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Fashion that Tells a Story

Fashion that Tells a Story

How a local fashion label is creating opportunities for Indigenous artists

Fashion that Tells a Story

A new not-for-profit fashion label is creating opportunities for remote art centres right across Australia’s Top End.

Magpie Goose is a new fashion social enterprise showcasing beautiful hand screen-printed fabrics, which have been designed and printed in remote Aboriginal communities. The label is run by Katherine resident and former NAAJA lawyer, Maggie McGowan, and is in initial stages of developing a clothing range from the fabrics.

According to their Kickstarter campaign, the label gets its name from a bird native to the Top End of Australia. “The magpie goose sits at the top of the tree eating fermented mangoes and squawking all day; it doesn’t care what anyone thinks,” explains the label. “Like it’s namesake, Magpie Goose is loud, proud and unapologetic.”

An Indigenous woman wearing one of the Magpie Goose creations - Image courtesy of Magpie Goose, Facebook

An Indigenous woman wearing one of the Magpie Goose creations – Image courtesy of Magpie Goose, Facebook

“I’ve always had an interest in those fabrics and thought they should be celebrated more across Australia and around the world,” McGowan told NT News. “There are all these amazing prints being created, but are really quite difficult to access unless you already have a way to get out to these communities.”

For its first range, Magpie Goose is working with four Top End art centres, from Arnhem Land to the Tiwi Islands. The label aims to teach people how to take an idea and turn it into a profitable business, creating jobs and opportunities.

The label’s Kickstarter campaign has been extremely successful, and has already surpassed their goal of $20,000, to a current support total of over $73, 000.

If you want to find out more about the label or support their campaign, see their Facebook and Kickstarter pages.

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