Black-Owned Eco-Friendly Brands
In honor of Black History Month, here is a round-up of — just a few! — Black woman-owned, eco-friendly beauty brands making their mark. Let’s support and celebrate Black and women-owned businesses not just in February, but all year round!
by Natalie Bencivenga
February 17, 2021
With Luv From Heaven
Founded in Elizabeth Township, PA, Heaven Bobo’s business was born during an experimental period in her life. Heaven — along with her mother and her son — all suffer from eczema and psoriasis.
“I began trying different body butter remedies to help soothe our skin and that was how my first product was made,” she said, referencing the Whipped Eczema body butter; a best seller in her line.
Having a background in cosmetology, she discovered numerous toxins used in creating many personal care products, often causing more harm to skin over time. “I wanted to create something magical. I felt an obligation to change and control what is being used. Everyone deserves a good natural product,” she said.
With Luv From Heaven’s line is vegan, organic and cruelty-free making it perfect for all people. She also recognizes the power of buying local and supporting minority-owned businesses.
“You’re not only helping to empower local Black and women-owned businesses, you’re also aiding in diminishing the racial wealth gap.” Celebrating those successes is even more meaningful during Black History Month.
“Black history month should be a time of rejoicing, thanking and celebrating African Americans for giving us hope and inspiration. There’s a quote from a talented Black woman from Pittsburgh named Channy, and she said: ‘Everything you love about America is because of black people.’ That’s so true! Black history month to me isn’t all about the tough times we’ve been through and are still going through, it’s about a celebration of all the integrity, trendsetting, leadership and determination we have,” said Bobo.
To learn more about her products, especially her best-sellers like The Rose Oil and Coffee Lover Whipped, check out her website HERE.
“Being a black woman in America on top of running your own business is not a piece of cake. Finding peace, tranquillity, and self-care is more important now more than ever. Although my business cannot help with all of the daily stressors we face in society, I hope my products can bring a smile to your face for the way they make you look and feel.”
Follow her on Instagram: @withluvfromheaven
Sydney Washington, CEO of Pittsburgh-based beauty company KhemistreeBySydney, may still be in college, but she is already an entrepreneur. Washington always knew she wanted to be her own boss, and after seeing what was out there in the beauty market, she knew creating a cruelty-free, all-natural lip gloss line would be helpful to her friends with allergies and sensitivities from all walks of life.
“I’m a woman of color that wants to uplift and support other business owners as they grow. I can’t and won’t exclude someone. My first shoot for the brand was all about diversity. Many of my great friends aren’t the same race or ethnicity as me. Creating an inclusive brand is a huge part of my ‘why’,” she said.
Some of her best-selling glosses include “Brooklyn”, “Coco Butter “ “Seductive” and “Brown Sugar”.
“Starting with “Brooklyn”, it is a clear lip gloss that applies on lips with a silky water-like effect. It’s not sticky. “Coco Butter” has a smooth texture and is a neutral color to complement well with any skin tone,” she said.
Starting a makeup line isn’t easy and she notes that supporting small business owners makes a big difference to communities.
“Along with supporting a small and independent business, the CEO plays every role you can imagine. We are customer service, we are the mail delivering person, we are the ones creating and packaging your orders. As black women, we see stress, anxiety, and depression hard in our communities. Knowing when to take a break or even care is important so we don’t overload ourselves. So when we see those orders come through, we feel like we are making a difference. Supporting a small Black- and woman-owned business means you're supporting a dream,” she said.
Check out KhemistreeBySydney HERE.
Jo’s Body Shop
Georgia Heslop — also known as Jo — may have founded Jo’s Body Shop in Aurora, CO, but she has made her mark online with her clean wellness products.
“I have a B.S. in Biology. Jo’s Body Shop was just the natural progression of my passions. In December of 2019, I created a body scrub for a few of my family members for Christmas and with a little tweaking, this product came to be what is now our best selling product — Jo’s Body Scrub!” she said.
It was important to Heslop that people had access to products that were safe and nourishing for their bodies.
“I believe everyone should be able to find effective natural products at a decent price point. Everybody deserves that,” she said.
She noted that what compelled her to make this line eco-friendly was that waste from the beauty industry is a large waterway pollutant — something that she wanted to work against to help eliminate and reduce waste.
“Switching to or incorporating package-free or water-less products in your routine is actually one of the easiest ways to make it more eco-friendly,” she said. Another easy way to be more mindful of the environment is to re-use or re-purpose the packaging that products come in (i.e. pump bottles, jars, etc.).
“Recycle whenever possible,” she added.
Currently, her favorite product comes in a reusable glass pump bottle.
“Jo’s Naked Body Oil in Energize has been one of my favorite products to use and talk about lately. It is a water-free formulation which means it’s more eco-friendly than regular lotion. It’s great at smoothing out rough and bumpy skin patches and leaves your skin super soft without the heaviness of a body butter. This product is great for everyone, but especially those with oily and acne-prone skin. Did we mention that it also smells phenomenal? Our Energize Body Oil has notes of black pepper, ginger, and lemon for a scent that truly awakens the senses.”
And for Heslop, utilizing her products as a part of self-care is just one way to do right by yourself.
“Interestingly, the term ‘self-care’ was coined by Audre Lord who said it best: ‘Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’ Truth be told, no one can pour from an empty cup. Business owners and Black women definitely know what an empty cup feels like. Self-care is especially necessary for us but equally essential for everyone. And it means more than just relaxing in a bath,” she said.
So enjoy her products and use them to energize and motivate yourselves to create a healthier and more equitable world for all — one body scrub at a time!
Learn more about her product line HERE.