Indigenous businesses in Australia are producing incredible products.
High quality. Superb craft. Inspiring design.
The connection of First Nations people to place, to community and to Country flows through their brands. From independent small business owners to non-profit enterprises, these businesses are showcasing what it means to work on the land and with materials from the land, with respect, care and appreciation.
Here are 21 Indigenous brands you should know. Featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses, and a few noteworthy non-indigenous, non-profit organisations and social enterprises run to benefit Indigenous artists.
Click each business name to visit their website, and please share this list generously amongst your friends, family and colleagues.
Good Life Marketing acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Indigenous Businesses in Australia
Ngarru Miimi is a slow ethical fashion label handprinted, designed and constructed on unceded Wiradjuri country by Lillardia Briggs-Houston – a Wiradjuri Yorta Yorta Gangulu sister, mother and granddaughter. Each artwork is hand carved into blocks for small hand printing and then transferred to screens for larger yardage using natural fibres from reputable sources and water based inks.
A social enterprise that works with Australian Indigenous artists to create curated fabrics and wallpapers for residential and commercial interiors. Willie Weston works with indigenous artists across remote Australia and pays artists for each metre produced. Polyester, 100% linen or cotton/linen blends are available for upholstery and soft furnishings. The design pictured is Mud Ripples, by artist Elizabeth Kandabuma.
Julie Shaw is a proud Yuwaalaraay woman from Lightning Ridge outback NSW, now living and working in Sydney Australia. She founded luxury brand MAARA Collective to fulfill her dream of collaborating with Indigenous artists, designers and entrepreneurs. MAARA Collective works closely with Indigenous artists and creatives, drawing inspiration from Country and giving back proceeds with every purchase through the Buy1Give1 initiative.
Lydia Baker is a proud Indigenous woman, wife and mother from Bundjalung Country, the northern coastal area of NSW, Australia. A self-taught silversmith, Lydia creates artisan jewellery under her label Bush Magic Metal. Her jewellery is made from recycled sterling silver and opals, all sourced in Australia. A great example of one of the smaller Indigenous businesses in Australia run by just one woman.
Ngali is an Indigenous business, run by Wiradjuri woman Denni Francisco. The process of Ngali’s work operates through the lens of Yindayamarra – fashion that shows respect, is polite, considered, gentle to Country and shows honour to the cross country collaborations with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives. Ngali gives back through the Buy1Give1 initiative and artist royalties. The Yaku Sheath Dress pictured was adapted from the artwork of Gija man Lindsay Malay.
Bush Medijina was created by Warningakalina women to support their local communities. Using recipes passed down by their mothers, aunties and grandmothers, the women hand-make Bush Medijina products, harvesting local bush produce and combining it with natural and sustainable ingredients sourced from reputable suppliers across Australia. The range includes soaps, balms, hair products, scrubs and body butters.
Co-founders Maggie and Laura are two non-Indigenous women committed to creating a better Australia through their collaborative clothing label. Magpie Goose creates an equitable and respectful platform for Aboriginal people to tell their stories using textile design. The brand license designs by independent Aboriginal artists and art centres, paying artist royalties for each metre of fabric printed.
Amanda Healy is from the Wonnarua nation – traditional owners of the Hunter Valley in NSW. In 2014, she developed the label Kirrikin – a social enterprise sharing profits with the artists – to address shortage of authentic Indigenous products. Kirrikin digitally prints Aboriginal artwork onto luxurious fabrics and gives back to the community through programs, support and donations.
Manapan has its home 500kms east of Darwin in Arnhem Land on Milingimbi Island, one of six islands that form an archipelago known as the Crocodile Island Group. Manapan is a self-sufficient and self-funded enterprise owned and operated by the Yolngu people. The concepts for their exquisite pieces come from some of the most respected furniture designers in Australia. Through a collaborative process, Australian furniture designers work with the local Yolngu people to merge modern designs with the traditional thoughts and beliefs of the Arnhem Land region.
Red Ridge the Label is an initiative by Red Ridge Interior Queensland, a non-profit arts organisation that promotes the social and economic development of the Aboriginal communities of remote western Queensland through expression and preservation of their arts and culture. The debut collection, Diamantina, highlights artwork from Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi women Aulpunda ‘Jean’ Barr-Crombie and Anpanuwa ‘Joyce’ Crombie from Birdsville, Queensland.
Delvene Cockatoo-Collins is a Quandamooka woman and artist who lives and works on Minjerribah – North Stradbroke Island, operating her business ‘Minjerribah Art Studio and Cottage’. Her products include prints, clothing, stationery, and hand printed tea towels, cushions and homewares. This is one of my favourite small Indigenous businesses in Australia.
NORTH is a non-for-profit charity, governed by Indigenous & non-Indigenous board members. The organisation works with remote community art centres to develop beautiful, high-quality products featuring fabric designed by remote Indigenous artists. NORTH’s collection weaves together the stories and talents of Indigenous artists across the Northern Territory. The organisation is a member of the Indigenous Art Code of ethics – ensuring that transactions of art and money are conducted in a way that empowers artists.
NOOD Australia supplies a natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly range of washroom and cleaning products. Managing Director Anthony Wilson is a proud Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna man with family ties to the Narungga and Arrente country. He formed NOOD Australia together with his business partners and mentors Bronte & Nicole Hough. The label is currently available to hotels and guest accommodation businesses, with a retail range just launched in their online shop.
Amber Days is a Melbourne based ethical children’s wear label inspired by the Australian bush, desert and sea. Corina, the founder, is an Aboriginal mother, nature protector, artist, designer and campaigner. Amber Days collaborates with different Aboriginal artists to produce original, dreamy, fabrics. All garments are handmade in Melbourne using GOTS certified organic fabrics or high quality natural fibres.
Gillawarra Arts is a creative arts business originating from the mid north coast of NSW. Krystal Hurst is a Worimi woman and artist who designs handmade jewellery that expresses her connection to saltwater Country and all its beauty. All jewellery is made with products sourced from Australian suppliers and native materials sourced with respect and care.
Saretta Fielding is an Aboriginal Women of the Wonnarua Nation, born in Sydney, Australia. Saretta has a strong sense of belonging to the Hunter Valley, and considers the region to be her home. Her business, launched in 2010, offers clothing and accessories, prints, rugs, cushions and homewares. Pictured above is her Kamari Northwards kaftan.
Tjanpi Desert Weavers is a social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council, working with women in the remote Central and Western desert regions who earn an income from contemporary fibre art. Tjanpi artists use native grasses to make spectacular contemporary fibre art, weaving beautiful baskets and sculptures and displaying endless creativity and inventiveness.
EMRO Designs was founded in 2019 by proud Bundjalung woman, Emma Rolls. The brand offers rugs, cushions and outdoor mats featuring designs from indigenous artists. Profit from each item sold goes directly back to artists like Holly Sanders, whose artwork features on the cushion pictured above.
One of Twelve is an Australian organisation that showcases the work of emerging and established artists from the Asia Pacific region. One of Twelve works directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art centres, and every artist that collaborates receives royalties from the sales. The label offers high quality, silk scarves and ties that depict collaborating artists work.
Rachael Sarra is an artist and designer whose work is an extension of her being and experiences. As a contemporary Aboriginal artist from Goreng Goreng Country, Rachael uses art as a powerful tool in storytelling to educate and share Aboriginal culture and it’s evolution. The Sar.ra brand includes prints, stationery, accessories and gift wrapping paper like the design featured above, entitled Patience.
Anindilyakwa Arts is a thriving hub of creativity located on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory. It is run by the Anindilyakwa Land Council and supports over 100 local Australian Indigenous artists to promote and sell their artwork. Using traditional techniques, the artists produce bush-dyed clothing and accessories, woven baskets, seed & shell jewellery and carvings.
There are many more Indigenous businesses in Australia. I hope this list will give you a good place to start.
Support these brands with gift purchases and treat yo’self purchases. Many have easy online buying options and flat-rate delivery charges.
Now, you may notice that some of these small businesses lack the branding aesthetics of bigger, more established brands. Which is why it’s even more important to help raise awareness for these small businesses by sharing them across your social networks – Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, whatever resonates with you.
We have some exceptionally talented makers, designers, craftspeople and artists running Indigenous businesses in Australia. Please help them get the recognition they deserve.
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