After almost five years, Clothing the Gaps has become one of the most recognisable First Nations fashion labels – yet it had modest beginnings.
“How did we get here? There was never a plan,” CEO and co-founder Laura Thompson said.
“But we’re here, and it means we’re agile and we’re actually responding to the needs of community, and that’s at the core of Clothing the Gaps.”
Ms Thompson, a proud Gunditjmara woman, and her business partner Sarah Sheridan started the company back in 2019, producing clothing with slogans that provoke social change.
The business now funds and supports a sister charity, Clothing the Gaps Foundation, to help improve First Nations health outcomes.
“We unite people through fashion and a cause.”
“We’re all over what’s happening in the community, the issues Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are talking about,” Ms Thompson said.
“We create the merchandise to spark the conversations and that in turn creates the social change that hopefully improves the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”
A business with community impact
Clothing the Gaps has grown to employ about 40 people across its retail and distribution functions.
Ms Thompson said ‘mob’ was at the heart of the business; its workforce is almost entirely First Nations people.
“It’s not something we talk about a lot, [we don’t] scream it from the rooftops,” Ms Thompson said.