"Black Pound Day is a solution-based approach set up to support the growth of the UK Black economy. The day is also an opportunity to find out how everyone can support Black businesses over the long-term."
June this year saw the first Black Pound Day trend across social media, make headlines across the UK, and make a not inconsiderable dent in my own bank balance.
Investing in small businesses is more important than ever this year, and investing in the Black community is down to all of us.
It shouldn't take a single day each month to remind us of this. If you posted a black square on your Instagram feed earlier this year, bought a book about racism (and maybe even read it?), made commitments to consider, learn from and support people who don't look like you, ask yourself - where are you spending your money? Who are you supporting in your day to day?
Why We All Need to Invest In The Black Community
"If you are wondering why there are so few Black owned businesses, consider: if banks will only lend to people who already have wealth - how will poor people trade?
Black and Bame families are least likely to have generational wealth (first generation families like mine are right at the bottom on this statistic) so they are the least likely to access commercial credit (and this in turn affects outside investment).
If there are no Black owned businesses, who gets to decide how power and wealth and resources and stories are distributed in our society? Will they include us?"
- Kalkidan, Founder of organic clothing and fair trade shop, Sancho's.
- Quoted from Kalkidan's Instagram post here.
You can read more about the statistics and challenges for Black businesses seeking investment in this Financial Times article, but we too need to take more responsibility as consumers and make that much needed investment on the daily.
We can also apply pressure and ensure white-owned businesses and spaces are doing their bit:
Ask your favourite indie retailers which of their products are made/supplied by Black owned businesses.
Ask craft markets and directories how they're ensuring a diverse group of sellers.
Call out blogs, magazines, influencers if they are not showcasing Black and BAME businesses.
Recommend Black owned businesses you love to your friends and shop with them all year round.
Luckily, finding those very businesses and shopping with them all year round is now easier than ever...
Online Directories and Marketplaces for Black-Owned Businesses
I've shared a lot of individual businesses over the last few BPDs on Instagram and saved them to a Stories highlight, and I'll be adding a heap more tomorrow as I discover and shop.
It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with a lot of individual social media shares and accounts, but never fear! There are plenty of online directories making it easy for you to buy Black this Saturday and keep the movement going every day.
Jamii has an online directory AND a discount card for shopping with Black owned businesses to encourage you to diversify your shopping all year round.
Jamii have been going for four years, held their first physical pop up shop in August, and tomorrow are celebrating Black Pound Day and Black History Month with a webinar series from 11am-1pm, followed by a virtual market. Get your free ticket here.
The Do Gooders have curated a directory of 70+ Black-owned, sustainable brands to shop from. Beauty products, clothing, gifts and even services like VAs and phone repairs!
Shop Black Labels is an online boutique selling men's, women's, and kid's clothing as well as homeware, toiletries and even cakes in jars (gimme).
Etsy has created a Black sellers edit, amplifying their Black makers and making it easier for you to buy handmade.
And of course, just get yourself on Instagram tomorrow and check the #blackpoundday hashtag as it'll be full of amazing businesses for you to do all your Christmas shopping with. That's right, the C word. It's October, it's allowed now.
Spotlight - Yala Jewellery
There are too many lovely businesses to give an individual mention to here, but I did want to spotlight Yala Jewellery as I love everything about their brand.
Not only is their jewellery beautiful and affordable, but they were the first UK jewellery brand to become a certified B corporation (businesses that meet the highest standard of verified social and environmental performance. You can read more about B corps and how they're a force for good here).
"We create ethical jewellery that is created to last, with collaborators who are paid fairly and materials that are eco-friendly. Our small batch collections are made exclusively for us, and create as little environmental impact as possible."
- Yala Jewellery
I bought from Yala on the first Black Pound Day in June, and have been back since for gifts for family birthdays. I'll be back again for Christmas. Their products, packaging, story, and service are all gorgeous (none of this is sponsored FYI, I just love brilliant, sustainable businesses!).
They're currently offering free global shipping, and they also offer interest-free payment plans. Shop with them here.
I'd love to hear your own recommendations. Find me on Instagram and share your favourite Black-owned businesses!