Welcome to the fourth gift of Anti-Racism education – Do More.
We’ve compiled a list of ally friendly and First Nations owned businesses that you can buy from and whose backstories are as inspiring as their products. You could keep it handy for the next time you need the services they provide, especially those you can purchase directly from instead of paying for fakes or to middle men and women. Have a look!
(5 mins read).
In a survey we conducted in June, 2020 on the gaps in anti-racism education in Australia the respondents highlighted the need to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses. Thanks to a horrendous 2020 many of us have been locked up in our homes finding a new flair for sourcing unique online goods. Brands across clothing, homewares and all kinds of knick knacks have since arrived at our doors in big numbers. As a result of which many small businesses have been recognised. This is a mini curation of creative and commercial First Nation businesses with an inspiration and a purpose, for you to consider the next time you are out shopping.
Madison Connors, the founder of Yarli Creative is a painter, digital illustrator, mum and proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and Gamilaroi woman. She refers to herself as an artist, a human rights activist and a mother. Not only is her artwork unique, moving and a pleasure to view – it also serves a much deeper purpose. Maddison speaks often about how her work is connected with promoting women’s health and how her experiences as an Aboriginal woman have shaped her ambitions and perspectives of the world.
“For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to create a positive change and for me this includes sharing, teaching and creating artwork that provokes conversations.”
– Madison Connors
You can purchase one of her original prints from $190 (be patient – she’s currently flocked with orders) or support her by purchasing one of the Yarli Creative x Scrunchiko Collab scrunchies working with Scrunchiko – a community conscious label offering their customers convenience and art all-in-one. At just $15 a piece you can enjoy Yarli Creative’s art and support her causes for connection, conversations and a place to educate.
If you haven’t heard of them already – no doubt you will. What began as a health program supporting Indigenous communities in regional areas of Victoria (Spark Health), quickly became known as a fashion label. The team at Spark Health began making unique First Nations designed merchandise as an incentive to get more members involved in creating awareness about Closing the Gap – an Australian Government Health initiative to help close the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal people and non-Indigneous Australians.
Given the opportunity as a self-funded company, the team realised that utilising their merch sales could continue to fund their program and expand what they could do for their communities. Realising the power of fashion, Clothing the Gap’s focus became about “more than just a tee” – sharing messages of importance for First Nations communities, elevating and promoting Aboriginal Peoples, black excellence and educating Australians about social issues.
Currently, their main campaign is to start the conversation about the Australian First Nation Flag – the only copyrighted flag in the world, that is licenced to two companies, one being white-owned big merch business WAM. Their campaign “free the flag” is asking Australians to sign and share their moving petition to change the licensing rights for the Aboriginal flag.
You can buy a range of fashionable caps, beanies, t-shirts, masks, jumpers, accessories and totes from their online store.
Fierce, deadly, and fancy as f**k jewelry brand Haus of Dizzy is making a statement, supporting a cause and making its customers look damn good doing it. Kristy Dickinson is the designer behind the label that’s been making heads turn for a while now.
“I just want to give pride to my people,”
Kristy said in an interview with The Guardian “But in a cool, shiny way.”
With a range that prompts discussions among people who want to share their support for feminism, gay rights and environmental campaigns, Kristy is giving a voice to many people, and empowering them to support causes close to her heart.
Dickinson also wants to instill confidence in Indigenous children with a special range – Dizzy Chicks – a children’s range with stickers, clothing, merch and accessories for her favourite mini Haus of Dizzy fans. Growing up for her wasn’t easy. But she found her happiest, most confident times with her mother (also a great accessory enthusiast) and aunties, making this initiative a special cause amongst others.
Her unique collections of statement pieces that make heads turn and “dizzy fans” nod in approval are a great way to funk-up your look and know that you’re also being a catalyst for conversations about important causes. What’s next for Haus of Dizzy in 2021? Sky’s the limit – we can only assume that Kristy will continue to grow with her ever-increasing number of Dizzy enthusiasts.
Here’s a handful of other First Nation businesses with products to set your splurge account for.
Transcend into meditation mode by purchasing an Aboriginal owned and made yoga mat, the original & first of its kind. Also avail a free yoga class with every purchase. Find out more.
To purchase, source and support First Nation visual storytelling for those based in Coffs Harbour.
Stocks from sleepwear and scarfs to cute-as-hell infant wear. Made by the Anindilyakwa people and the people of Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Islands. Buying directly from this arts center means that the artists are paid forward and paid well.
Purchase your own copy of the 100% Aboriginal owned First Australian Indigenous and Ethnic Women’s Lifestyle Magazine – “Ascension Mag” – offering great reads and a personalised range of merchandise.
Follow @ausindigenousfashion , @tradingblak @blakbusiness on instagram to keep up-to-date with First Nation businesses or bookmark #BuyIndigenous for your next gift idea and Supply Nation to search Indigineous direct businesses.