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How are Brands helping spread messages of freedom and empowerment in everyday Fashion?

Images from RhayvenJArt on Etsy

One of our favorite ways to celebrate Juneteenth is to put money in the hands of Black entrepreneurs and designers. Increasingly, Juneteenth is making its mark on fashion. Brands like Black Cadre spread messages of freedom and empowerment in their everyday apparel, and Juneteenth themed clothing is popping up everywhere online. If you’re looking to put money into the hands of Black-owned businesses, here are five fantastic brands to support. Follow them online, buy yourself something new, and celebrate their successes!


Zou Xou sells slow fashion shoes that are ethically made in Argentina where owner and designer Katherine Theobalds live and works. All of Zou Xou’s artisans are independent makers who set their own wages and work hours. Small batch and thoughtfully made, you’ll love Zou Xou’s classic-with-a-twist take on mary janes, mules, slides, loafers, and ballet flats.


Inspired by African American women, lifestyle and apparel brand Poetic Justice saw a gap in the market for women with unique curvy shapes. Their mission is to celebrate the style and voice of women who aren’t being catered to by the apparel industry, and provide a safe fashion haven for bodies that are all too often scrutinized or objectified. Poetic Justice apparel has been worn by celebs like Vivica A. Fox, Jordin Sparks, Wendy Williams, and Amber Riley. 


What does coffee have to do with apparel? At Portland, Oregon’s Deadstock Coffee, coffee and sneakers go hand-in-hand. Owner Ian Williams spent years working his way up through various positions at Nike before switching gears to coffee. The result? The perfect overlap of sneaker-head culture and coffee shop community. Patrons go there for their terrifically roasted coffee and well-crafted drinks. Others might visit the sneaker-themed coffee shop to talk about a recent shoe release or check out the rare sneaker collections that rotate through the store. It’s a perfect blend of coffee and shoe design, all by a veteran sneaker-head. Even if you aren’t local, you can buy Deadstock Coffee online. 


Vibrant colors and patterns make OULA garments stand out from the pack. Hand-cut and sewn locally in the US, OULA uses African Wax Fabric and vintage deadstock textiles for its limited edition and small batch runs. Think of it as wearable art: the company’s founder and CEO, Erika Dalya Massaquoi, is a contemporary art curator and former Assistant Dean at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. 


Ready-to-wear brand Re Ona offers clean lines, neutral palettes, and elevated basics. Garments are designed in Toronto, Canada, and made in Bangladesh and China by fairly paid workers who receive full benefits. They are produced in small batches to avoid overproduction and eliminate waste. We especially love their suiting, with blazers and trousers that straddle the line between traditionally feminine and masculine while giving us strong monochromatic and luxe looks.

Thanks for reading today and supporting Black owned businesses.  Have a favorite designer or brand to share?  Let us know…we would love to feature our reader favorites!

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Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 


I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 


If you share my passion for conscious fashion and sustainability,  then you're in the right place. I offer industry insights, mentorship, connections, and resources to help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world. Let's connect and explore the possibilities together - are you ready to join me on this exciting journey?

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Consciously & Ethically Designed

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About the Book

"Conscious design is a philosophy used at the Peterman Design Firm. We use it to create brands and products that restore and sustain our planet. The Peterman Method for conscious design is the culmination of Ian’s 15+ years working in product development and Jessica’s 20 years in working as a healer and studying regenerative technologies and tools for both people and our planet. Together, we’ve written this book to lay out a culmination of our combined experiences. Our goal is to help other people start looking at the world, and design, in a more conscious way."