by Janelle Sessoms
Indigenous Peoples’ Day may have already happened this year, but supporting minority-owned businesses should be a daily occurrence. I have made it my mission to start shopping from minority-owned brands and businesses. Unfortunately, Indigenous-owned brands are hardly ever included in brand roundups, which is not surprising since Indigenous people are hardly ever included in conversations centered around minorities.
Thankfully, there have been signs that this issue is starting to shift. For too long, there has been a lasting history of white-owned businesses stealing ideas originating from Indigenous people and profiting off of them. Now the Indigenous community is claiming the ideas that rightfully belong to them, and society supports it. People are starting to recognize the importance of Indigenous inclusion and value the creativity and inspiration their culture brings. It’s exciting to see the Indigenous community finally recognized and celebrated rather than dismissed and erased.
As a society, we need to do our part in helping uplift and preserve their culture. To help show your support towards their community, we have compiled a list of Indigenous owned brands to shop:
Founded by Bethany Yellowtail, B.Yellowtail is a brand that is “Indigenously Designed for All.” While Yellowtail sells apparel designed by her, there is also The Collective that includes products designed by other Natives. B.Yellowtail is a brand created to support and share Indigenous designs that can be embraced by the rest of the world.
Lesley Hampton is an Indigenous-owned, size-inclusive brand based in Toronto, Ontario. The brand “aims to decolonize euro-centric standards in the fashion industry” with its body-positive messaging and size-inclusive clothing. Lesley Hampton offers a variety of high fashion clothing, from eveningwear to athluxury items. There’s something for everyone for any occasion.
Founded by Jared Kee Yazzie, OXDX is a fashion label that works “to bring Indigenous stories to the forefront.” It is a one-of-a-kind brand that uses digital art, cut’n’sew apparel and collaborations to bring their products to the masses. The graphics created use the misrepresentation the Indigenous community faces and are revamped into bold and witty art. A personal favorite is their graphic tee that states, “Native Americans Discovered Columbus.” OXDX is an unapologetic Indigenous brand that has products so visually appealing you can’t help but want to shop from them.
Owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe, Eighth Generation is a lifestyle brand that offers a multitude of products. From jewelry to towels to apparel, it’s a one-stop shop for Indigenous-created products. Eighth Generation was also the first Native-owned company ever to produce wool blankets. Each blanket is beautifully designed by different artists that further supports the brands “artist-centric” approach. Everything Eighth Generation offers is unique and beautifully crafted and should absolutely be a brand to shop from.
Founded and operated by a husband and wife duo, “Ginew is the only Native American-owned denim line.” The brand calls itself“Native Americana” to best describe the balance of traditional Native styles created with a modern take. Denim is not something many think of that may be directly associated with Indigenous design, but Ginew proves that traditional Native styles can be incorporated into anything, including denim. Ginew’s high-end products are refined, tasteful, and beautiful.
Indigenous-owned brands are not only limited to apparel and decor. Founded by Ahsaki LaFrance-Chachere, Ah-Shi Beauty is a luxury skincare and cosmetics brand. They strive “to empower and inspire all ages globally by offering quality skin care.” From concealer to eyeliner to foundation, there are products for all people of all shades. So if you’re looking for a quality skincare brand that embraces inclusivity and uplifts culture, then Ah-Shi Beauty is a great brand to go to.