NoMiNoU’s Commitment to Artists

A note from NoMiNoU’s founder Jullianna Smith:

As a proudly Canadian brand that is created and manufactured in Vancouver, NoMiNoU aims to represent the culture of Canada through its designs and production process. For instance, in our Spirit Collection, we celebrate the art and culture of this country’s First Nations people. Last year, we began working with First Nations artists to commission art exclusively for NoMiNoU. We adapt this art into designs that we then apply to our fabrics to create the distinctive leggings you know and love!

As a practice, we strongly advocate supporting artists and so we ensure each one we work with receives full recognition for their designs. We pay our artists a fair commission price for their designs, and also pay them royalties that are among the highest in the industry. To solidify our commitment to our artistic partnerships, in certain circumstances we’ve also been known to provide our artists with an advance in funds. While we are currently the only company in the industry to do this, our hope is that other brands follow suit and this will soon become the norm.

Our goal is to pave the way for aboriginal artists to be fairly compensated for their work, because oftentimes that’s not the case. For instance, one Canadian company that sells products with First Nations designs only pays their artists 0.3% in royalties. This brand sells everything from coffee mugs to keychains in airport and tourist gift shops across the country, making a sizable profit while the artists themselves receive a very small amount of compensation for their creative work. That is simply unacceptable to us.

It is extremely important to me that NoMiNoU celebrates First Nations art in the most authentic manner possible. Recently, the company that prints our fabrics accidentally printed one of our artist’s designs on a template that still contained my mother’s signature (since other NoMiNoU designs contain artwork from my late mother, previous templates of ours had her signature on them). As soon as we recognized this error, we corrected it immediately – not one scarf was sold. In fact, we took the extra step of destroying the entire batch of scarves.

At a time when the world seems to be deeply divided, we want to unite people through art and the marriage of different cultures. In addition to our commitment to working with First Nations artists, we also want to collaborate with artists from other cultures around the world. So if you’re interested in possibly working with NoMiNoU, we invite you to contact us!