Our business model is based on partnership and collaboration. We work in partnership, hand in hand, with ethical organisations that create unique products and have special skills. Our philosophy is inspired by the Indigenous concept of reciprocity: mutual care and responsibility.
The Anangu concept ngapartji ngapartji is instructive here. This idea and practice is variously translated: “in turn, in turn”, or “I give, you give in return”. However, there appears little in the English language that adequately translates “ngapartji ngapartji”.J. Buchanan, L. Collard, D. Palmer
We source fabrics from Indigenous Australian art centres. They have the design and production expertise and local ownership and governance. In Cambodia we found locally owned and staffed social enterprises to work with. They have the skills and the best understanding of the situation and needs of Cambodian people. Therefore we can be sure that all the money we pay for our products to be made goes into the local economy.
- art centre partners in Australia who design and make hand printed fabric
- manufacturing partners in Cambodia who make our products
- fair trade organisations that make products that we also promote – such as Better World Arts
- creative and skilled individuals who make products for us
Art Centre partners
Our ATSI fabrics are sourced from a number of art centres in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. Art centres sell their fabrics direct from the art centre and at events such as DAAF and online. Some also sell through retailers. See lots more information here with links to art centres all over Australia.
We are in close collaboration with two major art centres on special projects to create merchandise from their hand printed fabrics: Ikuntji Artists in Haasts Bluff in Central Australia and Bula’bula Arts in Ramingining in Arnhem Land. Both of these communities are in the Northern Territory of Australia. More exciting projects are in the pipeline.
Cambodia is home to most of our international manufacturing partners. We primarily work with organisations based in Phnom Penh, where our founder used to live when working in the country as an Australian International Volunteer for two years. During that time she met the founder of Kravan House (photo from their workshop above), and the teams at Villageworks and Women For Women. Each of these enterprises trains, employs and/or contracts disabled and disadvantaged artisans living in both urban and rural areas.
Australian production partners
We also work with Australian creatives/makers and are open to expanding our Australian partnerships.
One of our favorite textile artists and colouristas is Australian Sue Catt from Port Lincoln. I have been a patron of hers for years. See her gorgeous (in the true sense of the word) ‘fancy pants’ in our Etsy store and she also has her own Etsy store Colors Australia here.
Everyone needs more ethical hand-made product and to support makers.