We are officially kicking off Black History Month here at NOTES® and couldn’t be more excited to recognize Black-owned brands with a mission for sustainability. Why is it important to shop at Black-owned businesses? Statistics show that capital tends to be invested more slowly in Black-owned businesses compared to their white counterparts, leading to overall slowed business growth. In general, when small businesses flourish, so do their communities. Celebrate black entrepreneurs and their cultural richness by shopping any of our sustainable picks for Black History month (and every month after).
Who are they: We cut down thousands of trees daily to make traditional paper products - most of which are packaged with plastic. Reel delivers "tree-free" paper products like tissues and toilet paper to reduce the environmental impact of deforestation.
Why we love them: Reel takes an everyday product and radically reinvents it. All Reel paper is made with 100% tree-free fibers from the fastest-growing plant on earth: bamboo. Plus, all of their shipping and packaging materials are biodegradable and plastic-free. They are B-Corp certified and understand the ripple effects of deforestation, including the pivotal role they play in preventing global warming. The cherry on top – they are carbon neutral.
Bonus: With every Reel product purchased, you help fund toilets and waste systems for the billions without. These efforts help prevent the spread of waterborne disease – increasing families’ safety and security and protecting vulnerable aquatic ecosystems.
Like us, Reel believes small changes have a big impact. Toilet paper with a purpose can be used by anyone anywhere. Because sustainable should also be attainable.
Who are they: OUI the People delivers durable, stainless-steel razors as a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic razors.
Why it matters: An estimated 2 billion plastic razors end up in landfills yearly. OUI the People limits waste by creating a reusable, durable razor with a single blade that can be removed and recycled at your local recycling center after use.
Why we love them: Unisex design, no parabens, phthalates, or animal testing, great for sensitive skin, transparent ingredient glossary for body products.
Who they are: Clare is a black and female-owned brand that creates designer-curated interior and exterior paint and supplies without traditional toxic additives.
Why we love: Clare was founded on a mission to make paint shopping simpler by delivering mess-free recyclable paint swatching straight to your door. All of their paint is VOC free, Greenguard Gold Certified, highly washable & long-lasting, and packaged in 100% recycled shipping and packing materials. As an interior-design led company, we can guarantee that their selection of colors is gorgeous, but if you’re not quite sure, they have a color-matching quiz as well.
Why it matters: VOCs are emitted as gasses and can pollute the environment and the air inside your home, posing health risks. Clare has zero VOCs for cleaner air and easier and more sustainable ways to sample paint before committing to a color.
Who they are: Loci is a black-owned vegan sneaker company that makes premium shoes from materials crafted out of recycled ocean plastics.
Why we love: First off – trés chic. These sneakers are unisex and we promise will match every item of clothing you own. They are mission founded and driven with 10% of every online order going to ocean conservation charities including Mission Blue, See Turtles, and Sea Shepherd. Every pair of sneakers saves 20 plastic bottles from oceans and landfills. Clean materials are used to make the shoes from cork insoles, bamboo lining, recycled brass eyelets, 100% natural rubber soles, and recycled ocean plastic upper.
Why it matters: Wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds over the last 50 years. By working to promote ocean and land conservation, Loci protects declining biodiversity. Supporting Grassroot charities invests in an eco-future.
Who they are: Briogeo is a clean haircare brand with goals to empower individuals of all races and hair types.
Why we love them: Aside from their sustainable initiatives, Briogeo celebrates everyone's natural beauty and emphasizes representation and inclusion in their business model. They support Pull Up for Change impact fund that directly benefits emerging Black entrepreneurs and Move with Purpose, a non-profit club that supports the Black community through fitness. And of course, the sustainable components. Briogeo products do not contain silicones, aerosols, or microplastics. All of their products are ethically sourced and manufactured with the Fair for Life seal. All of their product components are 100% recyclable and made with a minimum of 25% post-consumer recyclables.
Why it matters: Microplastics easily pass-through water filtration systems and end up in the ocean, posing a potential threat to aquatic life. Traditional single-use plastic ends up in our landfills and remains there for hundreds of thousands of years. By eliminating the need for the disposal of plastic, they are making a massive impact on the footprint they leave behind.
An estimated 8 out of 10 Black-Owned businesses fail within the first 18 months. It’s clear that in supporting these businesses you are not only making an impact in the business sector by supporting sustained economic growth, but you are also making a difference for our planet. Support your community and consider shopping these and the hundreds of other Black-Owned sustainable brands all around you.