How Red Rebel Armor is Stitching Social Change
Red Rebel Armor is an Indigenous-owned clothing company, founded by Sean Rayland-Boubar crafting designs inspired by Indigenous art, culture, and fashion. It’s also a social enterprise, seeking to provide employment opportunities for Indigenous people reintegrating into society after incarceration.
Red Rebel Armor’s clothing line serves as an outlet for wearers to advocate for Indigenous peoples. One of their best-selling designs, for instance, features a shawl dancer and the phrase “land back.” This design advocates for wealth redistribution and the recognition of Indigenous knowledge and rights. Its wearers, whether Indigenous or not, engage in a broader conversation about reconciliation and Indigenous sovereignty.
Propelled by a mission
As a social enterprise, Red Rebel Armour operates an employment service, which provides on-the-job training for individuals returning from the criminal justice system. Red Rebel Armor has helped individuals stay out of jail, find stable housing, and gain essential work skills. For instance, one of their employees, has managed to find stable housing and work consistently with Red Rebel Armor despite facing initial challenges with stringent probation conditions.
Sean and his team have started quantifying the social and economic benefits of their employment program, tracking indicators such as the money saved by the federal government due to reduced recidivism rates.
Sean’s story and the growth of Red Rebel Armor underscore the power of entrepreneurship in challenging social issues and advocating for cultural understanding. The clothing line’s impactful designs, coupled with the company’s commitment to providing gainful employment to those in need, demonstrate how businesses can drive tangible social change.
While Red Rebel Armor’s journey has not been without challenges, Sean’s dedication and entrepreneurial spirit have helped him navigate these hurdles. His journey serves as a potent reminder that entrepreneurship and creativity can be powerful tools for change and that businesses can play a pivotal role in fostering social inclusion, reconciliation, and cultural understanding.
As Sean says, “When you’re wearing my clothes, you’re becoming an advocate.” Through its designs, Red Rebel Armor is transforming the way we see and understand Indigenous culture and resilience, one piece of clothing at a time.
Listen to more from Sean on the Pow Wow Pitch Podcast at powwowpitch.org/podcast.