The death of George Floyd sparked a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests around the globe. Online people were doing their bit to show support and allegiance to the Black community, sharing petitions, making donations and educating followers across social media sites. Black lives have always mattered and it’s important to find ways in which you can show your support in everyday life, so let's start with shopping/investing in Black-owned business’ and brands.



Why?


Shopping Black-owned not only benefits Black people, but also your local community by allowing small and independent businesses to flourish economically. It combats racial discrimination in the job application process and in the workplace head-on, setting an example for other businesses to follow.


Check your favourites


Unfortunately, not all brands are showing solidarity to the Black community, some staying completely silent or sending out half-assed statements of solidarity that fail to reflect the way they conducted business before recent events. Quick example, women’s clothing brand, Oh Polly, created a separate instagram page called ‘Oh Polly Inclusive’ where they posted Black, Mixed and larger women, so they wouldn't have to post them on their main instagram page. It’s funny because they love a tanned (blackfishing) white woman but ANYWAYS.


Beware performativity


Since your favourite brand has posted their black square or they’ve released a quick “Yeah so, Black Lives Matter” statement, check how genuine their support actually is. Is their brand truly representative across the board? Do they hire Black models? Are their Black employees underpaid/paid unequally? Do they prefer to use white women with a Black aesthetic instead of real Black women? Beauty YouTuber, Jackie Aina, famously started #PULLUPORSHUTUP which asked for brands that had made a statement of support, to show their genuine desire for lasting change by publicly releasing the percentage of Black employees at their corporate and executive levels within 72 hours as a way to show accountability and to enforce real change.



Look for Black-owned


In light of recent events, people have been sharing thousands of lists of Black-owned businesses and brands that sell a range of products and services, ranging from candles to greeting cards, to restaurants and mental health services. Discovery and networking platforms like BuyBlackGlobal (@buyblackglobal) and Diaspora Darlings (@diaspora_darlings) have made it even easier to discover Black-owned businesses in all industries. Shop Black UK (shopblack.uk) in particular allows you to search by location and define using filters. So Black-owned vegan skincare products? Look no further.



Shop til' you drop


You’ve found a Black-owned business that sells the product you want, now credit cards at the ready. Quick tip before you scoff at the prices, Black-owned does not mean cheap or free. Remember by shopping Black-owned you are supporting the wider community.


So, shopping Black owned is a small but effective change in our everyday lives that can help make lasting change. As important as it is to raise awareness and fight for justice, it is even more important to encourage longevity in supporting and protecting our Black community, economically and culturally, and to embracing our people and culture, our past and future.


WRITTEN BY LAUREN GORDON