With Black Lives Matter at the forefront worldwide, many local companies are joining the initiative to pledge donations and open their platforms to starting conversations. Companies and brands worldwide as well as in Toronto are clueing their followers in on anti-racism and how to take action. It is simply not enough to show solidarity by posting a black square on Instagram. We must all stand united, to listen, learn, and to teach future generations about equality.
Here are 10 local Toronto brands doing just that.
One of Toronto’s top on-demand flower delivery service, Tonic Blooms, is committed to standing up in the fight against racism. For each bouquet sent until June 12, Tonic Blooms will donate $10 to Black Lives Matter Toronto. On top of that, the company has announced that it will regularly donate bouquets to those fighting racial injustice and highlight their stories on the Tonic Bloom social platform.
Beloved Toronto fitness haven, MISFITSTUDIO has created a weekly class in support of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. A letter written by owner Amber Joliat reads, “All proceeds from these classes are donated to an initiative supporting BIPOC that has been selected by the Teacher through their own exploration and commitment to anti-racism work.” The studio is also offering these classes to BIPOC free of charge.
Even though Tanya Taylor is NYC based, the brand originated here and is committing to donating 20% of its net sales to the NAACP. An Instagram posted by the brand reads, “While we wish it could be more, we are a small business recovering from the effects of COVID-19, but are committed to doing our part in other ways in the interim.”
Meat delivery service, truLOCAL announced the launch of a grant program, with the goal of fueling tech innovation led by Black entrepreneurs in Canada. The company will also donate $5 from the sale of each of its Father’s Day Steak Boxes to the Black Health Alliance, a charity that works to improve the health and well-being of Black communities.
Toronto’s SAANA Yoga is looking to make as big of an impact as possible. The company will be offering a virtual class each Monday to support Black Lives Matter Toronto. Instead of charging yogis for a session, each attendee is encouraged to make a donation and evolve as a community.
Perhaps the most important people to learn about anti-racism are children. It is crucial that we teach the next generations about acceptance so that they will not need to unlearn racism like many people today. Smartiepants Foresthill, a recreational kids programmer in Toronto, has joined forces with some local moms on “Turning the Page Together”, a resource package to engage kids in conversation about inclusivity and race. What’s awesome is that 100 percent of profits will be donated to Black Youth Helpline, a Canadian not-for-profit organization focusing on health, education, and community development. To purchase the three-book package, click here.
Taking a fashion-forward approach to acknowledging inequality and trying to make a difference is Crywolf. The brand has created a “Black Lives Matter” button and all proceeds from purchases will be donated directly to Black Lives Matter Toronto.
As soon as Outer Layer noticed that one of the brands sold at the store was allegedly racist, all of its products were taken off shelves. Instead of tossing out the product, the company decided to sell it all and donate 100% of the purchase price to the Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, a health centre that provides primary healthcare services for racialized women living in Toronto and surrounding areas.
Sonic Boom Music is thankful to the black musicians and culture that helped build the music industry. Many of those musicians were not able to maintain ownership of their work or collect royalties. Not only will the company be posting about those artists and their music on social media, but it will also make monthly donations to Black Artists’ Network in Dialogue (BAND), an organization working to amplify and support the work of Black musicians in Toronto.
18 Waits’ first step in the anti-racism movement was to highlight BIPOC owned businesses in Toronto, encouraging its own customers to show support for these businesses. Additionally, 18 Waits will donate 5% of sales from June to Black Lives Matter.
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