Since its launch in 2005, the e-commerce site Etsy has been our go-to for alternative, handmade, vintage, ethically sourced, and/or personalised pieces. If what you're looking for falls in or around those categories, and you want to refrain from ubiquitous high street options, chances are you'll find it on Etsy. When it comes to supporting independent businesses, it's one of the leading online platforms.
In light of the recent Black Lives Matter movement, supporting Black-owned businesses in the UK has become one way to participate in activism. Yes, change requires significant anti-racism work on a bigger level, but these everyday actions still make an important impact.
Last month, on June 27, the UK celebrated its first Black Pound Day (the next one is set to take place on August 1). Founded by former So Solid Crew member Swiss, the aim of the monthly event is to draw attention to the services, skills, and products provided by a whole host of Black-owned businesses, and encourage people to spend their money there. Speaking about Black Pound Day, Swiss said: “With the recent unfortunate events I could foresee my community plunging into another cycle of historical trauma, I wanted to somehow repurpose that energy into a positive outcome. Black Pound Day was the result of that motivation."
To make our lives easier, Etsy have helpfully edited their selection of Black-owned Etsy shops. Here's my pick of the top ten.
Frequency Of Love
Family portraits don't get more imaginative than this. Simply send over a high-resolution photo and select your preferred African fabric for the backdrop, and Frequency Of Love owner Zoë Sinclair will create a custom digital collage, guaranteed to steal the limelight of every other snapshot on your shelf.
Mind The Cork
Get your hands on a unique, handmade satin-lined bonnet. Not only are they perfect for preventing afro hair from drying out over overnight, they keep protective styles fresh and in place. The bonnets come in a range of bright and beautiful patterns and styles including reversible ones. Unfortunately Sleep Tings isn't currently selling on Etsy due to restrictions in place during to coronavirus pandemic, but it's a great shop to keep on your radar so you can get shopping as soon as it reopens.
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