“Is it ok for non-Indigenous people to wear Life Apparel clothing?”
This is a question we are asked all the time. And our response is always a resounding “Absolutely, yes!!” We are happy to be asked these types of questions because it touches on a huge part of why we do what we do.
At Life Apparel we are particularly passionate about generating interest in Indigenous art and culture, providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and starting conversations. Over the years we have had a wide range of people from tour guides and child care workers, to public speakers, sportspeople and actors wearing our apparel to help to start positive conversations.
Why are conversations so important?
Non-Indigenous Australians wearing our clothing shows an appreciation and respect for Indigenous art and culture. But more than this - it provides an opportunity to start conversations. Conversations are about more than just sharing an opinion. They can open people up to new ways of thinking, can provide new and valuable information and can change perspectives dramatically.
There are many people out there who love our designs, yet are reluctant to wear them as they are not sure if it’s ‘appropriate’ for a non-Indigenous person. However, our artists are in fact not just happy for non-Indigenous people to wear their art, they are thrilled! You can see some of their thoughts here.
Why? Because by wearing Indigenous art with pride you are helping to widen and connect communities. You are helping to start the right kinds of conversations and to break through outdated ideologies. You are showing solidarity, and celebrating Australia’s rich Indigenous culture and history, and this can only ever be a good thing.
What is an ally to Indigenous people?
An ally is a non-Indigenous person who stands in solidarity with First Nations peoples. Being a good ally doesn’t take much, but there is often some confusion around what is helpful and what is not. If you have a great appreciation for Indigenous art and culture, then why not take the next step? Getting informed is a great way to make sure that when people do show an interest in your clothing, you know how to respond in a way that is positive and productive.