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The "15% Pledge" Shopping List

Over the weekend, Aurora James, founder and Creative Director of Brother Vellies, made a clear call-to-action on her Instagram.

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@wholefoods @target @shopmedmen @walmart @saks @sephora @netaporter @barnesandnoble @homedepot I am asking you to commit to buying 15% of your products from Black owned businesses. . So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power. So many of your stores are set up in Black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on Black feeds. This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space. . Whole Foods if you were to sign on to this pledge, it could immediately drive much needed support to Black farmers. Banks will be forced to take them seriously because they will be walking in with major purchase orders from Whole Foods. Investors for the very first time will start actively seeking them out. Small businesses can turn into bigger ones. Real investment will start happening in Black businesses which will subsequently be paid forward into our Black communities. . Dont get me wrong, I understand the complexities of this request. I am a business Woman. I have sold millions of dollars of product over the years at a business I started with $3500 at a flea market. So I am telling you we can get this figured out. This is an opportunity. It is your opportunity to get in the right side of this. . So for all of the ‘what can we do to help?’ questions out there, this is my personal answer. #15PercentPledge . I will get texts that this is crazy. I will get phone calls that this is too direct, too big of an ask, too this, too that. But I don’t think it’s too anything, in fact I think it’s just a start. You want to be an ally? This is what I’m asking for.

A post shared by Aurora James 🦢 (@aurorajames) on

 

 Her caption, in entirety, reads:

@wholefoods @target @shopmedmen @walmart @saks @sephora @netaporter @barnesandnoble @homedepot I am asking you to commit to buying 15% of your products from Black owned businesses. 
So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power. So many of your stores are set up in Black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on Black feeds. This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space. .
Whole Foods if you were to sign on to this pledge, it could immediately drive much needed support to Black farmers. Banks will be forced to take them seriously because they will be walking in with major purchase orders from Whole Foods. Investors for the very first time will start actively seeking them out. Small businesses can turn into bigger ones. Real investment will start happening in Black businesses which will subsequently be paid forward into our Black communities. 
Dont get me wrong, I understand the complexities of this request. I am a business Woman. I have sold millions of dollars of product over the years at a business I started with $3500 at a flea market. So I am telling you we can get this figured out. This is an opportunity. It is your opportunity to get in the right side of this. .
So for all of the ‘what can we do to help?’ questions out there, this is my personal answer. #15PercentPledge I will get texts that this is crazy. I will get phone calls that this is too direct, too big of an ask, too this, too that. But I don’t think it’s too anything, in fact I think it’s just a start. You want to be an ally? This is what I’m asking for.


This ask is neither "too direct," "too big," "too this," nor "too that." As Aurora writes so clearly: It's simply a start. Here, a round up of some of our favorite female-founded Black-owned brands to  consciously shop.

 

Brother Vellies

What they make: Luxury accessories (THE SHOES!) that "celebrate cultural histories and timeless design."  

Why they're great: Aside from the knockout designs? Brother Vellies is 100% committed to making the world a better place by ensuring every step of their production process is as sustainable as it can be. 

Where to shop: BrotherVellies.com

KNC BEAUTY 

 

What they make: All-natural, collagen-infused lip masks and oil-infused lip balms. KNC Beauty is also making totally fabulous Shooting Star eye masks if you're a multi-masker.

Why they're great: We all know sheet masks of all kinds make for fabulous Instagram content, but these are as nourishing as they are photogenic. 

Where to shop: KNCBeauty.com

oh happi dani 

What they make: She says it best herself: "Doodles designed to encourage faith, inspire justice, & guide you as you love your neighbors well."

Why they're great: Teachable, visually inspiring graphics that are created based on what's going on IN REAL TIME? Yes, please!

Where to shop: ohhappidani.com

Cushnie

What they make: Women's ready-to-wear and accessories.

Why they're great: Co-founder and Creative Director Carly Cushnie (you can read her labor story here!) has figured out the secret to creating the BEST FIT EVER.

Where to shop: cushnie.com

Mented Cosmetics 

What they make: Inclusive makeup designed to match every skin tone. 

Why they're great: The idea for Mented Cosmetics came from KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson's personal difficulty finding the perfect nude lipstick. They took this problem and created a solution: a shade finder that works to find your perfect match and helps you build an entire beauty collection.

Where to shop: mentedcosmetics.com

Nubian Skin

What they make: Nude lingerie specifically designed for women of color.

Why they're great: Shopping for bras and underwear is difficult enough before having the added issue of matching your lingerie to your skin tone. Nubian skin works to eliminate this issue by offering a range of shades for women of color in essential (and extremely cozy) styles.

Where to shop: nubianskin.com

Oui the People

What they make: Single blade razors and shaving accoutrement for sensitive skin. 

Why they're great: Oui the People is a mission-based brand with the strong belief that "beauty shouldn't come at the expense of our psyche." Instead of instilling a sense of "perfection" when it comes to shaving, they aim to to create great products that make you feel beautiful in the skin you're in. 

Where to shop: ouithepeople.com

Stella Jean

What they make: Vibrant, conversation-sparking women's clothing.

Why they're great: Stella Jean is a designer that infuses multiculturalism into every one of her pieces. The result: impeccably tailored, sustainably made, and truly show-stopping pieces that speak louder than your average dress.

Where to shop: shopbop.com

Rebecca Allen NY

What they make: Comfortable pumps in a five-shade range of nudes. 

Why they're great: These shoes are ACTUALLY wearable for a full day of work thanks to a cushioned insole. The five shades the 75mm heel are offered in provide an option for whatever your perfect nude may be. 

Where to shop: rebecca-allen.com

Christopher John Rogers

What they make: Bold designs for bold women.

Why they're great: This young designer (who's also known industry-wide to be one of the kindest) is inspired by bright colors, bright personalities, and powerful women.

Where to shop: net-a-porter.com

Briogeo

What they make: Scalp-first hair products.

Why they're great: Founder Nancy Twine brings haircare back to the basics with her range of detoxifying, hydrating, and protective products that promise to leave your hair full of life.

Where to shop: briogeohair.com

Pyer Moss

What they make: Luxury men's and women's clothing.

Why they're great: Pyer Moss' designer Kerby Jean-Raymond always uses his voice when creating; ultimately resulting in stunning pieces with strong messages. 

Where to shop: pyermoss.com

Clare Paint

What they make: Paint!

Why they're great: Clare Paint makes that whole "I think I'll paint my apartment" thing actually doable by offering a brand new paint shopping experience with pro-curated colors, tech to guide your process, mess-free swatches, and the high-quality paint supplies.

Where to shop: clare.com

The Salty Heifer

What they make: COOKIES...and other desserts.

Why they're great: Their chef subscribes to the five-ingredients-only rule, but the product still manages to be DELICIOUS. 

Where to shop: thesaltyheifer.com

My Karité

What they make: Natural shea butter skincare.

Why they're great: Three sisters (a dermatologist, a lawyer, and a marketing guru) put their brains together to recreate a traditional skincare formula made from natural ingredients. 

Where to shop: mykarite.com