Frequently asked questions
Can I buy the fabric and make my own clothes?
We do not sell fabric by the metre, but many remote Aboriginal art centres do - check out Bábbarra Designs, Injalak Arts, Palngun Wurnangat Aboriginal Corporation, Merrepen Arts, and wholesalers Aboriginal Bush Traders, Nomad Art, Provenance Arts & Publisher Textiles.
Do you have shop or a workshop I can visit?
We currently sell online, and at pop up shops. We do not have any stockists in Katherine or Darwin.
We have just started stocking a limited run of prints and sizes at Design A Space on Brunswick St in Fitzroy (Melbourne).
Can I stock Magpie Goose clothing in my shop?
We are not currently wholesaling; however in 2019 we intend to establish a few retail partnerships in major Australian cities (so please let us know if you are interested).
Can you make me a custom outfit?
As our manufacturers require minimum orders we cannot currently create one off pieces! The textiles make great wedding and party and general outfits though – so if you cant find something that works for you from us, it's definitely worth buying fabric from the art centres that sell online, and getting something made up! Raw Cloth in Darwin sell beautiful one off pieces, as does Albertini Couture (who will also make you something just for you!)
What do you do with the offcuts? Can I have them for quilting?
We have been getting our makers to save offcuts since we started production with them in September 2017 – as the fabric is so valuable, we want to use every last bit of it! We now have in production baby rompers and men’s shirts, which utilise the bigger offcuts, and small zip purses which use up the smaller bits!
How do the artists get paid?
Magpie Goose works with artists and art centres to feature designs through a variety of ways, and as such the way in which artist gets paid differs accordingly:
Purchasing fabric from an Art Centre
Magpie Goose sources some fabric direct from Aboriginal art centres. Some art centres print in community; some outsource the printing to Publisher Textiles in Sydney. In both cases the art centres manage the payments to artists, screenprinters, and other staff. There is no industry standard of how much an artist gets paid for textile production, and each art centre pays artists differently. Some pay a set price per metre printed, while some pay a percentage of the sale of the fabric per metre.
Working with independent artists
Magpie Goose also works with artists that do not have art centres in their community, or who do not have the support of an art centre (e.g. this could be a partnership with a solo artist, a women's centre or a youth organisation). Because there is no industry standard for how much an artist should get paid when their design is screen printed onto fabric, we spoke with a range of art centres and industry experts to inform our understanding, and establish a price that we believe is fair. Our price per metre takes into account the fact that we will print a significant amount of metres (at least 150m of any one design, and often up to 300 or 400m).
We pay artists an initial license fee upon signing the contract; and then a set price per metre of fabric printed. This is all presented to the artist in a contract that has been provided to us by Arts Law. This 'Living In The Black' contract has been created specifically for people / organisations wanting to license artwork for screenprinting onto fabric, and this contract can be viewed and purchased online. We also encourage artists to seek independent advice before signing the licensing agreement.
As we run more textile design workshops with independent artists and community organisations, we plan to work with VisCopy/Copyright Agency, an independent not-for-profit organisation that represents Australian artists in licensing negotiations. Where appropriate, we will assist artists that we work with to become members of Copyright Agency, and all commercial arrangements and payments will go through them.
Licensing designs from an Art Centre
Magpie Goose also licences designs from art centres who do not have screen printing capacity for large print runs. These designs might already exist (but require some modification / digitalisation for large screens), or might be created through a Magpie Goose workshop at the art centre. In this case Magpie Goose will pay the artist the upfront fee, and the set price per metre, but might also pay the Art Centre a set price per metre printed to cover the costs of previously running a workshop to come up with the designs. Or Magpie Goose will pay a total fee to the art centre, and the art centre will determine the payment to the artist. Where Magpie Goose has incurred the costs of the workshop and creating the print ready files the art centre or host organisation will not receive an additional fee.
In some cases where there is an organisation that will create significant social impact, or an emerging art centre that requires additional support, Magpie Goose may decide to contribute an extra set price per metre printed. This is decided on a case by case basis, and presented to the art centre / community organisation before both parties commit to the partnership.
Working towards an industry standard
We think an industry standard for licensing a design to print onto fabric would be helpful so that there is a shared understanding across the sector. We support the development of a fair and transparent industry standard.
Who does the screenprinting?
Art centres that have capacity and facilities to do screenprinting in community usually print their own textiles; though some art centres prefer to get their bigger orders printed by Publisher Textiles in Sydney. When Magpie Goose licenses designs from independent artists, the designs are exposed onto screens and screenprinted by Publisher Textiles.
Why don’t people in remote communities make the clothes?
There’s not a history of mass clothing manufacturing in remote communities (like there is with painting and weaving for example). Some communities are engaged in sewing but often this is small scale bags, accessories and one offs. We do not have capacity to set up a sewing training and production centre in remote NT, though if anyone were ever to show an interest in this and set it up, we would be very keen to be a customer!
How do you create social impact?
You can learn about the ways we create social impact here.
What is the legal structure of Magpie Goose?
Magpie Goose is currently being incubated by Enterprise Learning Projects (ELP), a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Magpie Goose currently sits under ELP, following ELP’s constitution and under the direction of ELP’s board. We are currently investigating different company structures and ways that Magpie Goose might ‘spin out’ from ELP, potentially as a proprietary company (with equitable shares issued to raise growth capital), or as an independent not-for-profit limited by guarantee. Whatever happens, Magpie Goose will continue to remain committed to its social purpose.
What is a social enterprise?
‘Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.
Using the power of the marketplace to solve the most pressing societal problems, social enterprises are commercially viable businesses existing to benefit the public and the community, rather than shareholders and owners.’ (Social Traders)