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Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Ltd.

K’Tahni Pridham-Mulholland

(03) 9416 2304





Kinaway’s exciting plans for supercharging Indigenous fashion.

MELBOURNE, VIC – Kinaway Chamber of Commerce announces the release of a Feasibility Study; A Victorian Aboriginal Manufacturing Hub Focusing on Fashion and Textiles by Jeremy Cussen. The study will help guide the commercial development of the First Peoples fashion and textiles businesses in Victoria.

In recent years we have seen the rise of independent Aboriginal designers, apparel-retailers, models, photographers and fashion creatives. From clothing to jewelry, ready-to-wear apparel to high fashion. Aboriginal creatives are establishing themselves as entrepreneurs and innovators within the fashion and textiles industry; proving that they have tapped into a beautiful harmony between culture and couture.

Whilst we are seeing a growing interest in fostering First Peoples creativity and inclusion in the fashion sector, the study outlined the dire need for a central location that artisan designers can use to develop their capabilities for mainstream markets; in turn establishing a new and ‘thriving circular economy.’

Diversity, representation, cultural appropriation, access and inclusion are all issues that people of colour face, but now, there is a global conversation being had, about how creative industries may be perpetuating them. Kinaway commissioned the study to address these same growing issues, in relation to First Nations artists and creatives in the fashion and textile industry.

These challenges will be addressed through the development of a central point for sector engagement, building First Peoples led commercial manufacturing capabilities and amplifying the volume of Aboriginal voice within the industry. We will harness and develop Aboriginal talent and creativity in fashion, by creating opportunities to upskill, and find legitimate, meaningful engagement for Aboriginal people within the fashion and textiles industry which can only eventuate into endless opportunities for practitioners and businesses alike.

Kinaway is now seeking support from industry, government and the education sector to address the issues identified in the study. Support to supercharge First Nations fashion and textiles will create new avenues for capability building and responsible production, which will educate and inspire customers to engage in and ‘consume’ First Nations fashion and textiles in more meaningful, satisfying and sustainable ways.

Now more than ever the Australian Fashion industry is taking notice and beginning to embrace our Country’s oldest artistic and cultural traditions, but the future of what the Indigenous Fashion sector could look like is yet to take on a definitive shape and needs First Peoples voices leading this journey to ensure its harmonious progression for all.

Kinaway aims to be at the forefront of this journey and to assist Aboriginal businesses to engage in positive ways with the sector to improve the creative and economic outcomes for First Peoples in Fashion.

As Indigenous people, we are underrepresented in many sectors of the economy. In particular, the manufacturing sector. With import and exports under the microscope due to COVID 19, there is an appetite from consumers to buy ethically sourced and manufactured products; made in Australia.

– Scott McCartney CEO, Kinaway.


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