11 Female-Founded Brands to Support in Celebration of International Women's Day
Today, March 8, marks International Women's Day, a global celebration of the accomplishments toward gender equality. This day of support has been around for over a century, and its messaging is rightfully honored — and just as relevant — in the present day.
While the gender equality movement has made significant strides, International Women's Day also serves as a reminder of what's yet to be won. There are plenty of ways to show your support, such as making a donation, attending female-run events, raising awareness on your social platforms, and shopping solely from women-founded brands.
Below, we've gathered 11 companies created by women to shop from today (and all year-round). Whether or not you purchase something during International Women's Day, we hope you'll keep these female-founded brands in mind in the future. Go forth and spend money — and feel good about it, too.
Alpha-H Skincare was inspired by the life-changing results brand founder Michelle Doherty witnessed from using glycolic acid on her acne-prone skin. The brand provides targeted solutions for a range of skin concerns, such as breakouts, dullness, aging, and hyperpigmentation. Its award-winning Liquid Gold exfoliant has become so popular, one bottle sells every two minutes. The Melting Moment Cleansing Balm is also in high demand, and has sold out three times previously.
After spending several years working in the fashion and beauty space as a branding executive, Sasha Plavsic founded Ilia Beauty in 2011. Plavsic sought to create nontoxic products that wouldn't cause hormone disruption, and thus, the skincare-makeup brand was born. "I didn't feel that anything was speaking to me as a brand, and so I decided to take my favorite cherry-tinted chapstick and download a PDF on how to make lipstick, and start," she previously told Glossy. Ilia Beauty offers a full range of face, lip, and eye products that have become staples in regimens everywhere.
The Sip is a Black women-owned brand that supports female winemakers across the globe. According to the brand, "The Sip empowers women to discover new wines so they can drink what they like — not what they're told." It allows customers to explore their tasting palate through curated boxes of sparkling wine in the form of one-time purchases or bimonthly subscriptions. Also a reason to support: The Sip's Take a Sip, Give a Sip Pledge funds clean water access for women and children in need.
The leisurewear brand "inspires women to live life passionately, purposefully, and confidently by way of products and experiences," i.e. its collection of intimates, loungewear, activewear, and swimwear. The brand is partnered with I Support the Girls, a nonprofit that donates bras, underwear, and menstrual products to those in need. According to Lively, "to date, the brand has donated thousands of gently worn bras and undies."
Made for the minimalist, Merit Beauty leans on skin-loving ingredients like plant-based squalane, vitamin B5, and antioxidants to enhance your natural beauty. It prides itself on a holistic approach to the oversaturated beauty industry, offering products that are kind to both your skin and the planet. Shop Merit's lengthening mascara, lightweight lipstick, and hydrating coverage stick.
"EM Cosmetics was created to give you the tools you need to express yourself — through colors, lines and other forms of creativity," wrote founder Michelle Phan on the brand's website. Phan relaunched the brand back in 2017 after buying it back from L'Oréal (it was originally created in 2013) and has since grown it into a line of skin-friendly formulas, from hyaluronic acid-infused blushes to metallic eyeshadows made with sunflower seed oil and vitamin E. "Texture is one thing that makes us stand out from other brands. The moment you touch one of EM Cosmetics' products, it just feels comfortable," Phan previously told InStyle.
The all-natural and physician-backed skincare brand caters its high-quality formulas to women of color. AbsoluteJOI was the brainchild behind public health researcher, Dr. Anne Beal, who sought to increase the number of products available that specifically soothe melanin-rich skin and address issues like dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and aging on darker complexions. The brand's bestsellers, the Tinted Moisturizer With SPF 40 Mineral Sunscreen and Skin-Refining Night Oil with Retinol, are available on absolutejoi.com and Amazon.
Atelier Cologne, the first fragrance house entirely dedicated to cologne, was founded by Sylvie Ganter-Cervasel, alongside her husband and business partner, Christophe Cervasel. "We discovered that we share the same passion for the legendary Eau de Cologne and that we were on the same ongoing search for a Cologne of character, elegant and fresh at the same time with exceptional long lasting power," they shared on the brand's website. Atelier Cologne carries a range of scents, from citruses to florals to musks.
We Are Linked Not Ranked
In 2013, legendary feminist Gloria Steinem collaborated with nonprofit feminist.com (an online community that supports awareness, education, and activism for women across the world) to create the "We Are Linked Not Ranked" bracelet, which "carries a message of unity and interconnection, across differences and divides." In celebration of Gloria's birthday, 25 percent of all bracelet sales will be given to Gloria's Foundation through March.
Natlyn Jones designed SheWarrior in an effort to promote body positivity and encourage customers to "feel good from the inside out." The U.S.-run brand offers high-performance activewear pieces made from recycled materials (the production spins synthetic fibers from 100 percent recycled plastic) and uses water-free dyeing processes to rectify the social impact of the fashion industry. Shop moisture-wicking sports bras and high-waisted leggings.
Thea Green created Nails.INC "after recognizing a gap in the market for the American model of walk-in, efficient, great quality and great priced manicure bars," when traveling between the U.S. and Britain. All of the brand's long-lasting, top-quality nail products are cruelty-free and primarily vegan, as the company makes "big steps to ensure every product is as planet-friendly as it possibly can be." Shoppers can use code IWD18 for 15 percent off nailsinc.com through March 8th, or shop the brand on Amazon — we love this set of four neon polishes.