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6 Black-owned businesses to support this Juneteenth and all year long.

Show your support for Black-owned businesses with the power of the dollar.

Following the bloody Civil War between Confederate and Union troops, on June 19th, 1865, African American slaves in Galveston Texas, were told they were free people. This major milestone in American history set Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation into effect, which had been introduced more than two and half years earlier. The proclamation declared that “all persons held as slaves … are, and henceforth, shall be free.” 

Despite being barely recognized in schools the generations following, today, that renewed sense of celebration has come about amid a climate seeking justice for Black lives, and remembering that moment of triumph is increasing across the U.S. nation. 

There are many ways to observe Juneteenth on the day and all year long, and buying from Black-owned businesses is a great way to give back in a powerful way. From sustainable fashion lines and empowering hair care to inclusive coffee and artisan-supporting throw blankets, here are six Black businesses seeking to make the world a better place and inviting you along for the ride. 

 

Supermodel Liya Kebede founded lemlem after a trip to her native country Ethiopia. While visiting her homeland, she learned that traditional weavers were losing their jobs due to a decline in the local purchases of their goods. To preserve the beautiful and ancient art form and create jobs for these artisans, she launched the now flourishing business, which is the first international brand made in Africa. Her handwoven fashion line is inspired by unique Ethiopian patterns and vibrant color combinations that can be found on the streets of Africa.

 

Tracy Reese launched her colorful collection with a desire to serve women and sustainability. Knowing fast fashion is a major contributor to high carbon emissions and, in turn, global warming, Reese ensures the fashion brand ethically sources all of its materials and practices “slow fashion.” For Reese, this means not over-producing, not being present in every category of fashion, and implementing styles that are flexible and fit a wide range of sizes and body types. 

 

 

Johanna Howards Scandinavian-inspired throws result from watching her mother meticulously craft dresses by hand as a child in her native home in Sweden. Having watched first-hand how handwork could achieve the quality and versatility other crafts couldn’t, she learned to appreciate it, and eventually went on to become a successful fashion designer. Some of her work even adorned celebrities and graced the pages of Vogue. 

Red Bay was founded by renowned artist and food entrepreneur Keba Konte in 2014. Kobe launched the coffee company with more than just a goal of giving people good java. His true ambition is to be a driver of diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, and environmental sustainability. To achieve his mission and create unity, Konte hires individuals who have traditionally been excluded from the coffee industry — including people of color, formerly incarcerated, women, and those with disabilities. 

American Actress Gabrielle Union uses her influential position to champion Black women to embrace their authentic selves through hair care. Before anyone writes it off as a marketing gimmick, it’s important to know that hair and identity go hand-in-hand in many cultures, especially for Black women. After the initial launch of the brand in 2017, Union experienced hair loss due to multiple rounds of IVF, and was pressured by her white brand investors to promote a product she wasn’t happy with. Instead, she spent three years listening to the consumer and teamed up with her hairstylist and long-time bestie Larry Sims, to create a salon-quality product under $10 with textured-hair friendly formulas. Her now-revamped brand achieves that. 

 

Brother Vellies supports farmers around the world with its use of vegetable-tanned leathers, recycled tire soling, hand-carved wood, and floral-dyed feathers while sustaining artisanal jobs. Creative Director and Founder Aurora James celebrates cultural histories in her luxury shoes and accessories — including traditional African American designs and practices. 

Want to shop even more Black-owned businesses while you peruse your favorite sites like Amazon? Be sure to download Consciously now to discover even more Black-owned brands worth supporting.

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