jobs in his family’s native Ghana by combining his passions for fashion and sustainability.
Chantal Carter is the amazing woman behind the brand @loveandnudes after spending years in the fashion industry Chantal was motivated to create a line of intimates for women of all colors. Something that was missing in the space. "I want women of color to explore and wear fashion anyway we choose to".
"Whether we want our undergarments to be discreet under sheer, lace and white clothing, or if we want to rock it out as an accessory to an outfit, the choice should be ours!". Take a look at her beautiful intimates.
5. Batik Boutik
BATIK BOUTIK is a socially responsible Black-Owned Canadian Sustainable Business that provides you with clothing and accessories, inspired by the bold and vibrant designs that are unique to the eclectic culture of West Africa. Through sustainable practices, BATIK BOUTIK celebrates Africa using designs that are made in Ghana, West Africa.
6. Pretty Denim
Pretty Denim is a premium women’s denim brand that believes in the simplicity of fashion. Produced in in-season small batch quantities, PD focuses on creating timeless pieces that work together to create a united wardrobe. Founded by Stylist Tahnee Lloyd-Smith, each piece is designed with an astute awareness of the urban woman.
Launched in 2019 by British-born Ghanaian designer Emefa Kuadey, the luxury made-to-order clothing and accessories brand redefines minimalism through structure and bold femininity.
Inspiration for the Toronto-based brand comes from a juxtaposition of the designer’s interests; fashion and a past life as a civil engineer.
8. Kaela Kay
Working primarily with Ankara fabrics, a West African method of creating African patterns on 100 percent cotton fabric, Catherine Addai, founder and CEO of Toronto fashion boutique Kaela Kay, sought to modernize prints in today's fashion, which are part of her history.
I love this quote from the website: "Life's too short to wear boring clothes; so add some color and vibrancy to your wardrobe".
SELFISH swimwear is an ethical and responsible swimwear brand that advocates body positivity. Handmade in Montreal, each piece is made with care and love. From the design to the sewing, they use mostly recycled fibers fabric to create sustainable and quality swimsuits that are comfortable and timeless.
10. Omi Woods
Omi Woods jewelry is contemporary heirlooms that celebrate our connections to Africa and her diaspora. The jewelry is individually and ethically handmade with fair-trade African gold and globally sourced conflict-free fine metals. The solid gold jewelry is made with fair-trade African gold. The gold is sourced from small-scale artisanal mines that support the well-being of miners and their communities by paying miners a fair wage and contributing to improved health care, education, safety, and living conditions on the continent.
Msichana’s clothing is a conscious reflection of beliefs, solidarity, and individuality enabling women to build successful businesses and better lives. The clothing is designed to complement different body types, moods, and personalities. Edmonton is such an amazing city, and Msichana wants its diversity to be reflected through fashion by fusing modern aesthetics with ethnic fabrics and prints from across Africa, creating clothing that represents the women of Canada and of the world.
12. Brothers Vellies
Brother Vellies was founded in 2013 with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices, and techniques alive while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs. Now handmade artisanally across the globe, Brother Vellies creates luxury accessories that celebrate cultural histories and timeless design.
Toronto-native and New York City-transplant, Creative Director and Founder Aurora James amassed an impressive resume of fashion industry experience prior to starting Brother Vellies. Her background in fashion, journalism, art, music, photography, and horticulture joins a forever passion for artisanship, design, and humanitarianism to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces that will remain in your wardrobe forever.
If you have any black-owned brands you want to share with us, please tell us in the comments below.
And if you are looking for affordable ethical clothing on a budget, look no further!