Our Sustainability Ethos
Here at Juli Hunter, sustainability isn’t an add-on.
It’s not an optional extra or a box to tick.
Minimizing environmental damage and sharing our passion for slow, ethical fashion are at the core of all we do.
In an industry where destruction, danger, and harm are the norm, we like to think that we’re outside the box, rebelling in a way.
We’re here to show that our Earth and the people on it don’t need to suffer for the sake of fashion.
We’re here proving that what we wear doesn’t need to cost the Earth.
Things just need to be done a little differently.
Ethical, Conscious Fashion
The fashion industry is notorious for the amount of waste it produces. The resources it uses to create textiles, all the way to the incredibly short lifespan of most garments are inherently damaging and excessive. But things don’t need to be this way.
Here at Juli Hunter, we don’t create in excess. All of our clothing, homewares, and accessories are either one-offs, made-to-order, or created in small batches. We only manufacture a limited number of pieces that we know can be sustained and enjoyed by the community.
We are also conscious of the origins of the textiles we work with. While some new fabrics are chosen for their durable qualities, many are of a preloved, upcycled, or salvaged nature. We make use of as many pre-existing materials as possible to avoid using what we don’t need. We work a lot with recycled denim, upholstery fabrics, and vintage tablecloths, reworking these textiles into pieces to be enjoyed for years to come.
This ethos also extends beyond textiles and into the haberdashery that we use in our workroom. Buttons, zips, and trims are usually preloved too. Within our storefront, we use recycled paper wherever possible (including for swing tags and flyers), and wrap our online orders in vintage wallpaper and kraft paper to be couriered. We avoid plastic wherever possible.
As well as creating new, sustainably-produced pieces, we also encourage people to treasure the garments they already own through alterations and repairs. This not only prolongs the lifespan of pieces that may otherwise end up in landfill, but also helps to normalize the idea that you can work with what you’ve already got. This is a radical mindset in a throwaway culture of consumerism. A substantial part of our business is our alteration and repair services. We hem clothes, repair holes, and take things in. We do all those little nips and tucks that are necessary for a garment to keep on giving.
Lastly, we always encourage people to work with the clothes they already have. The most sustainable fashion that exists is what is already in our wardrobes. We offer “Juli Eye” wardrobe edit services to anyone in our local community who is feeling a bit stuck with their clothes, and are wanting some guidance on how to make their wardrobe work well for them. We help people sort through their clothes, designating them into pieces to keep or pass on. We also offer advice about clothes that work well for different body shapes and lifestyles. Any garments that require repair or alteration will come back with us to be given a new lease on life, so they can continue to be enjoyed. We love helping people to feel their best in garments that they already own, and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the marketing of fast fashion.
We’re firm believers that fashion is not an isolated entity. It doesn’t just exist to the wearer. It affects everyone and everything around it, from those who produce the textiles and the environment they come from, to those who make the garment, to those who ship and sell them. The community that surrounds each piece is both vital and affected by the nature of what is being produced. Garments that are made using unsustainable practices with ethically unsound methods have hugely detrimental effects on the community. With this in mind, we endeavor for our products to be a positive force of sustainability within our local community.
We receive many donations from our community, and we hugely appreciate each and every one. Many thoughtful people donate unwanted clothing, fabrics, and haberdashery that we use to both run our alteration and repair services, as well as to create new pieces. Often these donations come from elderly women who were sewers or tailors, and they very kindly pass them on to us, knowing we will put them to good use.
One of our favourite places to source textiles and haberdashery to work with is our local opportunity shops and recycling stations. This not only diverts these items from ending up in landfill, but it brings money back into the local community. A true win-win.
When we need to purchase new, we love supporting fellow NZ businesses. We choose NZ-made elastic, biodegradable cotton tapes, and bias binding, and also sell this both online and in-store to make it accessible for others to do the same.
Our online community is also a large part of the sustainability work we do. We’ve noticed a large gap in information online about the true practices of the fashion industry, and we pride ourselves on bringing this knowledge to light. With knowledge comes power, and with power comes the ability to make more informed, sustainable choices. We talk about the cost of NZ-made fashion, working with upcycled textiles, the biodegradability of different fabrics, and the barriers in the way of sustainable fashion (just to name a few!) across our social media channels.
Sustainability And Our People
Sustainability extends beyond just the environment around us. It is also important to us to engage with people in a sustainable way too.
Juli Hunter is a proud, Living Wage employer. This means that our employees are paid enough to live with dignity. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our small team is valued and fairly compensated for their hard work. Just as treating the environment with respect to avoid harm is a sustainable action, so too is treating our employees in a way that they can live and thrive; not just merely survive.
All of our sewers live locally within the Kāpiti/Horowhenua community. We like to keep it local to reduce our emissions as much as possible.
Thank you for reading our sustainability policy. This is an evergreen, dynamic document that encompasses all of what we do. It will continue to change over time as we learn to adapt and respond to our changing world in the best way we can.