I’m sure you’d love the idea of being a multi-tasker. You may even consider yourself a pretty decent one. But instead of juggling tasks have you ever thought about juggling things that carry little bit more global impact?
There are two things this country doesn’t have enough of: black businesses and sustainable practices.
One has solely to do with a particular community of people and the other phenomenon has to do with the health of the plant. You might say one is more important than the other and that may be true. However, both can be done simultaneously and with minimal effort.
Buying Black, Buying Sustainably
Not enough of us are buying local. We go outside our community to buy from other, more notable brands.
We have fallen in love with fast fashion companies with large ecological footprints like H&M and Zara and praise luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. But when was the last time you supported the kid on the corner selling his t-shirts or local designers like Brittany Shields & Urbane (include link)?
And I understand if they’re not exactly your taste or that your so hung up on the signature double Gs and LV monograms. It’s hard to shake two brands like that.
But did you happen to check out the Dapper Dan x Gucci collection or even browse through one of Virgil Abloh’s spring collections for LV? Did you even know they existed?
As African Americans if we claim to be for out people why haven’t we purchased from our people?
Currently, we are not doing enough to support black businesses especially those that are local. And it’s not like black businesses are hard to come by.
There are plenty of ways to find businesses that are owned and operated by African Americans in every industry. With simple #blackbusiness search on Instagram, you can find over two million posts from black enterprises.
And if you want something local, one of the best ways to do it is through events like Odunde here in Philadelphia. This summer was one of their biggest years and I have to say I found some amazing home and handmade products from local brands like Zuresh, ArtbyKEEBS, Rise & Shine 999 or The Carter Brand.
However, I still saw people only in line for food and drink or casually walking around not buying a thing.
We love the idea of black-owned businesses but we aren’t in love with the idea of buying black. How do we expect black businesses to last if we don’t supply them with the financial means to stay afloat?
If we are serious about black businesses we have to be serious about buying black especially from those that are right here in our community.
At first glance trying to tackle the black business dilemma while coming up with sustainable fashion practices seems like a tall feet. However, they are easier to address than you may think.
We’d like to think that the problem starts with big companies and is resolved by big companies when it really starts and ends with us; the consumer.
We can easily support black businesses and be sustainable all in one fell swoop. We can easily increase the economic standing of an entire community and save the world in the process with minimal effort.
However, if we continue to overlook small black businesses and fund the unethical practices of fast fashion companies and luxury fashion houses we will continue to see a limited amount of black enterprises.
Support black businesses and support the earth.