Zoe Sims explains how to weave First Nations values into every day Caring for Country, and One Another
From art to fashion, jewellery to oils, these are some our favourites
More than a Word. That is the theme for National Reconciliation Week 2021, which has given us pause, to bring light to and celebrate our First Nation’s people’s and culture, especially those creating amazing sustainable products that aren’t just good for us, they’re gentle on the planet too. We believe that our First Nation’s People – one of our oldest cultures – should be celebrated at all times, not just at certain time of year. And it’s also why at G+S we’re reading, researching and most importantly, listening to and bringing you more Indigenous stories and brands. Here are some of the latest sustainable Indigenous-owned brands we love.
Artist and educator, Shenai Kellet of @malogaart is behind some of our favourite contemporary Indigenous art. The Yorta Yorta woman creates beautiful modern designs that are inspired by her culture and watching her own mother paint as a little girl. She is passionate about educating people on how to ethically buy Indigenous art.
Deadly Denim collaborates with First Nation’s artists to create upcycled denim pieces like its signature jackets as well as pinafores, skirts and tote bags. A portion of its profits support and train Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander midwives to continue the 40,000-year-old tradition of on country birthing and bring to light shocking statistics like Indigenous mothers still suffer three times the mortality rate of non-Indigenous mothers.
Ethical Clothing Australia certified, Clothing the Gap is a social enterprise that exists to help close the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians. Their “merch with meaning” consists of tees, caps, beanies and our favourite – the Frank Green x CTG Naidoc 2020 reusable coffee cup. They encourage both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to wear their goods with pride, and have made shopping super simple with their “Ally friendly” and “Mob only” symbols.
If you love essential oils, then you need to know about Earth Blended. From birth essentials to sleep blends for kids, energy, self-love and calm, there’s something for everyone. We love the Aboriginal birthing affirmations for mums-to-be and that $10 from each sale is used to create custom birthing boxes for the Happy Boxes Project that assists women in remote communities having access to basic necessities such as toiletries. Earth blended also ships internationally.
Created in response to the COVID-19 lockdown, @blackfulla_bookclub is an Instagram account that shares Aboriginal voices and stories. Set up by friends and lawyers, Merinda Dutton (Gumbaynggirr and Barkandji) and Teela Reid (Wiradjuri and Wailwan), it’s not just about written stories, but podcasts, poetry and conversations for young and old, and embraces the traditions of storytelling, connection to culture and First Nation’s thinking. A brilliant place to be educated on First Nation’s culture by First Nation’s people.
Gorgeous jewellery sustainably made from recycled silver, Bush Magic Metal incorporates designs inspired by traditional dots, circles and symbols as well as the Australian native bush. Artist, Jess (Mununjali and Butchulla) is a self-taught silversmith inspired by both ancient and contemporary traditions.
Ethically sourced and cruelty free, Lowanna is founded on the philosophies and native ingredients that have been used by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years. The clean skincare brand is all about everyday essentials that skip the nasties for plant-based ingredients.
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