Can I wear this? Making it easier for you and us :)

Can I wear this? Making it easier for you and us :)

Sometimes it can be confusing navigating the space between allyship and appropriation and we get this question all the time at Clothing The Gap.

The DMs usually go something like this...

"Hi there, I'm a non-Indigenous person and I really love your products. I want to support Aboriginal people and causes but, don't want to offend anyone or for it to be seen as cultural appropriation. Just wanted to double check before I buy something that it's okay I wear your Aboriginal designs and merch?" 

To help navigate this conversation and to stop us repeating ourselves we have made it easier for our supporters and created some Ally Friendly and Mob Only symbols to guide your purchases. These symbols are located in all product descriptions on our website. Read more about what these symbols mean:

Ally Friendly Clothing The GapAlly Friendly merch is created with our mob in our heart and everyone in mind.

Ally friendly merch is for everyone. 

When we see non-Indigenous people wearing our designs, we feel proud that they are repping our merch and culture.

When we see Aboriginal designs in the world, it means Indigenous people are not invisible in the landscape. 

Our tees are conversation starters, for example, we have our ‘Free The Flag’ and 'Not The Date To Celebrate' tee. The more tees like this in the world that spark important conversations in different spaces, the better. As an ally and supporter you might find yourself in spaces that the Aboriginal Community may not. This means that you are carrying these conversations and influencing places and people with these messages. 

We wear our values on our tees and we are proud that there are other people who share the same values as us. There are so many non-Indigenous allies that truly and genuinely want to make our country better for First Nations peoples.

But, purchasing from Aboriginal brands, businesses and wearing Indigenous designs alone is surface-level allyship. There needs to be more commitment than just buying from Aboriginal brands and businesses.

Wearing Aboriginal design is not dismantling a system that oppresses Indigenous people. Allies need to do more and learn more. Wearing our tees is a great starting point. We have equipped you with our merch and some of the educational content to go with them. We want you to go out in the world, have these important conversations and find ways to do more and support more. 

Learn more

We also like the term and definition of  'accomplice'  which takes ally-ship one step further. We encourage you to read this article Where do you fit? Tokenistic, ally – or accompliceby Summer May Finlay (Yorta Yorta). 

Clothing The Gap Mob Only

Mob Only merch is designed solely Indigenous peoples to wear.

At Clothing The Gap we create merch that is just for First Nations people. When we do, we will clearly state this in the product description. For example, the ‘Shades of Deadly’, ‘Deadly’ or ‘Black Magic’ slogans are made for mob and mob only. If you don’t understand the use of the lingo (language) on the tee… then it’s probably not for you.

 

Aboriginal Owned Fashion labels

These Ally Friendly and Mob Only digital assets are for you too. If you think these symbols would be useful for your Blak business, then you can download them here. Feel free to include a link to this blog too. 

Mob Only PNG     

Ally Friendly PNG

Mob Only and Ally Friendly PDF

 

Want to read more:


4 comments


  • Patrick Maiden

    Great blog post – I loved the reference to surface-level not being enough. And a handy guide for us ‘whitefellas’ to purchase gear with more confidence.


  • karen fogarty

    You guys are doing such a great job – Bravo!


  • Kelly Hobson

    This is great, thank you. I bought a Free the Flag tee after having a conversation with an Aboriginal colleague. It’s been a great conversation starter and I want to openly share that I am an ally.
    Thanks for your guidance.


  • Stevie-Lee King

    Are you guys doing the always was, always will be jumpers again?


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