Support Independent Black-Owned Businesses With Your Wallet by Helen
Today I'm sharing a guest post from Helen, who runs Independent Black Businesses. This is an article Helen has written for August's 'Drinks' issue of the Procrastination Paper, but I wanted to post it here too because I think it's important that everybody has access to it. Helen has also recommended some brilliant Black-owned indie businesses who produce drinks - I'll include some links to them below.
Going forward, I'll be sharing some more Black-owned and BIPOC-owned businesses here every 1-2 months on different themes so that you have yet another easy place to find them. Next up: subscriptions! If you know of any brilliant subscription services run by Black people or people of colour please get in touch.
Over to Helen...
Support Black-owned Businesses With Your Wallet
Following another horrific, unjust murder of a Black man and the racial police brutality that caused the killing of George Floyd, I felt compelled to create a platform to actively dismantle systemic racism, something the UK is currently far from achieving. I believe part of these structures are embedded within the economy. Where and who we consciously choose to spend our money with and the businesses we consume from can have a huge impact on how the racial socio-economic system perpetuates itself.
Independent Black Businesses was born to celebrate, support and promote Black-owned independents across the UK. We specialise in small businesses and boutiques that create high quality, luxury products through ethical artisan, sustainable fashion, eco-friendly craft, artistry and creative talent. We showcase a range of products from plant-based bakeries to lifestyle accessories and organic skincare. Our mission is to dismantle systemic racism by encouraging people to mindfully choose to shop with independent Black businesses, in order to redistribute wealth across Black communities and close the economic gap between white dominance and Black discrimination within business.
BREAKING DOWN THE STRUCTURES
A deeply embedded system of racial oppression, shaped through slavery by the British Empire colonisation has resulted in Black business owners and entrepreneurs experiencing continuous racial inequality in comparison to white business owners - from social discrimination in financial support, obtaining business credit and investment opportunities - to lack of press exposure and representation of Black businesses. Racial segregation also plays a role in the perception of Black-owned businesses by customers.
With fewer than six Black directors holding the position of Chairman or CEO in the FTSE 100 in 2020*, systemic racism is sustained through the institutions and corporations that uphold an under-represented presence of Black people in power. This is then reflected in the white unconscious bias that seeps out through company policies, practices, recruitment processes and workplace cultures that deny the racial disadvantages that Black people experience, thus maintaining the current system of white supremacy.
*The Parker Review Committee 2020
HOW DOES BUYING BLACK MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
If the number of consumers within Black businesses increased, this would allow Black entrepreneurs and business-owners to generate more growth, receive financial success and amplify Black voices in leadership roles, enabling people of colour to have more institutional influence and the unequal social, cultural and economic racial structures would begin to transform.
Together with every purchase, we can contribute towards revolutionising the everyday systemic framework that racism is rooted in. Here are some of our favourite Black-owned drink products you can support today....
HELEN'S PICK OF BLACK-OWNED DRINKS BRANDS
Heavenly Hot Chocolate by Lucocoa
A complete bean-to-bar independent luxury chocolate company, London-based Lucocoa uses organic cacao from Belize, Guatemala, The Dominican Republic and Haiti. Lucocoa products are a true craft and care is taken during every step - from roasting the beans, to mixing in the cocoa butter. Their signature hot chocolate jar is a beautifully balanced blend of figs, cherry, caramel and roasted nuts. All ingredients are organic and made without refined sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Exotic Fruit & Juice by Juicy Jack's Deliveries
This Brighton-based exotic organic fruit and veg company started out as a juice bar and since lockdown has developed a delivery service, recently expanding to deliver across London as well as Brighton. Each week they pick some fabulous exotic fruits from across the world and bring them to customers' doorsteps. Their juice collection is delicious and refreshing, not to mention immune-system-boosting and skin-replenishing. From tropical dragonfruit and hand-picked lychees to fresh coconut water, they've got you covered!
Email to place an order: email@example.com / @juicyjacksdeliveries
Delicious, Rich and Refreshing Rum and Gin by Taxi Spirit Co
A family run business that honours tradition, Taxi Spirit Co distills its own multi-award winning spirits through cane molasses, offering spiced and white rum and an aromatic take on classic dry gin.
CABBY'S RUM has a rich, full-bodied taste, with notes of sweet sugarcane, black treacle, a hint of oak and refreshing coconut and citrus. Serve with cola and lime or in your favourite white rum cocktail.
CABBY'S GIN has a fresh citrus base, balanced with juniper and a floral finish, encompassing a complex yet delicate blend of hints of lavender and rosemary. Serve with tonic and a slice of orange.
THE TAXI EXPERIENCE - Explore the science behind distilling and enjoy an afternoon tasting Taxi Spirit Co's range of award winning spirits at their distillery in East London.