Aurora James speaks onstage during the CARE Impact Awards 2023

Sustainable Style: Eco-Friendly Black-Owned Fashion Brands to Shop


Jul. 27 2023, Updated 12:41 a.m. ET

The beautiful earth we live in is in danger. Since 1880, the average global temperature has increased by 1.9° Fahrenheit. Seas are on the rise. Polar ice caps are melting, animals are suffering mass extinction, and the number of climate refugees is steadily going up.

This calls for humans to be vigilant, and to add as many sustainable practices to daily life as possible. Luckily, there are those who care about the environment and about striking a balance between creative luxury and taking care of Mother Earth. Some of these include Black-owned fashion brands that responsibly use their creative license.

3 Eco-Friendly Black-Owned Fashion Brands to Inspire the Next Generation

Not all businesses care about the state of the environment. Luckily, these standout ones do.

Brothers Vellies

Brothers Vellies is about being bold and unapologetic. The brand, by designer Aurora James, showcases bright colors, unusual designs, and striking accessories. They’re all about telling a story, sharing a culture, and capturing moments and memories that matter.

But they’re not all about fashion. They also deeply care about conserving the environment. Their sustainability practices include using recycled tires for soling, vegetable-tanned leathers, floral-dyed feathers, and the use of other by-products from across the globe.

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What’s interesting is that their products never go on sale. They honor the artisans who create them and prioritize compensating them fairly instead of boosting sales, as the rest of the world seems to be doing. We think they’re awesome!

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Hanifa is a Black-owned fashion brand that believes “women have no limits.” With this in mind, they aim to craft luxury items that show the world that women can make their own rules. They have a wide collection of trendy, sizzling casual clothing, as well as untraditional bridal wear any woman can stand out from the crowd in.

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They’re more than just about beauty and women's empowerment, however. They also strive to make the world a better place by using eco-friendly fabrics and promoting sustainability in their production practices. If more brands were like Hanifa, we would have much more hope for the future.


Lemlem is a brand founded by Ethiopian fashion model Liya Kebede. At the outset, it might look like any brand selling stylish, fashionable, but comfortable clothing. It has a wide variety of dresses, beach outfits, casual wear, bags, shoes, and more.

However, Lemlem goes beyond the ordinary. It employs traditional Ethiopian weavers, seeking to break the cycle of poverty while preserving the beautiful art of weaving. Their products are hand-woven and eco-friendly. They also sell upcycled bags and rugs with stunning designs and colors. For those who want to balance luxury and sustainability, Lemlem is the brand that stands out brightly in a world of grays.

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Sustainable Style (And the Brands that Make It a Reality)

To many, fashion seems like a waste. Why not dress up in rags to save the environment?

But there are brands out there that refuse to fit into these ideas. They want to preserve the beauty and art of creativity while doing their part to take care of cultures steeped in poverty and breaking the cycle of abuse towards earth’s natural resources. These brands truly make the world a better place.

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