13 Indigenous Brands To Support This Holiday Season
The holiday season is here and with the year we’ve had, we could all use some holiday cheer. Make that Indigenous holiday cheer!
While November is Native American and Indigenous Heritage Month, it is crucial to give empowerment and show allyship to Native and Indigenous peoples every day. One way this can easily be done is by supporting indigenous brands.
Native Americans in the U.S. and Indigenous people worldwide were one of the groups most tragically and disproportionately affected by COVID-19 at some of the highest rates. At one point, the Navajo Nation had the highest rate of cases in the U.S. surpassing New York City. In the U.S. alone, Native tribes are at risk of being hospitalized from COVID at 5.3 times higher rate compared to white Americans.
Despite COVID-19, poverty, and voter suppression, Native Americans were one of the biggest factors nationwide in electing Biden to the presidency. In Arizona alone, the Navajo Nation was a huge reason Arizona flipped blue (contributing to Biden’s victory) when just 4 years ago, Donald Trump won the state.
In light of all this, Native Americans and Indigenous communities nationwide and from our motherland Latin American countries have continuously been the roots that make us thrive, yet they are still oppressed, marginalized, neglected, and attempted to be erased. Purchasing from a small Indigenous-owned shop recognizes that the lands we occupy are their lands and that their culture, language, heritage, and legacies should forever live on and be placed in the spotlight.
Want to empower Indigenous communities? This holiday season, support Native and Indigenous peoples brands. Many brands are even donating their proceeds to Native people’s projects and funds to help provide Indigenous communities with meals, healthcare resources, and masks. Below are 13 brands you can purchase from and support.
1. Handmade by Friendship Bridge
Friendship Bridge is a nonprofit organization “creating opportunities that empower women in Guatemala to live a better life.” These products are made by Guatemalan Indigenous women in Friendship Bridge’s Artisan Market Access Program. In Guatemala, 59% of the population live in extreme poverty and 60% of Indigenous Guatemalan women are illiterate and do not have proper resources. Friendship Bridge works to provide Guatemalan Indigenous women education, empowerment, solidarity, financial resources, and preventative health services. Proceeds go to helping fund and empower these Indigenous women. Click here to shop at their online store where you’ll find a variety of COVID masks, jewelry, bags, hair accessories, and MORE amazing things these women make.
2. Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC
Pucker up with this sustainable lipstick! How cool is it to have a makeup line dedicated to empowering Indigenous peoples and their beauty?! Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned makeup brand from Canada. Their makeup includes lipsticks and complexion products like contour, blush, and highlighter products. The products are completely cruelty-free and sustainable including their latest lipstick line which just launched in 2020 called Sustain with zero waste goals for 2023. Their beauty products are dedicated to “create a space in the beauty industry where Indigenous youth feel represented and seen,” and their proceeds also go to causes for Indigenous peoples. Up to $56,000 has been donated to projects such as educational resources, the Navajo Water Project, and One Tree Planted. Shop here for all their products.
3. B. YELLOWTAIL
This Native American owned business is dedicated to “storytelling through wearable art.” Founded by designer Bethany Yellowtail, who is from the Crow Nation (Apsáalooke) and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, all designs are made in house. She was educated at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and also founded the B. Yellowtail Collective, a brand initiative that supports Native Americans, First Nations, and Indigenous Peoples. Yellowtail’s work is heavily tied to social justice as she was active in the NO-DAPL protests, the women’s rights movement, and designed silk scarves for women during the Women’s March on Washington. Click through her entire collection here.
4. Mi Mundo Mexicano
Mi Mundo Mexicano is a brand by Lilia who created this platform during the pandemic to feature items from artisans who range from Oaxaca to Guadalajara to Chiapas. Each item, whether a bag, mask, or clothing item, is credited to the artisan who made them. Each purchase includes the artisan’s backstory. While not every artisan is Indigenous, many of these sellers and creators hail from different Indigenous groups throughout Mexico who have been especially hit hard during this pandemic. Since many Indigenous communities throughout Mexico have been suffering from the lack of PPE, health resources, financial resources, and meals, this platform is for the purpose of uplifting these artists to support their craft and families during COVID-19. Support them now by shopping here.
5. Orenda Tribe
Orenda Tribe was started by Amy, daughter of a full-blooded Navajo who created this clothing line of a small team of Native artists and their apparel store is totally FIERCE. Orenda Tribe clothing is built on the tenets of protecting Native sacred lands, honoring indigeneity, creating sustainable clothes, and helping others. The sustainable design process includes handmade, restored, and repurposed upcycling of vintage textiles.
In response to the pandemic, Orenda Tribe also founded Dził Asdzáán (Mountain Woman) Command Center where Diné matriarchs have been providing PPE, meals, and sanitization resources to their Diné tribe. Orenda Tribe and continues to host the SPREAD LOVE + SHINE LIGHT auction where 100% of the proceeds go to funding the command center. Show your support to this business by shopping here.
6. Dunaxhii by Alma Zapoteca
Zapotec women from Oaxaca, Mexico make these gorgeous earrings amongst other jewelry, textiles, clothes, bags and wallets. Follow them on Instagram @la_dunaxhii to place your orders and for more info.
7. Carmen Creations
We cannot get enough of how beautiful this jewelry is. Indigenous founder and jewelry maker Carmen De Novais is a longtime experienced jewelry designer who got her start in northeastern Brazil. Plus, only 92.5 Stirling Silver findings are used in her art and earring wires and bracelets clasps are made in hypoallergenic silver for those of us who are sensitive to jewelry. Take a look at her shop here.
8. Ilnamiqui Jewelry by Tecciz
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but what about earthly gems with an Indigenous touch? Follow Tecciz on Instagram @ilnamiqui where you can browse through all her handmade jewelry and earthy stones. All items are available for purchase on Etsy.
9. The NTVS
Established in 2014, The NTVS is a Native-owned company that sells a variety of clothing from t-shirts, tanks, hoodies, snapbacks, and prints that support and amplify Indigenous culture/art. There are also kids sizes for the little ones. You won’t want to miss out on their biggest release of the year coming this November 27th, so prepare early by clicking here.
10. Eighth Generation
If you’re struggling with the change of season, you know it’s only about to get much colder. These blankets are perfect to snuggle with this holiday season. Eighth Generation is a Seattle-based art and lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. They partner with Native American artists to create gorgeous wool blankets for anyone to enjoy. Ultimately, this business seeks to reclaim control over authentic products made by Natives rather than “Native-inspired” products and cultural appropriation. Eighth Generation also partners with the Inspired Natives Project which is an educational and entrepreneurial initiative to amplify Native artist products and “the stories that go with them.” Snuggle up, support, and shop here.
11. Urban Native Era
Los Angeles-based Urban Native Era creates sustainable clothing and media content for the purposes of increasing visibility in Indigenous peoples. Urban Native Era actually began in San Francisco birthed by Indigenous Peoples Social Movements in 2012. Their platform not only sells clothes but also creates content dedicated to educating the general public on Native culture, history, influencers, and social awareness. Part of their content also includes a podcast hosted by Creative Director Hud Oberly. You can find their famous “You Are On Native Land Shirt” and “I voted on Native Land” sticker, amongst other items in their shop here.
12. Tatéi Haramaratsie
This brand includes handmade items representing the Wixarika Indigenous peoples which come from the Mexican states of Nayarit, Durango, Jalisco, and Zacatecas. They have a variety of items you can browse through here.
13. OXDX Clothing
This Diné-owned clothing label is based out of Tempe, Arizona and dedicated not just to selling Native-made clothing but also using their brand to represent Indigenous existence, rebuke erasure, and create healing connection amongst community. “OXDX” is an abbreviation used for the word overdoes which creator and founder Jared Yazzie describes is the “state of the modern society.” Rather, Yazzie wants OXDX’s work to unplug, step back, and remember the roots where Natives came from. Shop through all their apparel here.
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