In Marvel Studios’ new streaming TV show She-Hulk, actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, is featured in several scenes sporting T-shirts created by Native-owned company Ginew USA.

Ginew is North America’s first Native-owned denim company and is owned and operated by couple Amanda Bruegl (Oneida, Stockbridge-Munsee) and Erik Brodt (Ojibwe). In addition to running Ginew, both Bruegl and Brodt are full-time physicians.

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

Based in Portland, Ore., the company’s self-described “Native Americana” products are a fusion of Native American style with Ojibwe, Oneida and Stockbridge-Munsee design elements in heirloom-quality garments and goods from premium materials.

“We’re the only American Indian-owned denim brand that we know of, in the world,” Brodt explained in an interview with Native News Online. “We started kind of like a little bit of lightning in a bottle. My dad shot a buffalo for our wedding ceremony, and we didn’t want to give purchased gifts away, so we made buffalo belts for all the people that were in the wedding ceremony. We kind of became a brand overnight.”

The line has since been featured in Vogue, GQ, and now on She-Hulk. Brodt explains that Ruffalo advocated for the brand to be featured. The actor has proven to be a strong supporter of Native issues, showing up at Carlisle Indian School for a repatriation transfer event and joining the protests at Standing Rock in 2016.  

“Mark Ruffalo had reached out to us ahead of time and connected us with people on his staff or team to get some designs of T-shirts, and they really kind of took it from there,” Brodt said. “I think it was his advocacy that got us included in The Hulk’s wardrobe.

Every piece of Ginew clothing is ethically made. Brodt described being at the Pendleton Woolen Mill factory when a Ginew blanket was being produced.

“Hearing the people at the factory gets so excited about our designs, and even people that see every single blanket that Pendleton makes and they’re like, ‘We are so happy to be working on this one because it’s different, there’s something that’s different about this one,’” Brodt expressed. “There’s Native people there. There’s first-generation immigrants there. There’s folks who’ve been three or four or five generations working together as families there, and to have them get excited about our product is so cool.”

Last month, Ginew secured a $500K investment from Raven Indigenous Capital Partners. 

More Stories Like This

Long Awaited “Killers of the Flower Moon” about 1920 Osage Murders Receives a Nine- Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes Film Festival
First Nations Singer’s New Album A ‘Stamp in Time’ and ‘Act of Resistance’
"Reservation Dogs" Returns for Season 3 this August
'Alaska Daily' Canceled; ABC Drama Highlighted MMIW Crisis 
Indigenous Author’s Debut Children’s Book Explores Native American Identity

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian) is a staff reporter for Native News Online. Bardwell is also a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.