8 Native American-Owned Fashion Businesses to Support
According to World Population Review, there are 6.79 million Native Americans in the United States and 574 federally recognized Native American tribes.
Native Americans were the original inhabitants of the U.S. We all live on Native land that belonged to different tribes, and each tribe has a unique history and culture. Despite their profound connection to this land and significance in our society, Native Americans have historically suffered many hardships inflicted by colonizers that still last to this day.
Incredible Native American activists raise awareness about Native American rights, but this country must address many issues to make progress. One way that you can make a difference is by supporting Native American-owned brands. By shopping at Native American owned businesses, you are supporting Native American individuals and communities. You are also engaging with their culture and learning about their rich history. Here are eight incredible Native American apparel and accessory businesses to support today.
Jessica R. Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) launched Beyond Buckskin Boutique in 2009 to uplift Native American fashion and jewelry designers. This boutique encompasses 40 small businesses that belong to Native American and First Nations peoples. They sell various incredible products from women's apparel, beadwork, moccasins, jewelry and bags.
(via Beyond Buckskin)
b.YellowTail is a Native American business founded by Bethany Yellowtail, a Northern Cheyenne Nation member. Not only does Bethany sell her apparel, but she also started The B.YellowTail Collective. The Collective is made of Native American artists that create jewelry and other handmade goods. The collective gives Native American creatives a platform to promote and sell their products. You can find a variety of beautifully made products on b.YellowTail including jewelry, clothing, moccasins, face masks and accessories.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Eighth Generation was founded by artist and activist Louie Gong (Nooksack), and the Snoqualmie Tribe now owns it. They produce authentic Native-designed products as an alternative to appropriated Native American artwork and products. They created an initiative called Inspired Native Project, which promotes Native American artists and addresses the social justice side of stolen Native American work. They sell jewelry, apparel, scarves, socks, bags and more!
(via Eighth Generation)
Amy Yeung, the founder of the Orenda Tribe, is committed to helping Indigenous creators and sustainable design. She was able to incorporate both aspects when she created the Orenda Tribe, a collective of Indigenous artists who create phenomenal clothing and jewelry from upcycled material. They are deeply committed to sharing their artwork while also helping their communities. Their recent initiative, Children of the Nááts'íilid Project, aims to offer assistance to Diné youth and support to Dinétah during the pandemic.
(via Orenda Tribe)
Husband and wife team, Erik and America, founded the first Native American-owned denim line called Ginew. Their products are inspired and deeply connected to their Ojibwe, Oneida and Mohican heritage. Ginew produces fashionable and quality jeans, bandanas, jackets, vests, coats, accessories, shirts and jewelry.
Urban Native Era is a Native American-owned business that is based in Los Angeles. CEO and Founder, Joey Montoya (Lipan Apache), was inspired to start UNE after the Indigenous-led social movements in 2012. They use sustainable practices and foster a community that allows Indigenous people to create fashionable clothing. They sell men and women's clothes, jewelry and accessories. Check out their Hummingbird Collection, which is a beautiful homage to the Ohlone creation story.
(via Urban Native Era)
Trickster Company is a family run business started by siblings, Rico and Crystal Rol, that celebrates Northwest Coast culture. They aim to create wearable artwork that will make Indigenous people proud of their heritage and inspire non-Native American people to appreciate and engage with their culture. They produce athletic wear, clothing, accessories and jewelry. They also sell sporting goods, stationery, stickers, books and wrapping paper. Check out their leggings because you won't find these beautiful patterns anywhere else!
(via Tricker Company)
Maggies Thompson (Fond du Lac Ojibwe) is a curator of contemporary Native art and runs a knitwear business called Makwa Studio. Maggie handlooms all her products on a knitting machine. She knits scarves, feather-hoodies, beanies, tunics and tops. You'll instantly fall in love with the knitted, unique and bold patterns.
Supporting Indigenous businesses is a great way to be a better ally, but there are more steps you can take. Check out five ways to be a better ally to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).