12 Black-owned businesses you can support this Black History Month and beyond
Either in Sheff or delivering to Sheff
Racism is not just a social issue, it is institutionalised and structural. This has a major impact on Black-owned businesses.
According to The Guardian, people of colour are twice as likely to be refused support, meaning they get a lack of funding and a lack of media coverage/advertisement in a systemically discriminatory society.
So, how can we do our part in changing this? In honour of Black History Month, we have created a list of black-owned businesses in Sheffield and across the UK that you could support on a student budget.
Trthwear is a Sheffield-based unisex clothing brand focused on statement streetwear. Their stylish collection is comfortable but luxurious and perfect for the colder months coming.
With t-shirts to sweatshirts to tracksuits to hats, there is something for every student from this brand. From time to time, the brand also offer giveaways so make sure you keep an eye on their socials for your chance to win some of their clothing!
Owner of Trthwear, Carl, told The Sheffield Tab about his inspiration for the clothing: “I began my designs from thinking, ‘what did I want to wear?’. I grew up in the 90s and this heavily influences my style, as well as my background in sports, I then combined this with the latest trends. I just wanted to do it my way. We make statement pieces that last and can be restyled over the changing trends.”
He is also very conscious of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment, therefore he is working on the sustainability of the brand by using recycled materials: “We are working with manufacturers who ethically source materials and look after their communities. We try to work with organisations within Sheffield as this is our home town.”
The Sheffield Tab also asked Carl what problems he faced when starting his business: “We came up against many problems starting up, it is a complex industry. Being Black also appeared to be even more difficult. I feel I was not taken as seriously as white people around me and often had to jump through hoops that my white friends were not asked to by different organisations I contacted.”
Sheffield-based Myansa Skincare is founded by Mwansa, a woman who uses her own battle with her skin as inspiration for her products.
Her products are 100 per cent natural, cruelty-free, and extremely affordable. The aim of the company is to educate their customers and have a positive impact on not only your skincare but your overall well-being.
University can be stressful, and we all need time to wind down and relax. Myansa Skincare offers clay masks, face oils, and even a newly released beard oil so that you can give yourself that well-deserved pamper and feel good about the skin you are in.
Caps by Dapps is a Sheffield run business, created by David Appiah. Not only does he release new collections frequently, but he has also previously released a line of hats celebrating both University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
When asked by The Sheffield Tab what he thought of the discrimination in business start-ups, David said: “If I’m being honest it’s quite depressing and a real shame because there’s a lot of potential there within the community. There are a lot of inequalities that black people and people of ethnic minority face and if that’s going to change, a big part of that is having more successful black businesses.”
There needs to be change and you can be part of that change. You could also get a cool cap out of it. Double win.
David wants everyone to know that any and all support is very much appreciated!
Got any birthdays, graduations, or anniversaries coming up? Or do you just want to treat yourself to some really nice cake?
Iman’s Cakes is a Sheffield ran business that specialises in handcrafted, bespoke cakes. On their website, you can choose a filling and flavour for your cake and they will do the rest. They design cakes for any and every occasion. A gallery of their past products is available on their website and on their socials.
UK businesses (that deliver to Sheffield):
In most student halls you aren’t allowed to bring candles in case they set your room on fire. This is probably why a lot of students go out and buy a million candles for their house after first-year.
Home Jewels Co makes affordable, highly scented and hand-poured candles made entirely from soya beans. They are ‘clean-burning’ and free from toxins and pollutants like paraffin which means they burn 50 per cent longer than your average store-bought candle. Who wouldn’t want to support the environment AND an independent business?
The packaging is simple and sweet and there is a good selection of fragrances to choose from. As Christmas buying approaches, skip the Yankee sale this year and take a look.
If you’re looking for something different to personalise your room, Afton by Palm is a brand “dedicated to design with minimalist styling”. From jewellery plates to earrings to artistic prints.
Founder, Bonnisa Moore, says that every piece she makes is loved by her customers and means the world to her. Each product is hand-made with care to order.
Speaking to the Sheffield Tab, she shared her views with us about discrimination in business: “Discrimination is not just name-calling someone on the street, the effects of it are being woven into the culture of organisations, brands etc. It can also have a big impact on the lives of those being discriminated against in other ways such as; financially. For example; if a black-owned business approaches a bank for a loan and they are met by someone who holds racial prejudices, it’s very likely that any decision they make will reflect on their personal views and whether that start-up will receive that loan.”
PRICK is London’s first boutique dedicated to cacti and other succulent plants. I have already seen far too many people this year buy big, expensive plants for their rooms and let them die because they are students and when you are a student you forget about things like big, expensive plants. Cacti and succulent plants are low maintenance, the outline of care is clear on their website and they even sell books in case you really get into the whole plant mother thing.
Speaking to ‘G-rl’ magazine, founder of PRICK, Gynelle Leon, said she was shocked at the lack of diversity of race in her industry at her first RHS flower show. She is happy to be “shaking things up” and inspiring other women, especially black women.
Gynelle describes the succulents as “a beautiful and sustainable way to transform any interior” and that they are “well suited to modern city living.” Spike up your interior with her plants starting as low as £5.
Bonita Ivie Prints is a brand that celebrates “African culture with the use of bold colour and patterns synonymous with traditional West African prints”. The founder, Bonita Ebeuhi, is passionate about creating products that people of colour can identify with after spotting a gap in the market for diverse stationary.
Everybody needs stationary when they come to university. Our schedules get very packed, very quickly and sometimes it’s hard to keep on top of everything. The Bonita Ivie weekly planner is one of the many affordable and unique stationary items in their range along with phone cases, cards, notebooks and others. For more items in stock, you can also visit their Etsy page.
Bourn Beautiful Naturals is great if, like me, you have a slight obsession with skin or hair care. They have three ranges for skin, body and hair and all the products are natural, handmade and either vegan or vegetarian.
The creator, Kadian, works on results, not false promises on a label as she wants her customers to feel good and luxurious.
Kadian told The Sheffield Tab that her top three favourite products are: The Avocado Smoothie Conditioner, Face-Off Oil Cleansing Wash and Makeup-Remover and Curl Crush Flaxseed & Marshmallow Gel.
She also told the Sheffield Tab about some of the challenges she has faced: “Sometimes when you are very vocal about being a black-owned business, people can ghetto-ise you and treat you as niche. By this I mean they don’t take you seriously as a business making products suitable for a vast range of people. My approach is black-centered, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for you.”
There is a list of ingredients available on their website describing the functions of each product so you can make an informed decision on what you buy. Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, curly hair, damaged hair and more, there is a product for you here.
Although this company is much bigger than the others I have mentioned, it is important to mention and support businesses that are inclusive. Iman is a Somali fashion model, actress and entrepreneur who created her own cosmetics company designed for skin of colour after years of mixing her own make-up shades for make-up artists on set.
It is important to recognise this problem in the beauty industry and the companies like IMAN Cosmetics who fill that gap.
Another make-up brand to keep your eye out for is ColorBlend. Their aim is to “encapsulate diversity, universal beauty and individual expression” which is summarised in their name. The CEO, Kesha Williams, wanted to provide more options for women of colour thus the birth of her independent business.
Their products also contain vitamins A,C and E and other ingredients that benefit and replenish the skin. On top of that, it’s super affordable and they even offer foundation samples for £2.50 so you never have to worry about spending the full price on the wrong shade.
Before your next trip to Boots or Superdrug, try having a look at one of their websites because they both also have great lip, eye and brow products.
Sincerely Nude is a clothing company for women of all colour. London-based Michelle Asare founded this business because she could never find any nude clothing that was close to her skin tone. Her aim is to “empower women to feel beautiful and sexy in their skin tone no matter what shade or size”.
Her collection is so versatile and easy to wear which makes it perfect for both the ‘let’s go all out’ nights and the ‘I’ve pulled an all nighter and now I need to watch Netflix’ days.
The four shades Mink, Dusk, Ginger and Ebony bring you a whole range of products and shades to choose from.
Support businesses that support inclusivity.