At Because, it's been our mission to champion the brands that may have gone under the radar in the sea of stuff available to us. In light of what's been happening globally over the last few months, we've noticed this is needed now more than ever, and have been wondering how best to continue this. 

Hence the start of our latest feature, Pass the Platform, where we'll be sharing a selection of interviews who would have been picked by the interviewee prior, starting a thread and community of brands that are doing good within the fashion and beauty worlds. We hope this will bring attention to different voices that aren't always heard within these realms, as per our pledge to do better.

Next up is, Khalia Ismain, the Founder of Jamii: the digital platform that hosts an accolade of Black British brands spanning fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more. Khalia is on a mission to give elevate black-owned brands, so they can get the attention and consumer support they deserve. This, alongside their discount card – where you can save up to 40% on the brands stocked on Jamii – means there really is no excuse as to why our shopping shouldn't reflect our inclusive mindset.

Where did the idea for Jamii come from?
Jamii was born from the first wave of the Black Lives Matter movement in August 2016 as a way to encourage spending with black-owned businesses on a regular basis. Our first initiative was the discount card; to make buying from black-owned businesses a positive experience, to create new habits around discovery and purchase, to encourage customers to try brands they might not have previously heard of. We wanted to turn reactive surge spending into proactive, long-term behaviour change in which community-owned businesses spring to mind whenever you have something to buy.

Since you launched Jamii, how much has your community grown? 
We started out with 25 partnered brands and now we have 200 and our cardholder community has also grown tenfold over the last few years. It was a slow start to get people to understand what we were trying to do and how, but it's been so exciting for us to see how quickly people get it now and want to get involved.

If you could achieve one thing with Jamii, what would it be?
Take Jamii to America!

Other than being Black British brands, what else is special about the brands stocked on Jamii?
They all care very deeply about the products they're creating. We work with passionate, customer-centred entrepreneurs who prioritise the quality of the products and of the experience of their users. Also, about 80% of our partners are women-led businesses!

What do you think the consumer can do to help diversify the retail sphere? 
As consumers, we're powerful: we decide which businesses grow and sustain by choosing who we shop with and who we talk about. Every purchase we make is a vote for the world we want to live in, we can create a more diverse retail space by supporting more diverse businesses. We also have incredible social power: telling our friends and family about them, engaging with them on social media and amplifying their products, services and work are non-financial ways we can help them thrive.

Who would you like to Pass the Platform to next, and why? 
Anisah Kee-Scott. She's the founder of Mum Bub Hub, a CIC helping new mothers to heal, rest and recover. They provide the resources and tools to enable women and mothers to make informed choices about how they wish to recover immediately after giving birth and during the postpartum recovery phase.

Shop the brands on Jamii here.

More More More!

+ Pass the Platform | Liha Beauty...

+ Pass the Platform | A Complexion Company...

+ Surprise Me!