Show your support for the future of our local garment industry. Photo / Supplied.

Mindful Fashion New Zealand Launch Love Local Crowdfunding Campaign

The local industry collective urges New Zealander's to rally support for our skilled makers

Many hands make light work, and such is the ambition of local industry collective Mindful Fashion New Zealand, with its latest Love Local crowdfunding campaign launching today to help raise funds for our garment industry and to promote a sustainable and responsible future.

Love Local will be hosted on arts funding platform Boosted, with the fundraising initiative focused on investing in skills and education for the next generation working across all facets of our local garment industry - skilled workers, who are the backbone of our industry providing much-needed support to designers, fabric suppliers, machinists, cutters, button-holers, pleaters and embroiderers.

Mindful Fashion NZ co-founders Emily-Miller Sharma and Kate Sylvester. Photo / Babiche Martens.

Instigated in 2018 by fashion designers Kate Sylvester and Liam's Emily Miller-Sharma, Mindful Fashion New Zealand started out as a way to help strengthen the local fashion and textile industry by promoting long term growth through responsible business practice and investing in the future of our industry. Members include a mix of local brands such as Kate Sylvester, Maggie Marilyn, Zambesi, Ruby, Liam and fabric suppliers such as Frost Textile and Wall Fabrics.

By working to develop an industry-specific programme, the collective aims to encourage positive sustainability projects and help future-proof our small but dedicated industry of professionals. 

READ: Fashion Insiders Discuss: How Will Covid-19 Affect The New Zealand Fashion Industry?

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The Love Local campaign has a fundraising goal of $30,000 to invest in three projects to support the future growth of the garment making industry. 

These three key projects are:

1. Implementing an apprenticeship programme to grow the industry and create future jobs:

Seeking government support to develop a meaningful garment manufacturing apprenticeship programme to fulfill much-needed industry skill shortages and create jobs within the New Zealand clothing industry.

With the bulk of the target funds ($20,000) dedicated to setting up this apprenticeship programme, Mindful Fashion aim to work closely with New Zealand’s tertiary education providers to ensure their graduates are
meeting these skill shortages within the industry and create recruitment pathways for students entering the workforce.

The $20,000 would cover the costs of appointing a projects and partnerships manager to work with local industry and educators to create a certified apprenticeship programme and training pathways to upskill workers and generate employment opportunities within our industry. 

2. Create education programmes and collaborations with garment manufacturers to tackle industry challenges explore new opportunities:

Funding of $5000 will go towards: seminars and training from local and global sustainability and industry experts; development of best practice toolkits for all parts of the fashion and textile industry; local production workshops for designer production teams.

3. Development of the Mindful Fashion New Zealand website and a digital directory of local suppliers and makers to support and encourage brands
wanting to make in New Zealand:

This database will support local businesses and continue to tell the story of our local industry.

Funding of $5,000 will go towards the development of the MFNZ website to include: develop a clothing and textile ‘yellow pages’ so it’s easy for designers to find new manufacturers and suppliers; shoppable functionality; development of member login for access to best practice toolkits, digital seminar information and more.

READ: Preloved Clothing & Vintage Treasures That Encourage A Mindful Approach To Fashion

Over the past few month's we've caught up with several designers who have all had various experiences from the impacts of Covid-19 on their businesses. 

From designers such as Juliette Hogan who announced the closure of her bridal service in May; to Ingrid Starnes - a brand that despite strong support for its crowdfunding initiative over lockdown, and is now in the process of winding down its retail operations - fashion brands have been forced to make tough decisions, impacting many skilled workers in our local clothing supply chain. 

The crowdfunding campaign will help give all those workers the support they need right now, as well as implement a strategy for nurturing and fostering the next generation of talent. 

All donations to the Love Local Boosted campaign will receive a complimentary one-year Mindful Fashion New Zealand Foundation Membership, which entitles members to regular newsletters along with news of designer specials and events.

The month-long Love Local campaign is now live. To donate and show your support for our local industry visit Boosted.

For more information visit the Mindful Fashion New Zealand website.

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