Words by Samantha Larken
In light of the black lives matter movement, we must use our voices, take action and educate ourselves. While our voices are one of the most influential tools we can use and help to educate others with, we can also do our part by showing some love to some amazing black-owned and Indigenous-owned fashion and beauty brands.
I’ve noticed that lately conversations have slowed down and the social media posts aren’t as frequent. However, this fight is not over and there’s still a very long way to go. As a society it’s important to make a conscious effort to support BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of colour) businesses, who have previously not received the recognition they deserve.
For lovers of fashion and beauty, we are all guilty of buying the latest trend pieces without even thinking twice of where its coming from. This is where we need to show our continuous support for brands owned by BIPOC, so they can continue doing what they do best. This fight is more than just one simple Instagram post, it’s an ongoing movement. As someone who is a lover of all things fashion and beauty, I love knowing that I am helping to support some amazing and talented people that deserve our recognition.
Body by Raven Tracy
If you are like me and love living in your sweats, Body by Raven Tracy is somewhere to check out. Although new to the game and starting up in 2020, Body is killing it with their tracksuits.
The thing that drew me to the website was the message that owner Raven Tracy stands for. Raven Tracy is not only a woman of colour but also a loud advocate for woman’s rights.
“A movement for the woman that chooses to take control. She does not let society dictate her body. She flaunts it and/or covers it because it is hers. She understands that it is just an outward exterior of a shell to the person that she truly is. She takes the emphasis off of what her body is supposed to look like and how people perceive it and she shifts it to why she loves her body the way it is. As long as she is moving out of love and a place of self-growth from the inside out, the rest is noise”.
Honestly, I could not shorten that quote because it hits the nail on the head! I want to scream it as loud as it can! Body by Raven Tracy is all about the “Mind, body and spirit”. Here are some of my favourite pieces by the brand.
UOMA - pronounced OMA (uh-mah) which means beautiful and at UOMA they believe that beauty starts the moment you decide to be yourself. They exist to re-write the rules of inclusivity and diversity to create a world of beauty that truly is for all of us.
UOMA Beauty is an inclusive black-owned beauty brand founded by Nigerian born, beauty executive Sharon Chuter. “At UOMA we are an empowered tribe. Our race is human, our people are free, our language is colour. All are welcome to our beautiful tribe”.
“The world is beautiful because we are all different and colourful in our unique way and this is why UOMA beauty exists. To celebrate uniqueness, to bring people from all ethnicities, gender, sexual orientation, sizes and of all ages together in a colourful celebration and co-existence." – Sharon Chuter.
This brand has everything makeup and has one of the largest colour ranges I’ve seen, with shades for every skin colour and ethnicity. Here’s some of the pieces from their latest collection.
Shop now at UOMA Beauty.
Gammin threads was a brand born from a love of typography, language and black pride. It’s a clothing and accessories brand for people who believe in living colourfully, paying respect and empowering woman.
Gammin threads was started by a woman names Tahnee, who is a proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta, Taungurung, Boonwurrung & Mutti Mutti nations. She works full time at an Aboriginal family violence prevention service and Gammin threads is something she does on the side.
Of course, purchasing and wearing clothing and accessories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is one way that us as allies can support the Indigenous community, as this provides representation of the community and can work as a conversation starter in environments that conversations otherwise may not have occurred. However, there is exceptions, because of course there’s the question ‘is it okay to wear Indigenous merch if you aren’t Indigenous?’. Allies need to be careful about what merch they choose to wear. Often some things are seen as inappropriate no matter what the intention is behind it. For example, Gammin threads says “Don’t wear a blak girl magic tee if you’re not black”. Although in saying this there is still a lot of things that us allies can wear to show our support such as woven earrings and shirts they sell that say things such as “Always was always will be” or “Respect the blak Matriarchy” for example.
Shop now at Gammin threads
Gillawarra Arts is a creative arts business originating from the mid north coast of NSW. Krystal Hurst is a Worimi woman who designs handmade jewellery using materials from nature, and specialises in contemporary Aboriginal artworks on canvas, murals and running workshops.
Gillawarra Arts has some of the most beautiful pieces of Artworks and handmaid jewellery, that I definitely recommend checking out. With inspirations coming from the Australian land and animals, it’s a business that deserves recognition. Krystal states that they “create high quality wearable art with a purpose. We are passionate story tellers who envision wearers of our jewellery to feel strong, connected and empowered”.
All pieces are hand crafted and materials are sourced from our land, rivers and sea. So go check them out.
Sorella is a clothing and accessory online store founded by Heather Sanders in 2012 and is a true inspiration for all of us starting out in the fashion industry. When she started, she had no background in fashion however, just had a lot of hustle and drive.
Sorella represents “strong women, working women, and independent women of all ages, colours, and sizes. Empowering women all over the world to not only be confident but to have a vision”.
Sorella is a very on trend site that represents all woman, at an affordable price and truly represents a woman of colour who strived to become successful which in itself is an inspiration and definitely deserves the recognition and support.
Here are some of the newest items for sale, that I’m in love with.
Shop now at Sorella.
Pat Mcgrath Labs
Pat Mcgrath is a huge brand name for all the makeup lovers out there and is sold at Sephora. Although being such an influential brand in the makeup community I never knew much about the brand, who started it, and it’s never been a brand that I’ve made a purchase from. This has now changed since learning about the owner, her background and now more than ever I really want to support this brand.
Pat Mcgrath is known as one of the most influential makeup artists in the world and envisions “makeup as a movement that possesses the power to transform”. When looking up to her inspirations for her brand McGrath says, "They are their own women, representing a mix of ethnicities, sizes, and backgrounds, they allow me to experiment and create the looks I dream of in my head."
Pat Mcgrath products look absolutely beautiful and although are quite pricey, I do think it’s important to support brands who deserve the recognition. I will definitely be purchasing something my next Sephora trip. Here are some of the pieces sold.
Shop now at Sephora - PatMcGrath Labs