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Last week our eco-living blogger Holly Jean visited her homeland, Aotearoa, and was inspired by the bundle of gorgeous designers and fashionistas who are quietly going about creating and producing awesome pieces – sustainably. Holly Jean's next few blogs will showcase some of the hidden Kiwi talents who are designing, creating, and producing items that follow a green mantra: Reduce, reuse, recycle
Hunter Gatherer is a New Zealand-based company with an eclectic range of vintage and whimsical items, ranging from necklaces and cards to bowties, bags, headwear and scarves, all of which are inspired by creators Gem and Nathaniel's dreams and adventures.
I spoke with Gem Speeden who gave me the lowdown on her style.
On her inspiration for living green:
I grew up on a hill in Whangarei Heads and living the first 15 years of my life in a house made from recycled wood, windows and old hospital faucets, built from the ground up by my parents.
The house was run almost completely on solar energy, and even had one of the first inside composting toilets! With Nathaniel spending a portion of his childhood living on Great Barrier Island I don't think there was any way we could escape attempting an eco-friendly lifestyle. We have tried to bring this through in all aspects of our life.
On how sustainability influences their business decisions:
As a business we love to find bits and pieces that may have been discarded and try to make them loved again. Using fallen branches for necklaces, recycled materials when we can, treasures from op-shops (rummaging is one of our favourite pastimes), using a local W.R.A.P-certified T-shirt company and local screen-printers, right down to our packaging which is recycled card with vegetable ink stamping. If you buy online. your lovely little bundle will come wrapped in old pattern tissue.
On living green at home:
As a couple we also keep our home eco-friendly by growing our own veggies, using natural soaps, shampoos, dishwashing liquid and even attempting to make our own laundry powder! But we're far from perfect and there's always bountiful room for improvement.
Holly Jean Brooker is owner
which provides New Zealanders with untreated raised garden beds,
nutritious soil and outdoor furniture.