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 Ikuntji Artists, Bábbarra Designs, Injalak Arts, Merrepen Arts, and wholesalers Aboriginal Bush Traders, Provenance Arts & Publisher Textiles.
Do you have shop or a workshop I can visit?
We currently sell online, and at pop up shops.
We have just started stocking a limited run of prints and sizes at Open House West End in Brisbane; Lulu and Daw in Darwin; and Yardsale Trading Co in Newcastle!
Can I stock Magpie Goose clothing in my shop?
Yes! We have started partnering with some fabulous boutiques around Australia, so get in touch to hear about how you can become a partner - firstname.lastname@example.org
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 each commercial licensing agreement is specific to the situation, artist and art centre/support organisation:
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 work closely with Copyright Agency/Viscopy, Australia's peak licensing body for visual artists who help us come up with fair licensing payments, create agreements and manage payments.
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.
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 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)