Our Mission


Our mission is to help create the best version of Australia.

 

We believe this will be achieved through a deeper connection with Aboriginal people and culture.

 

Magpie Goose is a platform that fosters the celebration of Aboriginal culture, people and stories through the medium of fashion.

 

We develop clothing collections that showcase unique stories from Aboriginal people across Australia.

 

We are curators: with each clothing collection we partner with Aboriginal artists and art centres to present an 'exhibition’ of stories. Each collection introduces you to new people, places and realities.

 

Magpie Goose represents an ongoing exhibition of sorts. Using the medium of accessible clothing, we work to grow the audience for these stories.

 

We invite you to come and learn and celebrate with us.



 

We want to live in a country that honours and celebrates our First Peoples.

 

A country that acknowledges that:

 

  • We are all on Aboriginal land.
  •  
  • There are many different Aboriginal languages and cultures.
  •  
  • The experiences of invasion and colonisation have been diverse and we haven’t heard nearly enough of these stories.
  •  
  • While colonisation has had a devastating impact, Aboriginal people and culture remain strong. People want to share their culture.
  •  
  • We can all benefit from a deeper understanding of our history and a connection with Aboriginal culture.

How we work



  • - We partner with independent Aboriginal artists + Aboriginal art centres to develop textile designs suitable for yardage printing
  •  
  • - For each collection we license designs through Arts Law and Copyright Agency - we pay artists a royalty for each metre we print
  •  
  • - These designs are screenprinted onto fabric at Publisher Textiles in Sydney
  •  
  • - The screenprinted fabric is sent to our ethical clothing manufacturers, also in Sydney, where a team of talented workers sew the clothing
  •  
  • - We return to the community to shoot the collection; and engage Aboriginal models wherever possible
  •  
  • - We sell clothing to our customers online and at popups around Australia. With each piece, we share the story of the artist, artwork and community
  • We aim to create impact in every part of the business.
  •  
  • To date we have:
  •  
  • - licensed designs from 71 artists, generating over $345,000 in royalty payments
  •  
  • - engaged 32 screen printers in communities
  •  
  • - worked with 56 Aboriginal models
  •  
  • - engaged 10 extra support workers while we are in communities - as interpreters, drivers, chief model wrangler etc.
  •  
  • - helped facilitate 17 opportunities for artists that have followed on from a Magpie Goose collaboration - e.g. being feature artist for Finders Keepers market, running weaving workshops at Woodford, enterprise exposure trips to Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, etc.  
  •  
  • - delivered a product development / earring workshop to 57 artists, generating $3000 for artists
  •  
  • Read more about our social impact here.
  •  
  • Magpie Goose is a collective effort - learn more about our partners and collaborators here.

Sustainability


On the path to zero waste

All our garment offcuts are repurporsed into baby rompers (by our manufacturers in Sydney). The smaller offcuts left over are crafted into a range of unique accessories (dogkerchiefs, scrunchies, bumbags, baby bibs) by refugees, asylum seekers + recently arrived migrants at Second Stitch in Melbourne.

 

A commitment to environmentally friendly + biodegradable materials

All our fabrics are linen and cotton - natural fibres that biodegrade back into the earth once their practical use has come to an end!

 

No plastic packaging

We require that our manufacturers send us our items in cardboard, unlike the majority of the fashion industry that wraps each item in single use plastic.

 

Our orders are posted out in home-compostable post bags, and all marketing material is printed on recyclable card.

 

Made to last

Unlike fast fashion labels - Magpie Goose items are made by hand, out of quality materials. Magpie Goose products are made to last.


Founders + founding story


Hi - we are Maggie and Laura - Magpie Goose co-founders (pictured here with friend and artist Margaret Duncan, and below with artist, friend + model Samara Billy and her daughter Letty-Boo).

 

We are two non-Indigenous women committed to creating a better Australia.

 

We’re currently doing this by operating a clothing label that creates a platform for Aboriginal people to tell their stories using the medium of textile design. We believe the world will be richer as a result of being introduced to these diverse Aboriginal storytellers, and by having a chance to celebrate them by wearing their clothing.

 

Our collaborations are equitable and respectful - we work with artists and storytellers who want to see wearable art created with their designs.

 

 

 

 

The reality of what most people in remote communities face is very bleak - limited job opportunities, and a punitive work for the dole regime. We both believe collaborative social enterprise is a more humane and empowering alternative to the current situation faced by the majority of Aboriginal people living in remote Australia.

 

Magpie Goose is us saying “we can and must do better.”

 

Previously, Laura founded and ran Enterprise Learning Projects, an organisation dedicated to partnering with remote Aboriginal communities who seek support to share their culture through creative enterprise. Maggie was working as a welfare rights lawyer with North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA), advocating for people in remote public housing, and who were suffering under the work for the dole scheme that exists in remote Australia.

 


 

 

HOW MAGPIE GOOSE CAME TO BE

 

We grew up - like many Australians - without an understanding of whose land we were on. We had very limited connection with Aboriginal culture. As adults, we worked to seek out Aboriginal people, culture and stories - and when we did we felt outraged and sad that we had been deprived of this knowledge and friendship for so long.

 

Magpie Goose evolved out of our shared commitment to work for economic and social justice in remote Australia. Our work started in different ways - Laura used her entrepreneurial flair to support Aboriginal communities who wanted to engage in creative enterprise. She founded Enterprise Learning Projects (ELP) in 2010. Maggie started out working as a welfare rights lawyer with NAAJA, in Darwin, Katherine and remote Top End communities.

 

In April 2016 Laura asked Maggie what she would be doing if she wasn’t working as a lawyer with NAAJA. Maggie said she’d love to do something with the incredible textiles being produced by remote community art centres - "they should be everywhere!". She had a vision for a business that would share them with the world as wearable art AND create much needed economic opportunities for Aboriginal people living remotely. Laura could see the potential for vast impact to be created - she was already working with numerous communities who didn’t have art centres and were searching for ways to share their culture and stories.

 

Magpie Goose, as it was named that night, would act as a platform: to create opportunities for people to generate income from telling their stories and sharing their culture. It would produce clothing that would enable people from all over the world to connect with and learn about Aboriginal stories and culture.

 

From there, we went on a wild journey to create a clothing label!