Whether you’ve been following Clothing The Gaps’ journey since the start or you’ve just arrived (welcome!) you’ve probably heard us mention ‘merch with meaning’ or ‘merch with a message’ and it’s for good reason.
Clothing The Gaps pieces are more than just garments hanging on a rack or on-trend streetwear pieces you might consider essential. Our pieces have a far greater meaning, with far-reaching community impact - our pieces are designed to make change.
Clothing The Gaps is about creating political fashion pieces and Aboriginal clothing designed to spark conversations - from in-store customers to the online community, Clothing The Gaps is an Aboriginal-owned business, and has grown into a platform to educate, advocate and elevate voices.
Our Aboriginal designed clothing is a prime example of fashion and advocacy combining forces to make authentic change. This year alone, Clothing The Gaps designs have made statements on the runways of Australian Fashion Week, and made headlines nationwide for our Free The Flag campaign, which resulted in the Aboriginal Flag, an iconic symbol of Aboriginal Australia becoming available for public use after its designer, Luritja man Harold Thomas, agreed to transfer its copyright to the Commonwealth following long negotiations. You can read more about that here.
In case you needed further convincing, here are 2 key reasons we want you to shop merch with meaning:
1: You form part of important change:
It can be hard to prompt conversations with some family members, loved ones or colleagues about the history of this country, the land on which you’re living and working - merch with a message is the perfect way to spark integral conversations and take a moment to teach or be taught. To re-think what you know or understand or to simply engage in constructive conversations about Aboriginal Culture and Community.
By sparking conversations and wearing Aboriginal designed clothing, encouraging meaningful workplace change and every bit of advocacy in between, you become part of the change and conversations about causes or issues affecting First Nations people.
Our work also includes advocacy and education campaigns such as ‘Shades of Deadly,’ ‘Free(d) The Flag’ and ‘Waking Up Woiwurrung,’ which challenge stereotypes, celebrate our identities and educate the wider community about the languages and diversity of First Nations people, as well as the ongoing impacts of racism and inequity that we face.
“Our pieces aim to take people on a journey of learning, unlearning and deepening their understanding and responsibility of what it means to live on sovereign unceded land.” - Clothing The Gaps for Fashion Journal, 2022.
2: Remember, profit-for-purpose:
This is one of the best bits! You’re helping fund our programs as part of the Clothing The Gaps Foundation. The Clothing The Gaps Foundation is an independent Aboriginal-led not for profit run by Public Health practitioners. We exist to get Aboriginal people and Communities moving so that years are added to Aboriginal people’s lives.
Why do we do this? Currently the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous people in Australia is still too large.
We believe in self-determination in health because Aboriginal Community knows Aboriginal Community issues, opportunities and challenges best.
How do we do this? We aim to increase Aboriginal physical activity participation in Clothing The Gaps fun runs by supporting Aboriginal Organisations and groups to use the event to run their own Community initiatives and get moving in their own way.
You can read more about how Spark Health turned into Clothing The Gaps + The Clothing The Gaps Foundation here.
You can start by browsing (and shopping) some of our favourite cold weather essentials: