Sweepstake Winners and artist Dotnut have collaborated on tshirts to raise money for Black Lives Matter. Images supplied.
The past couple of weeks have seen the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement sweep to the forefront of the world’s consciousness in a way that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored in the wake of George Floyd’s unlawful death in the USA. It’s taught us that there is still much to be done to achieve racial equality not just in America but globally and here in New Zealand too. Locally, fashion label Sweepstake Winners wanted to do something to raise money for the BLM movement and have collaborated with artist Dotnut aka Natasha Ratuva to create two t-shirts of which 100% of the profits will be donated to Black Lives Matter.
“Matt and I have been engaging in some big conversations this week reflecting on what’s going on in the USA at the moment with the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd and the ongoing violence and systemic racism that is used to oppress the global Black population daily,” says Sweepstake Winners co-founder and designer Julia Ford. “As part of this, we reflect on a lot of these same injustices experienced by indigenous people around the world and in our own backyard, with particular concern for the recent trial of armed police units in New Zealand.”
“While we don’t have all of the answers, we are taking steps to be as educated as possible on the issues at hand and will remain open minded and open hearted to engage in further dialogue and continue to learn. That being said we felt a responsibility to do more than just talk, research and make personal donations… we wanted to try and raise awareness and donate funds using the Sweepstake Winners product range.”
The result is two colourful tshirts (priced at $99 each) that are made from 100% recycled cotton. One of which features the BLM style fist and message ‘Equality Everywhere, Fuck Racism’, the other features Natasha’s ARMZ artwork which she also sells as a print to raise money for BLM.
“This particular piece called ARMZ celebrates the many layers and complexities of BIPOC and my own as an indigenous Fijian woman living on stolen land,” says Natasha Ratuva. “The ARMZ are constantly reaching beyond geo political borders and the many colonial structures that have imprisoned us for centuries. We have been telling this stories for years! Now in light of the recent police orchestrated murder of George Floyd, there is a scrambling of truth and accountability among non-BIPOC. It’s an incredible moment in history. And I’m standing on the side of revolution, justice and the condemnation of systemic racism, white supremacy and police violence in the U.S and here in Aotearoa. Which is why donating 100% of proceeds to the Black Lives Matter Movement is the absolute least that we can do!”
Julia Ford adds, “We know that no single person or action can change the world, but we believe that being part of the collective action toward fairness and equality, we can and will make a difference.”