Indigenous Food Systems And Land Justice

Indigenous Food Systems And Land Justice

Stephanie Steele Tuesday, 1 June 2021

As all of our fibres come from the land - whether natural or synthetic - it is integral to understand and acknowledge the remarkable value within every single thread woven or knitted into the clothing we wear. Fibre systems are tied within food systems, and as a designer and business owner, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on where your materials come from, who produced them for you, and whether there is disparity in the basic human rights of those involved.

There are major discrepancies in the land rights of indigenous peoples who fight against big corporations for what is rightfully their common property, and inequalities in land access across the world due to race, gender and caste. Wherever you look within your supply chain - even if you only operate digitally - there is a requirement of land to allow business to run, for products to be made, for people to survive.

So what do you as an entrepreneur need to know in order to ensure you are supporting land justice, and therefore ensuring a future for incoming generations? Where do you look to educate yourself on seemingly new terminologies like "environmental justice", "intersectional environmentalism", "biodiversity", and "indigenous food systems"? In this lesson, we pull together resources that will get you started on understanding this topic and how it relates to fashion and textiles.

Thumbnail image: iStock

In this lesson you will learn:

  • What land justice is
  • What an indigeous food system looks like
  • Why a fashion business should care about food justice
  • How environmentalism and social equity intersect
  • How to educate yourself for systems change
  • Why you should implement permaculture strategies into your creative business

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Next Lesson

  • Working Respectfully With Indigenous Artisans

    with Maud Lerayer

    Founder of New York-based ethical homewares brand Behind The Hill, Maud Lerayer, joined us to impart wisdom from her experience working with indigenous communities in Guatemala and Mexico who produce the colour-grown cotton that the designer uses for her products.

    Understanding your responsibility as a designer to respect those along your supply chain, and appreciating your role in being collaborative rather than extractive, are both imperative tools to equip yourself with no matter what your product. When working with any artisan (indigenous or not), it is essential to acknowledge that they are the business owners, the skilled ones, and without them your business would not work.

    So how do you approach artisanal communities? How do you ensure that you design a product that will sell in order to educate on ancestral techniques and practices? What key considerations should be made when stepping out to build relationships with indigenous peoples?

    Learn more in this 30-minute conversation.