There’s no brand quite like HoMie. The popular Australian based label not only manages to stay relevant in the diverse landscape of popular streetwear, but they manage it all whilst using 100% of their profits to fight homelessness and hardship.
Since HoMie first opened their doors in 2015 with a small retail space in central Melbourne, they’ve been building strong partnerships with local support services and homelessness charities. Through these connections HoMie are able to find young people who may be experiencing hardship or homelessness and offer them paid retail-training in the store as part of the HoMie ‘Pathways Project’.
The Pathways Project is an on-the-job training opportunity with the sole mission of creating pathways out of homelessness. The six-month program offers sixteen hours of paid work a week for each intern, personal development opportunities, and a certification in retail theory upon completion.
That’s not all. Alongside the Pathways Project HoMie hosts a monthly ‘VIP day’, upon which they invite groups of people experiencing homelessness or hardship into the store and allow them to ‘shop for free’. Each person attending is gifted five items of brand new clothing from HoMie, a haircut, some coffee and food – or if they prefer they can just hang out and chat with the friendly staff working that day. HoMie strongly believes in the power of these days to offer social inclusion and dignity to an otherwise marginalised portion of the population.
HoMie’s latest collection ‘Higher Vision’ aims to emphasise the issue of ‘invisible homelessness’ – the portion of the homeless population not necessarily sleeping rough on the streets, but still technically homeless. This can apply to individuals forced to sleep in their cars, on friends’ couches, or in supported accommodation. Invisible homelessness makes up 93% of the total homeless population in Australia, which is why HoMie feels like there should be more of a public dialogue about it.