BIPOC Business

Friday Fix: Ujimaa makes it easy to shop BIPOC and women-owned businesses online

Ujimaa

Friday Fix is a weekly feature of all the things you should know before heading into the weekend.

Business

Ujimaa makes it easier than ever to support BIPOC and women-owned businesses. 

The online marketplace congregates small businesses that are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Founder of Ujimaa, Jordan Subban, hopes that the site will offer consumers a way to be more conscious of their shopping decisions while amplifying the offerings of Ujimaa’s vendors. 

Jordan Subban, Founder of Ujimaa.

The site, which had 1,700 views on its launch day, gets its name from the Swahili word “ujima,” which means collective work and responsibility. Subban hopes that the platform encompasses the same qualities.

“There were a lot of articles and social media platforms that were created in support of BIPOC and women-owned businesses, but they sort of created a scattered marketplace for consumers to actually support the business,” said Subban. “If we’re trying to achieve support, we want to make it as seamless for consumers as possible.”

As a Black business owner himself, Subban harnessed his own network of BIPOC and women founders to host on the site, and as it has continued to grow, founders have reached out to him to be featured as well.

In addition to hosting businesses on Ujimaa, Subban is ensuring that the company offers BIPOC and women founders additional opportunities and resources, like sharing their stories on social media and creating a marketing video that shows off the vendors. When filming the marketing video, Subban realized just how much impact Ujimaa could make.

“It hit me that I’m here with all of these great vendors, based on a company that I started, that was creating opportunities and resources for these businesses,” he said. “It was exactly what I had envisioned and it was a moment of disbelief.”

Ujimaa doesn’t charge any of the vendors monthly, listing or shipping label fees to stay true to Subban’s mission of uplifting and amplifying BIPOC and women founders. On the site, users can shop by category and identify the founder of each business with the help of an icon. 

Subban is excited that Ujimaa can now allow consumers to shop conveniently and consciously, and looks forward to continuing to grow the site’s offering.

Fashion

Harry Rosen and Toronto Raptors President and Giants of Africa Co-founder, Masai Ujiri, have teamed up to create an athleisure collection available exclusively online starting today.

The seven-piece capsule collection was designed by Ujiri and Canadian designer Patrick Assaraf. Items feature the word ‘HUMANITY’ in Urjiri’s handwriting to showcase the importance of unity over division. 

 

“This year we have been consumed by the twin pandemics of COVID and racism. We need to find a cure for both, urgently,” said Ujiri via press release. “No one expects a t-shirt to change the world, but each of us committing to look at one other as human beings and really see the humanity in everyone is a good start. See the word. Have the conversation. Really talk to each other. Remember that our humanity is the first thing we all have in common. Once we recognize that we share that connection, we can find others.”

Net proceeds from the sale of the collection will to Black Youth Helpline, an organization that provides young people with access to culturally relevant, high-quality services and resources in their local community. 

Footwear

Allbirds and sneaker legend Jeff Staple are putting carbon emissions front and centre. 

The new Staples x Allbirds collaboration features an inside-out sneaker to showcase what exactly goes into making a performance shoe from nature. The unique design exposes the shoe’s materials and construction to highlight the innovation behind an Allbirds sneaker. 

Each shoe is lace-free, made of natural materials and prominently displays its Carbon Footprint (9.2). Since the average sneaker’s carbon footprint is 12.5 CO2e, 9.2 serves as both a design element and a call out to Allbirds reduced environmental impact. Additionally, each product features the iconic Staple Pigeon, Jeff Staple’s trademark.

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With each step in a Staple Dasher, you’re sure to turn heads and start conversations.

Food

The company behind making gluten-free bread taste good is at it again, only this time with Christmas cookies!

Queen St. Bakery has released a limited edition box full of locally sourced ingredients that make your baking experience as fun as it is delicious.

As always, the kits will be gluten-free and nut-free featuring the following items:

  • 2 x 654g bags of Queen St. Bakery 1-for-1 Superfood Baking Flour
  • Christmas-themed cookie cutters
  • Decorating Essentials – Christmas sprinkles & assorted gluten-free Food Colouring
  • Recipe card for ‘Santa’s Sugar Cookies’ (the perfect cookie for decorating)
  • Kid’s Rolling pin
  • Queen St. Bakery Mug
  • Pre-cut recyclable bag for reusable piping

 

To continue to spread the cheer this holiday season, for every kit sold in December, Queen St. Bakery will donate a bag of baking flour to a local food bank to support those in need.

RELATED: Find out about how Queen St. Bakery got started

Need To Know

SickKids is lighting up the night sky with a giant 20-foot replica of Ryan Reynold’s ugly (but not ugly) holiday sweater.

The large display of light and joy aims to bring the holiday spirit to patients and raise funds for SickKids. To celebrate the holiday season, Samsung Canada, a longtime supporter of SickKids, is matching all individual donations made, up to $100,000. The initiative will run until December 24, 2020.

If you’re interested in making a donation to SickKids, you can do so here. In the meantime, you can watch Reynolds share his enthusiasm for the initiative below.