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Name: Adam Byrne
Occupation: Indigenous landscaper and Nursery Owner
Where were you born? What is your heritage?
I was born in Gosford on the Central Coast and raised all over the area throughout my childhood from Umina to Wamberal.
My heritage on my mum’s side is from the Garigal, Gadigal and Darug people and my dad comes from a working class Irish background, based in the South of Sydney.
My mum’s family grew up in Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River then convoyed to Redfern when she was young which is quite interesting seeing our mobs Country spans from the Central Coast to Sydney harbour, I feel there is something on a deeper level spiritually that has kept us within this Country, this being the reason I put my energy each and every single day to make my ancestors presence heard, something they more than deserve.
Tell us a little bit about what you do?
I’m finding it hard to answer this question these days as I seem to be wearing many hats as of late but ultimately I design and install Indigenous gardens for commercial and residential spaces. I also co-own and run a First Nations bushfoods nursery on the Northern beaches of NSW called Bush to Bowl.
This nursery is 100% Aboriginal owned with my brother Clarence Bruinsma (Yaegl).
Our mission being to create a safe space and platform for First Nation people to get back to their traditional practices like farming and harvesting on Country whilst providing for themselves or families.
We believe this will not only begin to heal our Culture but connect the wider communities to our Culture and it’s importance moving forward as a Country with major issues like climate change and equality.
What does the Fashion Revolution movement mean to you personally?
It aligns with everything I am personally and spiritually on this beautiful miracle of a planet we live on.
My Culture is about devoting your whole being to the land as she is where we came from and where we will eventually be one day so every single decision I make daily I am practicing my Culture by basing that decision on how this will impact the land and the people on it.
I love the Fashion Revolution because the core of this philosophy is no different to that of mine which I practice in life, it’s about having empathy, love and connection to something bigger than yourself, we all come from the same place, we’re all connected so it’s time we all see this living planet and the living things on it as one and keep this in mind when purchasing clothing, food etc. If I purchase unethically I am hurting my brothers and sisters, I’d rather be a dag then hurt someone.
This year’s Fashion Revolution theme is all about a healthy planet being a human right – what action are you taking in the fight to keep our planet healthy?
Every piece of Country I build a garden on I see as a mini eco system, I want to bring back the old spirits in those animals to that land, I see every space as an opportunity to heal this land. I wish we could knock down all the fences on this land and make it one continuous eco-system, maybe a dream but you gotta have hope! Plant Indigenous plants!
In your point of view, what is the biggest correlation between the fashion industry and agriculture?
Not only are they 2 of the biggest polluters on this planet during the process of getting to doorstep but it hurts to think it doesn’t just stop there, it’s the waste they both create once they’re not needed anymore that’s makes a huge impact on the planet.
The commercial production of both industries are both toxic processes with no humanity in mind when creating them, it’s all about a quick buck, making the rich richer and keeping the oppressed oppressed.
It all comes back to community if you ask me, we need to stop thinking big! A revolution starts in your street. Small is beautiful, don’t underestimate how powerful it is to buy 2nd hand clothing, off a local farmer, putting a plant in the ground or composting. Don’t let the fear of climate change downplay the significance of these small actions.
Given the fashion industry is one of the most polluting and abusive industries, what changes would you like to see brands take to start to pave the way for a more ethical industry?
Make less items, treat workers humanely and use materials from regenerative farmers. Just slow the hell down!
Do you have a favourite place in nature? If so, where is it?
Definitely on my Country which is the coastline between the Central Coast to Sydney Harbour.
What do you normally wear every day?
Jeans, hat, t-shirt and boots.
What is your favourite piece in your wardrobe?
Do you have any favourite sustainable brands, or favourite second hand shops?
I used to love an Op-shop mission back in the day at Noffs Shop, Lifeline, Salvos etc but these days I’m a Co-parent with 2 businesses so time doesn’t allow me. I generally just keep it simple with jeans and tees, I do take the angle of buying less but stuff of quality or 2nd hand.
I’m always sporting a tee made by an Aboriginal owned business or foundation to support grass root communities, my sister at Jarin St is my regular place to visit for gear.
Do you have a style icon?
I’m not really deep into fashion but if I was to mention some cool fullas I’d say I do love Warwick Thornton, Neil Young, Warren Ellis and Nick Cave.
What is your favourite style of Mighty Good Basics?