In light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, I want to use my platform to shine a spotlight on some of my favorite black-owned sustainable brands. While we are navigating the current landscape, it is so important to consider where our dollars our going – and I can think of no way more enjoyable than by sharing amazing finds from these gorgeous shops!
I have been a long time fan of Lemlem. The brand was started by supermodel Liya Kebede after a trip to her native Ethiopia where she met a group of traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their craft. They are committed to elevating artisanship and expanding production and jobs across Africa. Head here for pieces handwoven from natural cotton in Ethiopia – I can’t get enough of their easy, breezy sundresses right now! They also have an incredible selection of jumpsuits, swimwear and accessories.
For the absolute coolest shoes and handbags, look no further than Brother Vellies. This brand was founded by Aurora James, another incredible woman who seeks to keep traditional African design practices and techniques alive while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs. Their sandals and mules, often featuring handwoven details, are perfect to add to your summer rotation, but keep their site bookmarked for incredible boots come fall. And their handbags are wearable art, with hand carved beads and hardwood chains made in Kenya.
For the perfect pieces to add to your everyday jewelry rotation, the gold pendants, stacking rings, and bracelets at Omi Woods are standouts at easy price points. The brand was started to honor Ashley Alexis McFarlane’s Jamaican-Ashanti-Maroon heritage; all the jewelry is individually and ethically handmade with fair-trade African gold and globally sourced conflict-free fine metals. I love the simplicity and easy elegance of these pieces – they instantly elevate even the simplest of outfits!
Fashion is a beautiful celebration of all cultures, and I look forward to continuing to learn all about different brands and their roots!