Mad at H&M? Here are 10 Black-owned alternatives, let’s support them!
By Eye Candy
January 9, 2018
This week, cheap fashion company H&M found itself in hot water when it featured an ad with a little black boy in a sweatshirt reading “Coolest monkey in the jungle” beside another model, a white boy, dressed in a matching sweatshirt that instead read: “survival expert.”
Backlash was swift, furious, and valid, with many calling for a boycott of the brand.
Given that, as we mentioned earlier, their clothes are kind of cheap anyway, we’re all for it! And rather than have a boycott hurt your pockets, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Black-owned alternatives that are relatively inexpensive, quality, and less racist.
New Jersey-based student Olatiwa Karade has been designing clothes and putting together AFROPUNK looks for some time, but only recently did she create Splendid Rain Co., the in-your-face political clothing line behind sweaters like the one that reads “F*ck your racist grandma.” Other sweatshirts include one that reads “Don’t touch me, don’t touch my hair, don’t touch my culture,” “Africa is not a country” and “Columbus was a murderer,” which she wore to school on Columbus Day.
“I had to realize that it’s human to be upset about something that was upsetting, and I had a right to feel anger,” she told HuffPo. “If I’m stopping myself because I’m angry, I need to figure out how to make that into something else and recreate it into something productive that helps me cope with my anger as opposed to just sitting in it. ”
You can buy one of these dope sweaters on her Etsy page now!
“Jesus said to love your enemies, NOT to keep their asses around” –– This is one of the messages of Blairisms, a lifestyle brand founded by DC-based, Black, queer couple, Blair and Brandon Dottin-Haley. Blairisms celebrates Blackness, queerness, and resistance in the age of Trump (“Not my fucking president!” is another Blairism), using inspirational and sometimes cheeky messages on apparel and other items. Check out more here!
‘Black Boy Be’ is a product of We Be The Features, a Black, queer art collective in New York City. Their clothing seeks specifically to affirm Black boys who don’t fit society’s ideas of what they should be. Check out more here!
4. Pas Le Mode:
“Pas Le Mode is here to provide another option for the fellas. We give our guy original design, quality product, great customer service, and fast free shipping all at an accessible price.
Men are dynamic and if given the choice will dress according to mood. If you’re feeling creative, sexy, royal, gangsta, you should be able to share your closet with your alter ego. Fashion for guys is not only fun but it says to the outside world “I know the man I am.”
We celebrate the faces that aren’t often celebrated in the multi-billion dollar fashion industry. It is our belief that if you spend your money here you deserve to be represented in the branding and marketing. You are upscale!”
Sorebelish is a black-owned handcrafted accessories line of bohemian and custom jewelry. With everything from door knockers to brooches and rings, Sorebelish incorporates 80s/90s boldness in both size and design, their massive earrings adorned with afro-centric iconography and tribal patterns, which Sorebelish can be created to your specifications. Check out some of the wicked pieces they’ve created, below, and check out the Sorebelish shop, here.
6. HGC Apparel:
“Our mission was to revive the early 90’s and to bring back the air of Black pride that most of us as youth associated with at that time.”
7. 8&9 Streetwear:
“Combines an aggressive anti-establishment attitude with quality design, classic sneaker color ways and re-appropriated pop culture references.”
“A brand curated for the Kulture.
We aim at bridging the Kulture piece by piece. We do not believe in division of our people, we believe in love for our people.”
“Christian Omeshun was created for the ambitious, curvy woman who stops the show with her charismatic sense of style. She has an appreciation for minimalist designs that can be taken with her from season to season. Our designs are sophisticated, chic and made to be a timeless staple in your wardrobe. Each piece is interchangeable and can be styled as you desire, from casual to formal wear.”
You can still scoop some of the incredible wares being featured at this year’s Joburg fest! Just in time for the fall holidays, we’ve picked out some one-of-a-kind gifts sold by vendors we’re hosting at the inaugural festival. Check them out here!