Green is the new black: New Zealand Fashion Week 2019

Sustainability is set to be the focus of New Zealand Fashion Week 2019, and it’s to be integrated through everything from designers, runway shows, workshops, walking tours, onsite waste reduction and more.

Words Lara Wyatt

New Zealand Fashion Week’s (NZFW) founder and manager director, Dame Pieter Stewart, says it’s the first year that sustainability had been at the heart of the event.

“Globally the fashion industry is often seen as one of the world’s most highly polluting, but New Zealand has a long-held reputation as a clean, green country and we want to ensure this is showcased and celebrated at the event this year,” says Stewart.

This year’s event will see a sustainability seminar held in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development with support from the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. It’s to be hosted in Auckland Town Hall’s Concert Chamber and will be projected live onto big screens in Aotea Square. Mindful Fashion NZ has been announced to appear on the panel, with more guests being announced soon. 

Ministry of Social Development’s director of industry partnerships, Amanda Nicolle, says the seminar will have a social focus.

“The seminar will highlight the role that leading businesses are playing in addressing social issues through employment and other avenues, illustrating how competitive advantage can be created through social sustainability initiatives,” Nicolle says.

While there are more designers still to be announced, a significant percentage of those already on board have a strong focus on sustainable and ethical practice within their companies. Read about the designers announced so far

This year’s sustainability message will carry through to NZ Fashion Weekend. There will be a second seminar and a show featuring New Zealand’s leading sustainable fashion designers.   

Sustainable designers will also be able to show in a sustainable design exhibition within the Central City Library Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, in a partnership with the Auckland Council and the library. The pair are also working on a range of free fashion activations around the city centre across the duration of NZFW and NZ Fashion Weekend. These include textile upcycling workshops and Swap it Like it’s Hot 3.0 Recycled Clothing Swap. 

The NZ Fashion Museum will also be running free guided fashion walking tours featuring current NZFW designers based in central Auckland, as well as those from the city’s fashionable past.

And on the waste front, the goal is to keep a minimum of 70 per cent of waste from the event out of landfill. This is a percentage the event hopes to increase every year. An example of how they’re doing this is replacing delegate’s plastic pouches with pouches made from recycled materials, and reusable delegate pouches and goody bags will be available.

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