There’s never been a better time to support BIPOC businesses and spend our dollars where it truly counts. So we tapped storyteller, activist and all-around style maven Sarain Fox for her favourite Indigenous-owned brands that not only offer unique and fashionable gifts for the holidays, but that also give back to their communities in impactful ways.
Founded on the principles of inclusivity, identity, awareness and heritage, Lesley Hampton puts diversity at the core of every piece it produces. Although known best for its stunning evening wear, which has been spotted on red carpets at home and abroad, the slow fashion brand also boasts a wide range of ready-to-wear looks and activewear. A champion for body positivity and female empowerment, Lesley Hampton also donates a portion of its proceeds to support Indigenous communities and mental-wellness platforms. Sarain’s fave find: sheer pleated skirt, $900
Based out of St. Catherines, Ont., Cheekbone Beauty creates high-quality, cruelty-free beauty products. In 2020, as part of its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2023, it launched a new planet-friendly line of lipsticks, appropriately named Sustain, which comes in biodegradable packaging and boasts 85% less plastic than your average tube of lipstick. The line also includes a collaboration with Métis artist Christi Belcourt; $5 from every purchase of the stunning special-edition collection goes towards supporting Indigenous education. Sarain’s fave find: Cheekbone x Christi Belcourt limited-edition gift box, $125
Based in Toronto, Assinewe Jewelry was founded by two twin sisters who are members of Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation. Through beaded and clay jewelry, they bring their passion and culture to life by incorporating traditional Ojibwe styles and techniques into their designs. Sarain’s fave find: Biboon Waabigwan beaded earrings, $100
Mukluks are the original winter boot of Canada, worn by generations for thousands of years. Manitobah Mukluks continues the tradition with its oh-so-warm and cozy mukluks and moccasins. The Indigenous-owned company is not only helping to revive traditional arts, partnering with First Nations artisans and elders to create hand-crafted accessories and footwear as part of its Storyboot Project, but is also committed to highlighting Indigenous creators through collabs with artists like Roberta Anderson and Sarain herself. Sarain’s fave find: Sarain Fox Kootenay, $200
SheNative is no ordinary accessories brand. It’s a true community-led business: Not only is it committed to employing Indigenous women in both the manufacturing and design of its products, but SheNative also actively seeks input from its customers and Indigenous communities in the design process and reinvests 2% of all proceeds toward causes that positively impact the lives of Indigenous women. Sarain’s fave find: gem clutch, $376