In the past few months, supporting the black community has never been more important than now due to the events that have happened in the United States. As a way to show our support for the community we have found a few Canadian black-owned businesses that carry fair trade products to showcase. We also connected with the owner of the Instagram account “Blackowned.yeg*” to share their voice on why they started the page and why it’s so important to support the black community. If you would like to learn more about the various black-owned businesses in Canada, you can check out: https://www.afrobiz.ca/
*Please note that Blackowned.yeg is no longer an active Instagram page at this time. Please visit Blackowned.yyc to view the nearest black-owned businesses to support.
Words from the owner of Blackowned.Yeg:
[The Instagram account, Blackowned.yeg] was created with the intention of amplifying the voices of Edmonton’s black community. The idea is to help people become more informed on the black community’s contribution to our city. In doing so, I hope to help minimize discriminatory perspectives and prejudices.
If we are given the opportunity to become more aware of who we are supporting when we spend our money, I believe it will encourage a more inclusive, unified sense of citizenry. This page provides a centralized platform to aid in more conscious spending when fulfilling our daily needs.
This page is also meant to inspire. Maybe it will motivate someone to start their own business or to finally pursue a passion that they have thought about for a long time, but never had the courage. The hope is to set a positive example for younger black generations; to demonstrate there is no limit to their abilities, dreams, and opportunities. The system has been designed to oppress individuals based on the colour of their skin for far too long. This is just the beginning of overturning institutions that support such an unnatural way of being.
Black businesses have never been afforded the same opportunities as white businesses. Furthermore, many black-owned businesses have long feared labelling themselves as such. By supporting local black-owned businesses you are doing so much more than purchasing a product or service. You are aiding in closing the racial wealth gap and fostering job creation for the black community. You are helping to create awareness and minimize racial biases. You are supporting a movement and the change that we need to see right now.
There is no better time to be intentional about where you are spending your money than now. Strengthening black-owned businesses is a simple thing you can do RIGHT NOW to support change
Check out these 3 Black-Owned Business that support Fair Trade
Bloodbox 4 her
Bloodbox 4her was started by Blessing Jonah, who is a first-generation Canadian. Bloodbox is a monthly service that delivers a box filled with period products and various goodies—from full sized beauty products to loungewear and sweets!
“As my ancestors are from Nigeria, my parents have instilled the value of buying items that are Fair Trade, no matter how much more they may cost. I believe that it is essential that the workers who slave away for hours, under tumultuous conditions should be paid a fair wage. “
Fairtrade goods and ensuring that workers are paid a fair wage are particularly important principles to Blessing as her lineage is Nigerian. She notes that although it is difficult finding large brands to partner with that support fair trade, she gladly works with companies that do, such as Lush and The Body Shop. Additionally, 15% of each subscription box cost goes to Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), Global Citizen, and WASH United, to help provide sanitary products for girls and women worldwide who do not otherwise have access.
Batiqua is a Vancouver based textile company that embodies the essence of authenticity, community, and creativity. Created by a Zimbabwean-born woman named Linda, Batiqua offers a variety of handmade textiles including pillows, wall-hangings and other home decor products.
Every piece is handmade using the Zimbabwean Batik technique by artisans who are experts at their craft. Designs are created using sadza porridge (a staple in Zimbabwe) before the fabric is painted; excess porridge is scraped off, then the fabric is washed, dried, and tailored to create each unique product (learn more about the Batik technique here). It is evident that each piece from Batiqua goes through the hands of several talented artists – painters, color mixers, tailors, and oven operators – before finding a home. At the heart of this company is a commitment to fairtrade, sustainability, and empowering marginalized artisans with employment opportunities and the ability to share their craft with the world.
Essentials by Temi
A Toronto based luxury wellness and skin care brand, On Essentials promotes clean, sustainable beauty for everyone. After learning about the harmful ingredients used in many skincare products, Temi, the creator, pledged to give our skin what it deserves. She focuses on using plant-based ingredients that are sourced locally, organic and Fair trade. Passionate about the power of scents, On Essentials also combines its skin care with aromatherapy. Temi uses fragrances in her products to nourish both the mind and the body and to create a ritual around skin care.
Blog Post Contributors: Naomi Caufield, Jane Caufield , Diana Le , Lisa Zhu