Anti-racism movements have taken off across the world this year. If you’re looking for long-term and immediate ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement, buying from London’s Black-owned businesses is essential, particularly in the current climate when many small businesses are facing uncertainty.
Initiatives like Black Pound Day are making the focus on Black-owned businesses official, creating a monthly event encouraging people to buy products from or book services with Black-owned businesses in the UK. In fact, Black Pound Day estimates that if everyone was to spend just £10 a week with Black businesses, £1.9bn could be injected into the Black community.
If you’re searching for Black-owned businesses to support in London (and we hope you already were) here are some resources we find useful, many of whom were doing the work long before this recent spotlight. We will continue to add to this list.
This comprehensive directory lists hundreds of Black-owned businesses in the UK across a whole range of sectors. It also lets you search geographically for businesses, so you can support ones near you.
This website championing the Black British writing scene has created an extensive list of Black bookshops and publishers to support. The list is broken down geographically so you can find shops and writing initiatives local to you.
This Instagram account describes itself as ‘a guide to Black London: people, businesses and places of Black excellence in the capital’. It profiles all sorts of businesses, including an app-powered barbershop, a purveyor of handcrafted leather goods, a mobile pet-grooming service, organic beauty brands and bookshops, all accompanied with wonderful portraits of the owners.
Swiss from So Solid Crew began Black Pound Day back in June. The initiative encourages people to buy products or book services solely with Black-owned businesses in the UK for at least one day each month. If you’re not sure where to start, its website has a huge directory of Black-owned businesses all grouped into categories, so you can easily find exactly what you’re looking for.
Launched in 2016, Jamii is a discount card and platform showcasing the best of independent Black British businesses from fashion houses and wellness brands to art and eateries.
Set up early last year, Ebonyx is a marketplace for items that are Afrocentric in nature. The online platform connects buyers and sellers, and currently there are more than 100 entrepreneurs on the site selling products ranging from clothing and jewellery to health and beauty items and homeware. The marketplace has a rewards scheme that lets customers redeem gifts, and for all orders over £25 it will make a donation to the Deworm the World Initiative – a global non-profit that supports governments to develop school-based deworming programmes.
Black Women’s Directory is a collection of Black women-owned businesses and services. Its website launched in July and businesses wanting to play a part can sign up using a simple form on its Instagram page.
Black Ballad is a membership platform creating content, organising events and bringing attention to Black-owned brands. It has a comprehensive directory of Black-owned brands and provides discounts and offers to Black women.
The Do-Gooders is a platform helping people find ethical alternatives to everything. Its Black-owned and Sustainable campaign lists businesses that are planet-friendly with Black or mixed-race founders and directors. It includes dozens of brands under categories such as beauty, male grooming, sports and wellbeing, clothing, accessories, gifts, business services, food and drink, and more.
Caroline Sande, founder of apparel brand and travelling community TravelEatSlay, has created a directory of over 250 Black brands, content creators, bloggers and international service providers. The list came out of frustrations over the lack of diversity in the travel industry. It’s hoped the directory will help the travel industry to make a conscious effort to diversify its events, press trips, and marketing campaigns.
Shoppe Black is a global resource that lists Black-owned businesses such as tech companies, farms, vintage shops, plus so much more.
This online marketplace features a huge curated selection of independent UK Black businesses and makes it as easy as possible to buy from them. Each of the sellers has been carefully selected. The platform also runs workshops and mentoring sessions for businesses.
If you'd like to share easy to navigate lists of Black-owned British brands to a wider audience on social media:
Emily Ames, co-founder of Sonder & Tell, has created a shareable Instagram post, full of brilliant Black businesses, mostly from the UK, to support.
And Melissa Thompson, founder of food and recipe project Fowl Mouths Food and host of Get Back in the Kitchen podcast, has created a brilliant list of poc chefs, cooks and businesses.
If there are other London- and UK-specific resources you think we should add, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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