These four beauty brands are using centuries-old Indigenous ingredients in their skin, hair and body products. Many give back to communities from around Australia.
We all love online shopping, but online shopping is made all the better when you are supporting small businesses – with said retail therapy made all the sweeter when you spend with these incredible First Nations designers and businesses, many of whom are based in Warrang (Sydney) and other communities throughout New South Wales.
Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.
Meet the First Nations fashion designers rising to the top of their game.
Owned by a Wiradjuri woman, this brand is your port of call for activewear, yoga mats, towels and fitness accessories with gorgeous Aboriginal designs. All designs are created by Aboriginal artists, and both the artists and their communities are continually supported.
If you’re in the market for bold, playful, statement-making jewellery, Haus of Dizzy is the one to watch. With Wiradjuri woman Kristy Dickinson at the helm, the designs celebrate and honour Indigenous culture, and oftentimes feature powerful political and social messages.
Created by Wiradjuri woman Denni Francisco, this silk-printed fashion brand is all about simple, formless silhouettes splashed with the colours and dynamism of artworks by First Nations artists. As part of the Buy 1 Give 1 Business for Good initiative, each purchase of a garment goes towards giving access to education, IT and literacy skills for youth in remote Aboriginal communities.
This streetwear label was born from a love of typography, language and Blak pride and founded by Tahnee Edwards, a descendant of the Yorta Yorta, Taungurung, Boonwurrung and Mutti Mutti nations. Gammin Threads uses bold splashes of colour and oft-memed images and phrases particular to Aboriginal culture, such as the ubiquity of Keen’s Curry Powder in kitchens and a propensity for skinny ankles, for example.
Lore is a project from Wakka Wakka, Gurang Gurang and Butchulla textile artist and fashion designer Shannon Brett. The label focuses on bright, punchy pop-art prints on cotton dresses, skirts and tops. Violet watercolour smudges bloom on black pants, fruit-like prints dot yellow dresses, and movement and wearability are key.
Founded by Sharon Winsor, a Ngemba Weilwan woman of western NSW who worked her way up the ranks of the Sydney hospitality scene as a chef, Indigiearth is a showcase of Australian native food and beauty products. Peruse the website for bushfoods, native loose leaf teas, essential oil blends, soy candles and beauty products. If you’re planning a getaway in Mudgee, Sharon’s Warakirri Dining Experience is an incredible meeting of native ingredients, fine dining and culture.
Yabun is a long-running Survival Day gathering in Camperdown that provides a space for people to share in the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people every year. Outside of the festival, you can support Yabun’s cultural work by buying merch including hoodies, T-shirts and posters emblazoned with vivid designs.
Sydney’s Blak Markets creates a space to browse stalls spruiking a range of locally made arts, crafts and food from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stallholders – from native plants to award-winning jewellery, silk scarves, and ethically sourced bush foods, there’s an eclectic mix to peruse. Outside of events, you can browse collections and shop on the website.
The National Indigenous Art Fair was sadly postponed for 2021 due to public health concerns, but you can still purchase gorgeous authentic works from all the art centres that would have congregated at the Rocks on their websites. The Art Fair has pulled them all together here.
For more fantastic First Nations businesses check out Trading Blak, a platform that bands together Aboriginal business owners from across the country and promotes transparency and ethical practices. Trading Blak also labels where products are “ally friendly”, which can be helpful if you’re unsure about a purchase.
Supply Nation is Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous businesses. If your workplace is after catering, stationery, office supplies or even services like facilities management or education and training, you can direct them here to keep up the corporate social responsibility.