It's a fashion brand on the frontlines of decolonization.
Vancouver's Decolonial Clothing Co. promotes First Nations rights through its unique apparel.
The Indigenous-owned and operated clothing line has seen a massive jump in sales, partly due to several celebrity endorsements, including actor Mark Ruffalo and Drake's longtime producer Noah “40” Shebib. Decolonial pieces have even been featured in streaming TV shows on Netflix and the Sci-Fi Channel. Its staff continues to grow, and operations have expanded into a Burnaby warehouse.
Founders and owners Dakota Bear and Casey Desjarlais came to B.C., from their homes in the Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories of Saskatchewan, just under a decade ago. Their goal was to increase social visibility and representation through clothing.
"When it comes to clothing, we just want to use it as another vehicle to platform that message of truth, of bringing people together; raising awareness against the injustices that we face as Indigenous people," explains Bear.
Since the company rebranded in May of 2020, sales have soared to over $500,000. Decolonial Clothing products are now sold all over the world.
But it's not just about selling clothes. Bear and Desjarlais want customers to invest in the message behind their brand.
"For us, it's a lifestyle. For us, we have to live it every single day and clothing is just another way to drive the message that we are still here and we're not going anywhere," says Desjarlais.