Kate Sylvester: Kraftwork

Juxtaposing traditional craft techniques with modern fabrications, the collection is an exploration of energetic colour, geometric shapes and the pixelation of video games. Evolving from a personal tapestry project of Kate’s, the tessellating artworks she was hand stitching became the foundation for Kraftwork’s signature prints.

Introducing Reloved, which is a new platform for those to buy and sell preloved Kate Sylvester clothing. Evolving from determination to keep our garments out of landfill and out from the back of people’s wardrobes, Reloved intends to find new homes for once-loved Kate Sylvester, extending your garments use beyond first life.

Kate Sylvester is committed to sustainable business, and are focused on high quality, long-lasting clothing that customers love for a lifetime. http://www.mindfulfashion.co.nz

Kate Sylvester Spring Summer Collection Kraftwork

Kowtow Winter Collection 2019

Founded in 2007 by Gosia Piatek, Kowtow is a label committed to creating positive change. We make a conscious decision to only use renewable and sustainable fibres and ethical manufacturing to deliver collections that are utilitarian, minimal and carry an understated sense of femininity. The Composure Cardigan is on my wish list after seeing my beautiful friend wearing the navy shade, I fell in love with it. It’s from the Autumn/Winter 2019 collection. There are quite a number of stockists for kowtow, but a part of me still waits for the day that Auckland has a kowtow retail store. I love the designs in the winter collection, especially the wide striped pants, dark green dress and denim skirts. If it weren’t for branching out in navy, I think I’d be wearing too much black, but thankfully 2019 has been the year of wearing more colour.

http://www.kowtowclothing.com

Photography from kowtow

New Zealand Ethical Fashion: Maggie Marilyn

Maggie Marilyn is a New Zealand based contemporary fashion brand that launched in September 2016. Maggie designs pieces that are not only effortless and beautiful but are considerate of being an ethical and environmentally conscious brand in the fashion industry. The brand works with local manufacturers, and skilled craftsman that make up the small and innovative industry we have today. A combination of strong tailoring, distinct colour palettes, and youthful charm, the Maggie Marilyn collections are delivered with a sense of confidence and modern luxury.

In 2016 she launched her collection with Net-a-Porter, and sold her pieces with them as her first stockist. The label has been designed with a focus on sustainability and ethical practice. The Maggie Marilyn girl is described as: A dreamer, quietly confident, gentle and firm in her beliefs. She is not afraid to speak the truth. Her uniqueness is matched in her elegance and timelessness. A feminist, while openly vulnerable, she is an environmentalist, pays attention to detail and fights for the underdog. Obsessively passionate, she is an optimist, and believes in the power of possibility.

http://www.maggiemarilyn.com

Featuring Season Five “We’ve Got This” and Resort 2019 

How To Buy Less And Support Ethical Fashion

f25c3977887f8130a1196df21576eb2b.jpgWe live in a consumer society where the media and advertising industry is telling us that we lack something in our lives, which can only be fulfilled through purchasing a product. In the Fashion Industry, fast fashion is constantly encouraging consumers to buy clothes they don’t necessarily need. I’ve previously written about minimalism, because I find that when it comes to the clothes we purchase, we should take a simple approach. The clothes we have should have quality, longevity and reflect our personal style. They should be an investment, rather than a passing object that will be gone in a years time. Most of my clothes are second hand, because in my teenage years, I realised the side effects of purchasing fast fashion.

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‘Home’ by goddess @lordnewry_ 🌞

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The clothes we wear have a story. Often it’s untold, and we may not know it’s background or the person who made the piece of clothing. I think it’s important to support businesses who practice what they preach, are transparent, live and breathe a positive and honest approach and have an ethos that strives to bring awareness in having a piece of clothing to treasure (not throw). When we buy less, and buy carefully and thoughtfully, we have pieces of clothing that truly reflect who we are. We don’t conform to trends, but we wear what feels most ourself.

Buying less saves money, and it also allows one to spend time to buy in places which have good values. It allows you to stop for a moment, and consider the company you are supporting and how much clothing end up in landfills. There is this desire to buy, because we are always introduced to the new, exciting and colourful. We are told that we shouldn’t be seen wearing the same thing often, but I think it should be the opposite, in that we should wear our favourite clothing as many days as we love. I think of during the colder days, where I can wear the same outfit for 2 or 3 days, by mix matching.

There is a lot of leftover clothing. When I go thrift shopping, the overwhelming amount of clothes that are looking for a new home is huge. The fashion industry thrives on mass production and as a result, mass consumption. It profits off of it, and it also in a way, thrives off telling us that we are always in need of more. However, in many aspects of our lives, we have what we need. For example, if we have a comfortable home, food and loving friends and family, we don’t have that desire to keep seeking more. We’re deeply satisfied. Yet, the media feeds us sensations to persuade us that we deserve to feel good, but only temporarily, which in turn, makes one always striving to feel that level of satisfaction.

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Repost from @fash_rev. 💚 No one should die for fashion. But five years today, 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women. Earlier that morning, workers were threatened with loss of their monthly pay if they did not proceed into Rana Plaza to work. Despite the cracks being identified the day before and their requests to not return to the factory floors, without any form of union representation they had no collective strength to stand up for themselves. There were 29 brands identified in the rubble. It would take years for some of them to pay compensation. For some families, providing DNA evidence to claim that compensation, would never be possible. To this day a high percentage of survivors are unemployed and suffer from severe trauma. Today is the reason we need a Fashion Revolution. Today we think of the true cost of our clothing. The hands that make our garments and the families they belong to and the stories that they carry. Today over at @fash_rev they will be sharing stories of garment workers from the Rana Plaza collapse and looking at what’s changed since 24.04.13. Please follow along and encourage others to join this vital movement 🙏🏽 Let’s show the industry we care about the people who make our clothes. Ask brands #whomademyclothes? www.fashionrevolution.org #fashionrevolution #tradefairlivefair Repost @fash_rev

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There are many clothing companies that are raising more awareness on transparency. Where we spend our money, is essentially who we are supporting. Spending can be a form of addiction, and the satisfaction of buying materials can become a habit. Everything requires balance. Invest in well-made materials. It’s easy to buy cheap clothing, and feel good because we can look good. There’s so much behind the scenes, and it’s easy for us to let it slide by when we ignore it. The more we question #whomademyclothes the more we can encourage companies to improve their standards.

Buying less, is asking oneself, do I need this? It’s also considering if you have a piece of clothing of similar style. I’ve found from buying clothing nearly every week as a teenager, to buying two or three times a year, it’s a huge change. The clothes I wear are long lasting, whereas in the past, the clothes bought from fast fashion companies, were disposed of in the end of the year. It’s made me more confident in my own personal style, and allowed me to save money and shop more consciously.

What are your thoughts on clothing consumption? 

Photography by Merab Chumburidze 

The Way We Dress Affects How People Treat Us

f6aea477697cf8e9eb583b1b6dfd3d7eDressing well is a form of self care. I talked to a friend of mine, and we had a really interesting conversation about how we present ourselves, how people treat us when we dress well and she told me how she believes that dressing well is a form of self care. The words really stuck with me, because they ring so much truth. She was telling me about her experience, in which when she entered a clothing store, she was wearing jeans and a top. During that day, the retail assistant didn’t acknowledge her. The next day, she was wearing a stylish outfit that was very much in her style, and the retail assistant paid attention and approached her to ask if she needed help.

I know this can sound terribly shallow, because shouldn’t someone regardless of the way they look be treated the same? Absolutely, I think we should always treat others fairly. However, it’s also common that we will assume what someone might be like, based on what they wear. As this is most often the first impression. There is a psychology behind the way we dress from the colours we wear. As I watched the video here, it does have a point. I do believe that to an extent, the way we dress and present ourselves will affect how others treat us. Clothes are a form of self expression that speaks for itself.

As I previously mentioned, I do feel that we shouldn’t judge someone for the way they dress. However, I also do feel that the way you dress is also an expression for how you feel about yourself. This means, if a person wears jandals, sweats and a jersey all the time, they might not be taken quite as seriously as a person wearing a tailored dress and flats. When we are presented as clean and tidy, we are more likely to be treated with respect, because it shows self care to oneself. Although, when I watched The Pursuit of happyness a few years ago, there is a scene here that shows that ones true character, attitude and ability is through who they are, not their clothes.

It’s good to look at both sides to gain perspective, because on one hand what we wear is important in presenting ourselves. On the other hand, we should be judged by our character and abilities, and not the way we look. We have power in choosing how to present ourselves to the world, through this silent language of fashion. The Huffington Post article says “Your style and the clothes you choose reflect and affect your mood, health, and overall confidence.” I think fashion can be empowering, when we fully embrace our personal style. It creates a natural confidence in knowing who we are.

This is why I don’t tend to wear bright colours or patterned and printed clothing, as most of them don’t tend to reflect my personality or how I feel about myself. I feel most myself when I wear black, navy, grey, brown, dark colours or denim. Black clothing takes up 90% of my wardrobe, because I feel that I suit it the most. It makes me feel clean cut, stylish and effortless. The colour psychology in what we wear can really make a difference in how we feel about ourselves, and how others will feel. I find wearing dark colours makes me feel organised, chic and well groomed.

I remember talking to a coworker, and he said he literally judges books by its cover, and I said to be honest, so do I. I may be more attracted to covers that have an artwork that I like, the colours that they use or a photograph that really speaks to me. We were talking about book covers, but it made me think about how what we wear is similar to the way we look at book covers. We may judge in that split second, what the content may be, in terms of what someone might be like. First impressions are important when it comes to how we dress, and after that it’s really getting to know someone for who they are.

Think of when you went on your first date, your first interview and your first dance. You probably made effort in grooming yourself a certain way, to present yourself for the occasion. In the video above, it talks about how dressing well is not only a sign of respect for yourself, but also for those around you. I do agree, and I also truly believe that dressing well can affect our emotional well being. I remember when I was freelancing, I would still get dressed in the morning as if I was going to an office. It made my mindset more focused on working, rather than staying in my pajamas.

Photography by Sun Jun

Ethical Fashion And The Rise Of Consumer Culture

ROH7304.jpgClothes are one of the largest polluters in the world. There is so much we don’t see from the clothes we wear, from the source of the fabric, where the cotton was grown, how much water was used to bring the piece of clothing to life, what environment the worker who sewed the piece of clothing worked in, how much they are paid and many other aspects that are often clouded by heavy advertising that shows the clothing in an attractive manner to grasp our attention. We are all filled with stories, and everything we come across has a story to tell. The smallest pebble may have crossed an ocean, and yet it’s easy to see something and only see the surface of it.

I met a lovely person yesterday with such a passion for ethical fashion, it was truly inspiring and motivating. If you have Netflix then I highly recommend watching the documentaries: The True Cost and Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. A consumer culture is an ideology that tells us that we should acquire more things in order to build a sense of satisfaction within our lives. It encourages spending culture, building a desire for a lifestyle and convinces you that it is a source of happiness. It is a fact that the experiences we have outweigh the materials we own, and that building memories and relationships are far more valuable and will give true happiness that can sustain a lifetime.

What we consume should also reflect the value of long lasting wear and use. The power of advertising and marketing, is that it convinces the consumer that purchasing a particular good will change your life in a certain way. They persuade you that certain products can give your life more meaning or interest. In this interesting conversation I recently had with the person, we talked about how in the documentary there is a scene where there are massive sales in an American store. There are hundreds of shoppers rushing and running around the store, grabbing as fast as they can and even some fighting and pulling for something they have seen first.

The problem with the fashion industry is that many large companies mindset is to earn a huge amount of profit. There are those who are passionate about design, sourcing eco-friendly fabric and will only allow their clothes to be made in a production and manufacturing company that pays its workers a living wage in a safe environment. However, the over saturation of the industry is filled with actions that are corrupted. In an article here, it says The tragically poor and exploited lives of Chinese chip makers and Indian and Bangladeshi seamstresses are gaining worldwide visibility. Recent news concerning the unsafe living and working conditions of great masses of people is likely merely the tip of the exploitation iceberg.

I watched a film last night called The Shape of Water, (spoilers ahead) which delved with an array of themes. The film features an ocean creature, who is viewed as a monster by some of the characters within the film. However, there is a character who really is the monster, who takes advantage of his power and creates fear. He is an example of a capitalist consumer, such as when he is in a Cadillac store, the car salesman tells him that the teal car is driven by 4/5 most successful men in America (or something a long those lines). In the next scene, we see him drive off in one. It’s a clear example of how there is a certain value placed around materials, and how it shows and communicates one’s status, lifestyle and position in society.

Fashion is often viewed as superficial, but we all need clothing to wear, and the reality is that it is a form of comfort and communication. I don’t think Fashion is superficial, but really only certain people who make it superficial. It is those who believe that materials can show that they are better than someone else, that is one of the worst yet most common aspects of consumption. The truly superficial are those who produce clothes without any care for those making it, or the environment. These people in power have a lot of power to make great change, yet many companies only care about earning money. They will create a beautiful image from the advertising of the goods, but behind the scenes may be a sad reality.

It’s important to remind oneself of what are the truly important things in your life. The relationships you have are ultimately the biggest, as well as striving to do our best for the Earth. The character shows that many of us have an inkling of what we should do, but may not do it. An example, is when other’s decide not to recycle, those who litter, don’t try to understand the system or don’t care about the environment. It takes time, but it’s a matter of educating, spreading the message and raising awareness. It’s also a matter of turning it into action in your own life, and making the decision to consume less and support brands that have good ethics, transparent production and honest values.

What are your thoughts on consumer culture? How do you think we can make improvements in the fashion industry?

Art by Monica Rohan

Five Tips On Living A More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

katerina-plotnikova-photography-1Everyone has pet peeves, but one of mine is when people don’t recycle. I’ve been flatting for 5 years now, and everyone has their own habits. However, in one of my experiences the household would put all their empty wine, beer, shampoo, conditioner, soap bottles, paper, cardboard, fruit tins as well as milk and juice cartons straight into the rubbish bin. Growing up, both my parents recycled and still do, and it’s something I’ve always done. I find it’s a good habit, and it’s one of those things that really tick me if people don’t care about recycling, because we all contribute to the environment.

No one is perfect, but I really do think there are some simple tips that we can live by, in order to be a bit more eco-friendly. In the past, I worked at an organic beauty and skincare company, and I’m currently working for another organic company now. What I love about the company is that they aim to have products that use minimal packaging. It’s great to support brands that strive for a better world, are natural and ethical. I think it’s also good to make a decision to eat less meat. We live in a consumer society where we are constantly told to buy, but the best value is to buy things that are good quality and will last a long time.

1) Drink from your own reusable water bottle. Buying bottled water can really add up, and we are very blessed to walk a few steps to have water come straight out of the tap. If you have a flask for warm and hot beverages, as well as a drink bottle for cool water, you’ll never go back. They are very convenient and are easy to fill up and carry around.

2) Eat less meat and more vegetables. Eating less meat and consuming less dairy also means that you save money. It’s okay to have it from time to time, but meat is not the best for the environment.  Meat production results in a significant amount of carbon emissions. It’s easy to replace dairy milk with soy, almond or coconut milk.

3) Recycle and carry your own canvas bag. I tend to bring a backpack and canvas bag, but I’m so guilty with plastic bags, because there are times I end up taking plastic bags to take home to line my rubbish bins. However, I hope someday New Zealand will ban them. Recycling is a habit that you won’t even have to think about it after you just do it.

4) Go second-hand shopping and support ethical brands. Make sure to watch out for green washing, which are brands that are disguised as ethical, but really aren’t. I like to use ecostore for my laundry because they don’t have that strong and unnatural deodorant smell. If you have sensitive skin, organic products tend to be more gentle on the skin.

5) Invest in good quality items that will last a long time. Treasure the things you have. Use your technology until they’re no longer usable. Buy things that are good quality and will last, because then you practice minimising consumption. If you need to throw things away regularly, then this only encourages the amount of rubbish we create in the world.

Photography by Katerina Plotnikova

Stella McCartney Winter Campaign 2017

SMC_WINTER17_INTERNAL_IMAGE_1026x684_BStella McCartney’s Winter 2017 campaign brings awareness of the growing issue of waste and over consumption. It is photographed by Harley Weir in the Eastern Coast of Scotland. The man-made landscapes is formed from all the waste that has been piled into these areas that causes us to question the significant affect we are placing on our environment. The campaign features models Birgit Kos, Iana Godnia and Huan Zhou who provide a distinct contrast to the bleak environment, bringing a youthful positivity and hope to the message.

“The idea we had with this campaign is to portray who we want to be and how we carry ourselves; our attitude and collective path. Our man-made constructed environments are disconnected and unaware of other life and the planet which is why there is waste.” – Stella

SMC_WINTER17_INTERNAL_IMAGE_1026x684_AThis campaign reminds us of the impact that over consumption is having on the environment and the amount of waste that is ending up in landfills, with nearly 300 million tons of plastic produced every year. It causes us to question what fabric our clothing are made of and how often are we buying clothes with the mindset of sustainability. The Winter 2017 collection features soft head-to-toe jersey tailoring in shades of honey, sand and grey creating full silhouettes rich in detail. Evening wear has sheer embroidered tulle layered with lace.

On the site it also says: We stand by our commitment to being a responsible, sustainable brand. Throughout the new collection we use innovative and recycled materials such as organic cotton, sustainably-sourced viscose, recycled nylon and cruelty-free Skin-Free-Skin. We are continually trying to lessen our impact on the environment. It is expected that plastic production will triple by 2050 when the population explodes to almost 10 billion – so it is vital that we act now. It’s good to see transparency and honesty, especially when the fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment.W17_Layout_MASTER WIP.indd

“Stella’s fashion to me is about dignity, love and a beautiful attitude to all challenges. All while feeling good and looking great and we wanted to reflect that in the concept of this campaign.” – Urs Fischer

What an incredible message to spread, especially in a consumer society where we are constantly told to buy things. Let’s be encouraged to be environmentally conscious, support businesses that have good ethics that’s turned into action, recycle what we can and wear clothing for longevity, personal style and ethical use, rather than quick disposal. We’re all responsible, and we can all make a difference together by being more conscious and taking action for gradual change.

Discover the campaign here.

Karen Walker x Blunt Umbrellas Collaboration 2017

18300989_1345331452181582_2286631496271381276_nAs we Aucklanders know, the weather can be quite unpredictable at the best of times. One moment the sun is shining and the sky is a beautiful blue, and the next moment it’s pouring down with showers and the clouds seem to fly by very fast. Throughout the last 5 years I have been through at least a dozen umbrellas. My third umbrella this year said goodbye today, before going inside out as the blustery wind blew heavily, it was quite a sight! I’d seen these wonderful Blunt umbrellas for quite a while, read several reviews and watched the videos online to see the level of wind resistance. It seemed like the right time to invest in one to resolve my umbrella dilemma.

There’s a wide range of colours to choose from blue, pink, red, orange, green and many more, with various different sizes from XS Metro, Blunt Lite, Blunt Classic, Blunt XL and more. I was considering getting the yellow one, as it’s a bright sunshiney colour on a rainy day, but I noticed that there was a Limited Edition Karen Walker design that was just absolutely lovely. It was sold out when I looked online, and so I went into the Karen Walker store in Britomart to make the purchase. It felt like such a relief to finally get an umbrella that won’t let me down, as you can probably tell as I’ve dedicated a post on umbrellas!

“There’s something about sheltering under a Blunt umbrella that gives a gorgeous sense of sanctuary. You’re in your own private world, your own dome, light and sound take on a different attitude and you feel ever so slightly removed and cocooned. It’s kind of heavenly.” – Karen Walker

The Blunt website says: Karen Walker is NZ’s top fashion designer well-known for her chic-meets-eccentric handwriting and her love of print and colour. This season Blunt Umbrellas has collaborated with Karen Walker to bring you another Limied Edition. The much-coveted Bird print from Karen Walker’s new season collection ‘Babou’s Revenge’. They are sold in the size XS Metro, and are designed in New Zealand. Featuring a whimsical bird print, that look like droplets of giant raindrops in the distance. Blunt Umbrellas are known to be one of the strongest umbrellas and can easily fold up. However, I find that they are at a size that’s more suitable for fitting in a medium-large bag.

Their collaboration from last year was a huge success, which has led to the release of a second collection. Featuring the bird print from Karen Walker’s new season collection, ‘Babou’s Revenge’. They are sturdy and stylish to brighten up the day and combine the elements of style and functionality. We’ve all experienced the feeling of the umbrella going inside out and sadly disposing it into the bin, wondering if this will be the endless cycle of purchasing a new umbrella one after another. The size is suitable for a single person, and can squeeze two people. If you have a Blunt Umbrella, what are your thoughts and your experience with them?

Discover These New Zealand Fashion Bloggers

17953014_1262936797074980_4952233107716774197_nA A Tale of Two Cities Ambers Edits | Anna Reeve B Bonbon Girls C Chasing Cait |Clouds of Colour | Currently Loving  D Dillon Dot E Esque | Ethical Style Hunter F FashioNZ | Fashion Distraction |Fashion FairgroundFour Eyes | Foxes Blog G Gurl Interrupted H Holly Estelle I I Am Archive | Isaac Likes J Jaheb Barnett Just so Pretty K Katherine Is Awesome L La Donna Moderna | Lani Says | Lost in the Haze M Maddy BuddMaia Cotton | Mary OutramMr Essentialist N Nana Wintour | NicrificNot Jaya|nzgirl R RallyRuby Fearless  S Say Cheese LouiseSerendipity Avenue | Shop Style Conquer | Skirts and Squats | The Sleek Avenue | Sly on the Wall | Sopheak Seng | Street and City |Stolen Inspiration | Style by Joanne T Teresa MooreThe Backroad BlogThe Modern Girl  | Thread | The Style Insider | The Twenties ClubThe Wardrobe Blog This Is Meagan Kerr | Thomas’s Marlborough X XYNZ

Photography from Ovna Ovich