There has never been a better time to support BAME-owned businesses. I would say there’s never been a better time to go vegan too, but there seems to be a vegetable shortage…
In case you don’t know what BAME means (although you really, really should), I’m talking about businesses owned by black, south and east Asian and ethnic minority founders or directors, especially those who run cruelty-free vegan fashion and beauty brands. As Donald Trump wreaks racist havoc over America and Britain uses Brexit as an excuse to air prejudiced views, now really is the time to show that #LoveTrumpsHate, immigrants and refugees are welcome and that black lives matter.
As well as protesting, marching, writing to our MPs and taking a stand against racism, supporting BAME-owned businesses is something we can all do to beat bigotry, so I’ve rounded up my favourite vegan brands right here.
As a Muslim beauty-lover, Suraiya Uddin struggled to find a luxury skincare brand that suited both her beauty needs and her religion, so of course she started her own. Inspired by her Grandmother’s South East Asian recipes, Suraiya developed her home skincare experiments into a British brand that’s entirely plant-based, vegan, cruelty-free and halal – and proudly so. With an emphasis on high quality ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, argan oil and coconut oil, Al Din are luxe products at an affordable price.
The Lip Bar
Melissa Butler founded The Lip Bar in 2012, frustrated that she wasn’t able to find clean cosmetics in a bold range of shades, advertised on a diverse range of women. Writing on The Lip Bar’s website, Melissa says ‘I am passionate about creating an inclusive narrative on what beauty is and reminding women that we don’t have to settle for anything. You are beautiful just the way you are’. The lipsticks are pigmented, vegan, cruelty-free and contain no unnecessary chemical ingredients, with amazing packaging too. Shop them in the UK here.
I’ve made no secret of my love for Florence Adepoju’s hip-hop inspired make-up range, where her pigmented lipsticks are made with synthetic beeswax. I’m predicting exciting new launches in the very near future…
Ministry Of Tomorrow
Ministry Of Tomorrow are a design company run just outside of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya’s largest slum. The company aims to beat unemployment and offer Kenyans a sustainable income through fashion, and their latest launch is 100% vegan. MOT have just unveiled a unisex bag collection made from Italian and Japanese animal-free leather, organic and fair trade cotton from India and low-impact dyes. The four designs are expensive but sleek, with a minimal exterior and Maasai warrior mask pattern inside. I’m also really impressed with their adverts, featuring a model with vitiligo and the gorgeous Jasmin Ekes. You can only ship this brand to America unfortunately, but their approach to fashion is worth praising.
I also want to shout out Brown Beauty Talk, a website for women of colour that runs a weekly Twitter chat on Sunday nights at 8pm. Tune in for discussions on everything from beauty boxes, brushes and foundations to the best brands for dark skins.
Have I missed any BAME-owned businesses off this list? Let me know in the comments below!
Header image: The Lip Bar