11 Brands Giving Back During Black History Month

Graphic by Giovanna Pineda/KCM

Shopping locally owned Black businesses is step one, but here are 11 big box brands giving back for Black History Month you can shop, too.

February is Black History Month, and while we should be celebrating Black excellence all 12 months of the year, this month is a great time to lean into educating yourself and those around you about Black history and how to create a more equitable world for all. Supporting Black-owned businesses and brands is one way to uplift the community, but there are larger brands and stores you can shop that donate either some or all of the proceeds from their sales to nonprofits or funds that give back to the Black community.

Stores like Old Navy and JCPenney are pairing with Black artists to create clothing with exclusive graphics, and they’re also donating a portion of the sales from these items to organizations that support youth art programs, like the Boys and Girls Club of America. Williams Sonoma is giving half of the proceeds from a special set of dish towels to the NAACP, and jewelry brand SVNR is donating all of the proceeds from certain pieces to Building Black Bed-Stuy, an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Black community in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Chances are, you’re already shopping some of these stores anyway, so why not add some of these Black History Month items to your cart? Not only will you be able to refresh your accessories, wardrobe, or home décor collection, but you’ll be helping give back, too. Here are just a handful of brands giving back throughout Black History Month.

SVNR Jewelry

SVNR has an entire collection that is donating 100 percent of proceeds to Building Black Bed-Stuy, an organization focused on protecting and preserving the Black community in Bed-Stuy, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. While it’s hard to pick just one piece from the beautiful collection to feature, we’re big fans of this brass bead necklace. Each bead is made in a wax cast, which is a centuries-old practice that involves creating a cast from wax, pouring molten brass into it, and removing each bead individually once cooled.

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Williams Sonoma

Williams Sonoma paired up with the NAACP to create these exclusive printed dish towels. Small rainbows cover the surface of the towel, with each arch being a different shade of brown, symbolizing the beauty of all skin tones. If you don’t need any more dish towels, there’s also a mug and a tote in the NAACP collection.

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The best brands to support are the ones who give to causes all year long, not just during a certain month. Freck beauty always gives 20 percent of the profits from its On Repeat cleanser to Black Lives Matter organizations, from now until forever. The cleanser is gentle on skin but strong enough to remove makeup (yes, even eye makeup). Cactus flower is one of the main ingredients in the product, which helps soften and moisturize skin while cleansing.

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Keep the time in style with this minimal watch from Fossil. Not only is the band made from recycled plastics, but all of the proceeds from the watch go to the Diversity in Design collaborative, which is a group of companies working to increase Black representation in the design field.

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UpCircle Beauty

If you’re a fan of natural, clean beauty products, look no further than UpCircle Beauty. The company creates vegan, cruelty-free products in recyclable packaging. If you want, you could even repeat order their products and opt out of a pump, reusing the one from your first order to save plastic. This month, UpCircle is donating $1 from every bottle of the hand and body lotion with bergamot water to the Kings Art Complex, an organization in Ohio that connects the community through the arts while celebrating the contributions African Americans have made to art and culture in the United States and beyond.

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JCPenney has an entire line dedicated to celebrating holidays and cultural moments called Hope & Wonder. Throughout February, the brand will be donating 100 percent of net profits to Black Girls Smile, an organization that aims to provide young Black women with education, resources, and support to lead mentally healthy lives. The line includes a variety of clothing items, but we’re partial to this pink shirt with a fun illustration depicting the bond of sisterhood on it.

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Old Navy

Old Navy has released a collection named PROJECT WE, an ongoing collaboration with a number of diverse artists, hoping to create a more inclusive future through the use of art. The graphic T-shirt above is by artist Lo Harris, but there are also designs by Temi Coker and Destiny Darcel. The three designs are exclusive to this year’s Black History Month and are gender-neutral. In addition to spotlighting these three artists, Old Navy also donated $1 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America across the country, helping to fund youth arts programs.

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All year long, Nordstrom features Black-owned and -founded brands on their own page on the website, giving you the option to shop a number of brands and products whenever you’d like. The store is also working to become more diverse in all aspects, including employment and brands they carry, which they are sharing on the website. While no company is perfect, it’s nice to see Nordstrom taking steps to be transparent and honest about how they are diversifying the company.

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Target has had a Black History Month line at their stores for eight years now, and this year, they’ve debuted products from all categories to commemorate the month. Each piece is either from a Black-owned brand or designed by a Black creative. You can shop all the brands on Target’s Black History Month landing page. This tufted pillow caught our eye, and it’s designed to look similarly to the Ghanian Adinkra symbol of knowledge.

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Victoria’s Secret PINK

Victoria’s Secret PINK and We The Urban teamed up to create a gender- and size-inclusive T-shirt to celebrate Blackness and allyship. They worked with We The Urban’s founder, Willie Greene, to create the design. PINK also donated $50,000 to Black and Pink, which is dedicated to transforming the lives of system-impacted LGBTQIA2S+ people and those living with HIV/AIDS.

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In addition to Black History Month-inspired clothing and accessory designs, Levi’s is donating $25,000 to the organizations Black Futures Lab and LIVE FREE, organizations that both focus on creating more equitable futures for Black communities across the United States. You can buy a shirt, sweatshirt, or tote back emblazoned with designs by Black designers.

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