Keep your health and fitness goals in check while supporting Indigenous-owned brands that help to celebrate Australia’s Indigenous culture, history and stories.
Looking to update your workout wardrobe or stock up on wellness supplies? Well, instead of choosing the same old brands, consider opting for something a little more local by supporting Indigenous-owned labels.
If you’re non-Indigenous, it’s especially important to educate yourself on Australia’s First Nations and put your financial support behind Indigenous communities; a great way to do so is by buying from Indigenous-owned businesses.
Non-Indigenous people may be wondering if it’s appropriate to wear Indigenous designs – doesn’t that count as cultural appropriation? Well, to quote Clothing The Gap, “we can’t speak for everyone, however Clothing The Gap makes clothes with mob in their heart and everyone in their mind”.
“Our clothes are for everyone to enjoy, support and spark conversations. We encourage people who wear our stuff to go deeper and learn the history and cause behind the merch … Aboriginal design is a great opportunity for you to learn more about our culture and history. Yes, by wearing Aboriginal design you are taking a positive step into allyship, but it’s surface level and we need to go deeper and dismantle the system”.
In short, always check that the brand you’re supporting is Indigenous-owned, and if the products are specifically designed for First Nations People. Educate yourself on their story and background, so you can effectively uplift and support Indigenous brands and communities. Remember to appreciate, not appropriate.
Instagram pages like Trading Blak and Blak Business are run by Indigenous Australians and work to promote Indigenous-owned brands and businesses in Australia. Give them a follow to discover even more brands to put your support and money behind.
To get you started, here are few great businesses that should be your first point of call…
Clothing The Gap
Victorian Aboriginal owned fashion label and social enterprise Clothing The Gap aims to unite non-Indigenous and Aboriginal people through fashion and causes. 100 per cent of their profits “actively support Aboriginal health promotion and education programs throughout Victoria”, so you know your money is helping those who need it. Their products range from clothes to accessories, but we think you’ll love their activewear collection – in their words, “As health professionals running a fashion label, we know the importance of staying physically active – it’s important for your mind, body and spirit”.
Through her beautiful designs, Alisha Jayne Geary of Faebella encourages people to recognise and celebrate Indigenous Australians for their rich culture, history and values. As both an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman, she draws upon her own heritage to share love and education through her activewear collections, often collaborating with other Indigenous artists.
Faebella leggings are made in Australia from breathable, moisture-wicking material, and feature UPF 50+ sun protection. You can also check out her bike shorts for warmer months, and totes and towels for every season – and be sure to read up on the stories behind each design.
Wellness isn’t just about exercise! Aboriginal-owned and operated, wellbeing brand Earth Blended utilises alternative healing and storytelling through their essential oil blends, art and more. Founded by Gumbaynggirr Nyami (woman) and Miimi (mother) Jame, the brand’s holistic products draw from traditional bush medicine and generations-old wisdom, and hopes to share these practices with future generations.
100 per cent Aboriginal owned, designed and operated, Garuwa Clothing is based on Gumbaynggirr Country and creates original designs including tees and caps celebrating and promoting Indigenous culture. Their current handmade and locally screen-printed tie dye shirt is also raising money for the Justice for David Dungay Jr fund. As a locally produced small business, they’re constantly updating with limited runs of new designs, so give them a follow to ensure you’re up to date.
Aboriginal owned business Jarin Street supports up-and-coming Indigenous artists, “recognising the misuse of Aboriginal art and the industry’s failure to protect the artists and Aboriginal designs, as well as a failure to highlight the artists themselves”. They ethically support their contributing artists and create striking, storytelling designs for yoga mats, towels and makeup cases.
Working out of Brisbane, Queensland, BW Tribal is completely Indigenous owned and operated, and weaves its Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and South Sea Islander heritage into its brand. Try out their leggings or singlets for your next exercise, or rug up with one of their hoodies or hats on your next run. Their ceramic and travel mugs are also great ways to avoid single-use coffee cups.
Nead’s Super Bowls
Run by First Nations Wiradjuri woman Sinead, Nead’s Super Bowls is a wellness brand centring on health, vegan recipes, lifestyle and advice. You can follow her for very aesthetically pleasing snaps and recipes on Instagram, or support her by purchasing her recipe and lifestyle book Nead’s Blog.