L - R (clockwise): flying past Mt. Taranaki, I accidentally made Sophia and I catch the wrong bus but we found a cute cat instead, butterfly at the Wellington Botanical Gardens, book store of my dreams, a previous entry for World Of Wearable Art and me wearing a skirt I found in a second hand store with the Sofija Sweater in magenta.
During New Zealand Fashion Week, I attended a panel hosted by Outliv, where our local ethical fashion industry was discussed. Interesting points were made and I left the discussion with a lot of questions on my mind; how can I make my knitwear more sustainable? What can I offer customers in the long run for their garment? How can I minimise my waste? What can I do to raise awareness without adding to the cause?
Ever since a trip to India in 2015, along with further research when we got back, I have been more aware and conscious of how much waste we produce and the impact that it has on the environment. But with fashion being the second largest polluting industry in the world, right behind fossil fuel, the demand for change has never been so needed. I have mixed feelings about fast fashion leading retailers, such as H&M, releasing "eco-conscious" ranges. On one hand, I think its great that they're raising awareness about the future of fashion, but on the other, they produce clothing and accessories at such high volumes that it defeats the purpose of the "eco-conscious" range in the first place.
During the panel, a concept that I hadn't heard of before was mentioned, the circular economy. It is where design is at the forefront of change - by designing waste out of the system and you "take, make and dispose". Each person worldwide produces an average of 25kg of textile waste per year! Natural fibres are important to me, which means they can biodegrade at the end of their life cycle. Alternative garments made out of polyester or nylon take approximately 40 years to degrade, whereas wool takes between six months to one year. The Sofija Sweater is hand-knitted with NZ mohair and wool with a tiny hint of nylon, which holds it together, but we're working on that so it can break down at the end of its life cycle. Stuff did a comparison test on degrading wool and a synthetic material, which you can read here.
I am currently researching more about the circular economy and how I can apply it to my knitwear - WINTER 2019 is going to be an interesting one! I could go on forever about ethics and sustainability, but we'll save that for another blog post!
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about ethical fashion and a slower way of living. Leave them in the comments below or send me a message!
One of the things that I love about designing and creating knitwear, is seeing people enjoy their pieces!
Don't forget to tag us on Instagram so I can see how you style your JG knitwear.
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Kate from Ethically Kate at Little Bird in Ponsonby, where we discussed fast fashion, consumerism and our thoughts on ethical and sustainable fashion. She is such an inspiring young women with a wealth of knowledge in these areas and I felt like I could discuss these topics all day with her!
ANYWAY, thank you Kate for featuring me alongside fellow friend and designer, Sofija Butler, on your list of 12 Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Brands for the Style-Conscious New Zealander over on Eco Warrior Princess.
Amber Whitecliffe's new winter range, Eclectic, has pops of red contrasted with moody blues and lots of bold prints! My favourite is the Cabello Top and the matching Cabello Skirt, which can be layered up for winter and then worn on its own in summer.
Amber, Nicole and I sat down with Carolyn Keep to chat about the pros and cons about being a designer in New Zealand, how we met and where it all began!
Grab a cup of tea, and head over to Fashionista Fail to read the post.
The Ashley Bomber in light grey and the Lulu Sweater were recently used in The Brim Label's new winter range photoshoot. Emma creates beautifully made hats in New Zealand, that are flattering, fuss free and unique. She is a one-woman-band: she designs, sources materials, does the pattern cutting and sews each hat with love and care from her Auckland studio!
A huge thank you to everyone who came to celebrate the launch of the new Winter collection! And a MASSIVE thank you to Amber for letting me host this at her boutique (and for being awesome just in general), Clara, Nik, mum, dad and Thomas for all your help leading up to and during the event. Don't forget to check your goody bags! Thanks to our sponsors Captives, Face By Samara and Veena's Cakery.
Head to our Facebook to see the rest of the photos!
Photos by Julie Cooper Creative