Celebrating Black History Month: Shopping with Diversity in Mind
February 24, 20213 min read
Eco friendly. Cruelty-free. Fairtrade. Made in the USA. These are some words that we look for when shopping for food and everyday products. These labels tell a story about where our goods come from and how they are produced. Some labels tell us that our purchase will be part of a donation to a greater cause. Others tell us that we are a part of a community who thinks deeply about the future of our planet. Either way, our purchases are in fact a proclamation of what matters to us as individuals. When shopping for specific health facts, labels, and even packaging, we are essentially using our dollars to “vote” on the things we deem most important.
Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in consumers forgoing big business brands and opting for products from smaller markets as they often implement more ethical and sustainable means of production. We also find that smaller markets often tie their products to important initiatives and meaningful causes such as supporting farmers in third world countries or providing meals to families in need. These smaller markets are seen as more personable because their products and services seem better tailored to the actual needs of the consumer and their desire to make thoughtful purchases.
But what if we say, Black-owned? How often, if at all, do we walk into a store or filter our web search seeking for labels for Black-owned products? It’s a rhetorical question not meant to arouse discomfort but to introduce a new perspective of shopping with diversity in mind, especially for those who are looking to make meaningful purchases that contribute to greater causes. It’s an idea worth considering for many reasons.
Creatively, you are opening yourself to a market of unique and innovative products from a demographic of people inspired by their histories across the African diaspora. You are tapping into cultures, communities, artistry, and creativity unlike anything else. There is almost always a deeper story behind their business model and goods.
The truth about supporting Black-owned businesses is that in doing so you’re actually supporting many other causes that you may not be aware of. It’s true. In supporting Black-owned businesses, you are helping Black entrepreneurs gain financial stability, generational wealth, and even property ownership. Why is this important? Unfortunately, the reality is that the everyday progression of Black people are often governed by policies and laws that make such financial opportunities difficult or impossible to obtain. Your buying dollars contribute to them reaching and exceeding those goals.
You’re also helping to reach initiatives launched in support of organizations, academic institutions, and communities that are underfunded. Black-owned entrepreneurs often pick up the responsibility of financially supporting those institutions within their communities where government dollars may not always reach. With donations from their businesses, they often support and sustain the needs of the neighborhood.
By supporting Black-owned businesses, you are also supporting a great majority of women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. Black-owned businesses have more than twice the percentage of female-led businesses than any other racial or ethnic group. And in supporting these women, you are also supporting the futures of their children and families.
That is the power of your buying dollar. That is the reason why we have made it our personal mission to source products from Black-owned businesses, promote them on our platforms, and encourage our customers to shop with diversity in mind. For us, this is a responsibility. It is our effort toward a future where Black-owned businesses will be a standard and a norm in every industry.
Contributing Author: Esther Sully is a freelance editor and copywriter who has worked with different brands over the years to help bring their vision to life through engaging, creative, and original written content. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, she now resides in the Midwest where she enjoys time with her family, reading a good book, and a daily cup of dark roast coffee.