Fashion has long been a vehicle for activism – think Vivienne Westwood in her 70s statement tees, protesters in their Black Lives Matter shirts and suffragettes burning or simply going without their bras.
In this episode of The Quick Unpick, I talk to Sarah Sheridan – the Director of Operations at Clothing the Gap – a Victorian Aboriginal owned and led social enterprise fashion label managed by health professionals. The brand says it produces merch that celebrates Aboriginal people and culture – with the aim to encourage all people to wear their values on their tee.
It might sound familiar to you. Clothing The Gap is actually a play on the words "Closing the Gap", an Australian Government health initiative to help close the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal people and non-Indigenous Australians. Clothing The Gap unites non-Indigenous and Aboriginal people through fashion and causes, one of which is to help Close the Gap.
Recently, Clothing the Gap became the first known Aboriginal-owned business to have its Australian manufacturing accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. At the time of recording this, about 20% of the brand’s streetwear is ethically made in Australia, with the business also working on a future workwear line to be made 100% in Australia and accredited by ECA.