Wellington's top sustainable fashion
We Wellingtonians are a caring bunch: while we want to look good, we also want to feel good about what we wear and know that it’s been designed and produced using ethical practices and materials. Here are some of our favourite local ethical fashion leaders.
29 College Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Fitting for a label inspired by craftsmanship that began right here in Wellington, the Kowtow flagship store is a masterpiece of natural, locally-sourced and sustainable materials. It’s the perfect backdrop for browsing Kowtow’s seasonal collections, and the kind of space you’ll want to linger in. Inspired by architecture and street style, Kowtow’s clothes are designed to move freely with their wearers.
Wellington-based Kowtow founder, Gosia Piatek, is involved with every aspect of the production of clothing by her avant-garde label, dedicated to fairtrade and organic cotton and sustainable, ethical production. Gosia believes consumer choices should have positive consequences and impact on the world around us.
99 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
This local organic underwear label is helping the refugee community from the bottom up. Nisa is a socially-minded underwear label that employs women from refugee backgrounds to make their underwear. Made used certified organic cotton, Nisa’s products are soft and come in a variety of colours and styles for both men and women. Nisa have a flagship store and studio on Willis Street which customers can check out the range of bras, undies, t-shirt, singlets and socks and watch as they are lovingly produced.
Sunday Projects are all about simple, comfortable and ethical clothing that’s made from 100% sustainable linen. The Wellington label wants their clothing to make the wearer feel good (and look good) while making the world a slightly better place. By using local Wellington artisans to make their garments, Sunday Projects helps to support and encourage these makers and the label works hard to spread the work on sustainability and conscious consumption. Sunday Projects can be shopped online and at regular pop-ups throughout the year.
Nope Sisters is a local Wellington label that’s committed to turning its wearers into walking billboards for important social message. Embroidered with their trademark bold statements, each garment delivers social strong social messages while making its wearer look fashionably fierce at the same time. Profits from their ethically and sustainably-made garments are shared by way of a monthly donation to charity organisations and all Nope Sisters garments are made to order to prevent waste from their website.
Handmade and made-to-order in Wellington, Wayward Street produces a variety of bags and essentials that are simple, versatile and built to last. Their modern interpretation of your everyday essentials is truly stunning, and with the leather, wood and stitching all sourced and produced in New Zealand, their ethical and sustainable street cred stands up to scrutiny. Precinct 35 stocks this cool-kid brand in-store or check out Wayward Street’s website to truly appreciate the fantastic variety on offer.
Local label Okewa have achieved the near impossible: a stylish and elegant raincoat. Completely waterproof and sustainably sourced, Okewa’s coats are light to wear and designed with inner-city living in mind. The coats come in a range of classic cuts and colours that range from bold to demure that can be browsed and bought online from their website. Founded by a Wellingtonian couple, Nevada and Nick Leckie, who both take environmental sustainability seriously; they have a line of rainwear that’s made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Duffle & Co
This Wellington-born company creates stylish and functional leather bags for men and women, which both look good and do good. Duffle & Co’s products are made by talented craftsman in Bali and South Africa at family-run workshops that develop the skills of works and help to empower the local community. When you purchase your new Duffle & Co online, you’re told exactly how many hours of work your new bag is providing for workshop staff and the details of the trees that will be planted to offset environmental omissions. A selection of Duffle & Co is also available from Goodness boutique on Jackson and College Street.