When I think about our consumer spending and purchasing choices, I only believe more and more that our personal spending is so powerful and I love that we get to use that for good in the tiny things every day! For me, intentionally choosing the places I spend is (a) about personal accountability to the person each purchase affects but also (b) the larger power of collective consumer spending.
If you’re stateside then your spending habits as part of wider consumer spending make up 70% of the economy and in the UK is was 58% in 2020. The UK and the US have economies in particularly driven by consumer spending and our purchases really are a vote in some direction. That said, there are also systems and realities in place that indirectly influence how money is spent and how businesses do or don’t succeed and that’s one reason we want to choose where we shop and overcome those systems and norms where we can – and I love that.
- Did you know, “In 2016, the average wealth of US households with a head identifying as Black was $140,000, while for white-headed households was $901,000, nearly 6.5 times greater.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. There are many factors that play into that and choosing to intentionally spend at Black own businesses gets to bring change there, we get to use our spending to close a wealth gap.
- Then take a quick look into the funding businesses needs to get off the ground and you’ll see this same reality again and again – according to a National Community Reinvestment Coalition study 2017, banks were twice as likely to provide business loans to white applicants than Black ones.
- All of these businesses below are also small businesses and if you look at where the spending at small businesses goes you can see how it impacts the local economy. $100 at a small business will mean about $68 stays in the local economy of that business. $100 spent at a large business means $43 stays in the local economy – Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan).
I’ve said this before but my life is SO much better for searching out businesses looking at who they’re run by and searching out black owned businesses, Asian owned businesses, female owned buinsesss… all the ones that for different reasons might be less likely to get funding and support or more likely to experience some level of extra challenge. Some of the products and solutions I’ve needed in life haven’t been easy to find and have ended up coming from black owned businesses I’ve had to search out and I’m SO grateful for. That’s a selfish reason but also a reason that has led to showing me a reality backed up by statistics of how these choices matter and make a difference.
So with that, here are some of my faves!
When I need a gift, Sancho shop is my top place to start looking. They shop internationally so with family in multiple different countries it’s REALLY useful to not have to ship gifts myself. They also do all the work for me in sourcing beautiful, eco friendly and ethically sourced items making my life easy and keeping gifting beautiful and excited. From clothes to jewellery, candles, zero waste lifestyle items, and so much more.
Everyone needs a go to Gin right? This is ours and a favourite find since moving to England. Made by a London cabby, with kind and personal customer service, gorgeous branding… and just great London gin. They also do rum, hand sanitiser and apparel.
From gin to whiskey (my personal favourite!) this is a fiery whisky we love from Louisville, Kentucky. Created by the first black owned distillery in Kentucky and we love the history, their story, and the drink. In the UK it’s only available on Amazon.co.uk and availability comes and goes but it it’s available, it’s a great one for a gift!
I searched for so long for a collagen I was happy with. Not in plastic, sourced well, tested for heavy metals… #allthethings. Eventually I found it in Bebambu and it’s been my daily go to. It’s marine collagen and my favourite is the strong one which has a slightly sweet taste – I pop it in my black coffee at 5am to give me some protein while I’m working before breakfast!
I can’t get enough of the things Yard + Parish find and stock, they’re all stunning, and well sourced. In their own words: “Yard + Parish is an online marketplace that seeks out the chicest, most eco-conscious, independent brands of the African Diaspora to curate an offering that champions a natural, conscious and colourful lifestyle. Indulge in an array of Black-owned brands offering clean beauty, handmade jewellery, fashion accessories, homeware, and much more. Discover the Diaspora with us!”
Oh how I’ve searched for ethical watches. SEARCHED. I mean, ones that look nice. And heeeeello Vitae. They have a higher price tag, but not a higher price tag than buying one every year because they break… which we’ve definitely spent time doing. These are stunning, classic, ethically made, a company built around doing social good, and just a DREAM find.
London’s first boutique dedicated to cacti and succulents. You can also order online too! They have the most beautiful pots and plants at brilliant prices and they ship anywhere in the UK. They’re exactly what I want in sending a gift to someone so they’re a perfect go to!
A beautiful London based, female founded, black owned chocolate company making low waste, fairly traded chocolates. Everything is sweetened with unrefined coconut sugar and lucuma fruit. I chose to get her easter bunnies, but she as eggs too (although there is plastic around them.) The bars are stunning and plastic free too.
Another Whisky with a beautiful story. We won’t get into this but reading into the history of distilleries in the US, slavery, slave owners and how the industry really is the creation of the African American slaves makes me only ever want to buy black owned whisky!
There are so many more beautiful Black owned brands that are so worth the moment to search out and discover! This is just a start with the ones we personally love and shop – enjoy your own search and the relationships you build with incredible small businesses!