The ethical fashion market exceeded a value of six million dollars in 2019 and has grown substantially since 2015. The largest sector of the market is manmade/regenerated products (such as items made from plant-based materials versus synthetic), but the organic sector is close behind. The natural cosmetics and personal care industries are projected to reach over 54 billion dollars by the year 2027. People voice their opinions through where they put their money, and the people have spoken: taking care of the planet is a priority.
Of course, opting for natural, organic, and sustainable items doesn’t just help the planet – it can also be better for the consumer than synthetic items. Did you know that while the European Union has banned hundreds of toxic chemicals once found in cosmetics, the United States has only banned a handful? Or that some synthetic materials found in clothing can penetrate the skin and get into the body? When we save a few dollars by getting the cheap stuff, we may pay a price larger than we imaged later – the price of our health, and of our planet. In celebrating Earth Day this year, we wanted to highlight some Black-owned lifestyle brands that prioritize sustainability in their materials and processes. Here are some of our favorites.
Each pair of shoes you buy from LOCI footwear is handmade in Portugal, and made with recycled ocean plastic sourced from the Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast of Africa, along with foam, rubber, natural cork, and bamboo. Thanks to its soft texture and breathability, bamboo is the chosen fabric for what lines these trendy kicks while hypoallergenic and flexible cork makes up the insoles. The items are 100 percent vegan and available in dozens of attractive two-tone designs for both men and women, in American and European sizes. Plus, the brand donates 10 percent of all proceeds to building ocean conservation sites and protecting endangered ocean species.