In the wake of 2020’s reawakened Black Lives Matter movement, many of us want to know how best we can support the black community and black-owned businesses. As well as educating ourselves on black history and the black experience, another great way to show support is to buy from black-owned businesses.
Unfortunately, although there are plenty out there, independent brands, especially black-owned brands, can be hard to find amongst the noise and targeted advertising of retail giants like Amazon. Which is how Wakuda came to be.
Founded by Albert Larter and Nathaniel Wade, Wakuda (which means ‘black’ in Chichewa, a spoken language in Malawi) is an online shopping platform that hosts over 120 independently-owned brands and small businesses. Touted as the ‘Etsy for black-owned businesses’, on the platform you can discover a wealth of new brands selling everything from homeware and greeting cards to jewellery, clothing and beauty products.
Although the sellers are exclusively black, the founders stress that this is somewhere for everyone to shop from, recently telling the Evening Standard: ‘This is a platform for anyone to buy from and actually we’ve had a lot of non-black customers who have been supportive and that’s been really impressive.’
Alongside other recent initiatives such as Jamii, the card that helps you discover and get discounts at black-owned businesses, and Black Pound Day, which was initiated by British rapper Swiss earlier this year to encourage people to shop solely from black-owned businesses one day a month, it’s clear there is a need for platforms that connect conscious consumers with independent, black-owned brands and businesses.
Here are just a few of the brands we discovered on Wakuda, the Etsy for black-owned brands…