Our journey to creating a better world is only just beginning and we recognise that we still have a long road ahead. Two of our promises are ‘always be transparent’ and ‘communicate openly, finding strength in vulnerability’. Honouring these means discussing the challenges we face and how we aim to overcome them. We wouldn’t be here without the support of you, our customer, so it’s important to us to always be honest and take you on this journey with us - you are invaluable stakeholders in our business. We also recognise that some of what we want to achieve is much bigger than ourselves and we will need the power of a collective. We promise to always do all in our power to move the needle forward through collaborating with other brands, organisations and suppliers.

Some of the challenges we are looking for solutions to are:

Systemic Change

For decades, the fashion industry has operated a make-take-dispose, linear economic model that operates behind closed doors and without the fair treatment of people or the planet. This doesn’t align with our values and we believe it’s time to do things differently. We have challenged the status quo and continue to find better ways of doing business however as a small business we often find ourselves fighting against antiquated systems. For our industry to truly transform it requires systemic change and it must come from the power of the collective. We are starting to see more and more brands questioning the ‘norms’ with the move towards fewer and seasonless collections as well as the reduction of sale periods. This is only the tip of the iceberg but an exciting first step that demonstrates the influence of powerful players in our industry coming together to create change.

Growth vs Mission

As we age as a business we are struck by the conflict between growth and our social and environmental impacts. The thing we find hardest about being in business is that we have to play the game before we can change the rules. It’s tough to earn credibility and influence standing on the sidelines. We believe we can have the most impact and influence through setting an example of how business should be done. 

What we promise is that as we grow in size and influence we will decouple this growth from the use of resources and our environmental impact. Meaning that although we may employ more people, generate more revenue and make more clothing, we will endeavour to have a regenerative impact on our environment and empower everyone our business touches.

Our Makers and Suppliers

We are proud to be made in New Zealand and work with many local businesses. Some are larger and more established while others are small, family owned businesses. While we have personally visited all our factories (most within a 20 minute radius of our head office) we understand the necessity of having them third party audited. The challenge we face here is the high costs associated with auditing and the fact that some of our family owned businesses are not set up with the infrastructre to 'tick all the boxes' in an audit designed for large scale, international factories. All our suppliers have signed our Suppliers Code of Conduct however we understand the need to ensure our specified standards are being upheld. We will embark on a third party audit for all our factories beginning in August this year. The purpose of these audits is to help us understand where they may face challenges and to work with them in order to help them gain certification.

Fabric Minimums

Fabric minimums are a major challenge to all small businesses. The higher the demand for a fabric, the cheaper a supplier can afford to sell it and the lower the minimum order required. Due to the lower demand for sustainable fabrics, minimum orders and prices can be simply unattainable, particularly for our mainline where we are only making a limited run of each style. The beauty of ‘Somewhere’ being an evergreen line has meant that we have been able to invest in fabrics that usually have unattainable minimums.

Innovative Fabrics

We are constantly exploring the use of newly developed, innovative textiles however there are many challenges. For every time we have successfully used new, innovative fabrics, there have been twice as many occasions where we have had to substitute it back to it’s non-innovative counterpart -  usually due to quality.  For example we have been looking for a traditional silk alternative for some time and we tried using peace-silk, however the fabric was so flawed and the quality so low that we had to right off the entire production run. We will continue to explore new eco and ethical fabrics however ultimately, we will not put a product out into the world if we know it cannot stand the test of time.