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?
No. We currently sell online, and at pop up shops. We do not have any stockists in Katherine or Darwin.
Can I stock Magpie Goose clothing in my shop?
We are not currently wholesaling.
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?
We buy some of our fabric direct from Aboriginal art centres who 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. Most pay a set price per metre printed, or a percentage of the sale of the fabric per metre.
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. Magpie Goose licenses designs from independent artists using an Arts Law (Living In The Black) contract (created specifically for people / organisations wanting to license artwork for screenprinting on fabric) which can be viewed and purchased online. We pay artists an initial license fee; and then a set price per metre of fabric printed.
From May 2018 we are working with VisCopy/Copyright Agency, an independent not-for-profit organisation that represents Australian artists in licensing negotiations. We are assisting all artists that we work with to become members of Copyright Agency, and all commercial arrangements and payments will go through them.
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)