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Women’s Refuge launches 1st recycled designer boutique

For immediate release, 24th April 2014
Women’s Refuge launches its first Yellow Belle recycled designer boutique

Women’s Refuge launches a flagship boutique, Yellow Belle, in Takapuna stocked with high-end designer garments donated by women and designers from throughout New Zealand.

A stylish recycled designer clothing boutique whose profits will help women and children escape domestic violence will be launched on April 30th in Auckland. To mark the opening of the ‘Yellow Belle’ boutique a specially crafted dress designed by Trelise Cooper will be sold to raise funds for Women’s Refuge.

“Yellow Belle is the first boutique in what will become a chain of stores throughout New Zealand selling donated treasured clothing and accessories,” says Heather Henare, Women’s Refuge CE. “Already we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the NZ Sculpture onShore event which has seed funded this project and the many women and businesses who have supplied clothes, shoes and accessories.”

“In this day and age charities have to get quite wily about how we find sustainable and alternative sources of income to complement government funding, our annual appeals and important donor supporters,” explains Ms Henare.

“For many years we have wanted to break into the world of recycled clothing but we wanted to have a unique point of difference with something to make women feel great, able to afford high end clothes, whilst being mindful of the importance of rejuvenation.” Guy Trebay, New York Times Culture and Style writer supports such initiatives, “The more we satisfy the shopping craving with second hand, the less goes into landfill.”

Ms Henare says Women’s Refuge services touch the lives of 20,000 women and children each year and nearly two thirds of its workforce is unpaid. “It takes a passionate community of people to keep NZ women and children safe and Yellow Belle was initiated to provide some of the important additional funding we need to keep providing services to these families.”

The flagship store on Hurstmere Road, Takapuna is the first store, with others planned throughout the country. Ms Henare’s vision is that Women’s Refuge will expand the services it offers with income generated from the stores. “Our work has never been fully funded. We rely heavily on volunteers and the profits from Yellow Belle stores will support the important work we do in advocating and supporting women and children whose lives have been devastated by domestic violence.

“The community behind this project has been amazing,” says Yellow Belle Project Manager Stephanie Garvey. “We have received some stunning collections of clothes from all kinds of people and clothes that cannot be sold from Yellow Belle can be distributed out to women and children who often end up at our safe houses in just the clothes they escaped in.”

Trelise Cooper’s dress for the flagship store is a 1950s creation, with a multi coloured fabric donated by the Fabric Store. The Yellow Belle branding is inspired by the Kowhai flower – the symbol of Women’s Refuge, which celebrates both healing and beauty. A website will be launched with the boutique.

“Women can shop confidently knowing that we have gone to great lengths to ensure high quality and fair prices,” says Ms Garvey. If you are interested in donating high-end garments or having a corporate collection box at your work place then contact

Yellow Belle was made possible by NZ Sculpture OnShore, an organization whose primary purpose is to support Women’s Refuge and has, to date, donated $1.34 million from exhibitions.
Yellow Belle, 12 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna.
Launch at 5.30pm, Takapuna Boating Club, 39 The Strand. Speeches from 6.15pm

About Women’s Refuge

Women’s Refuge is New Zealand's lead agency in providing services to deal with the impact of domestic violence on women and children. It has a 40-year history of providing comprehensive services, reaches 20,000 women and children each year and a crisis call is received every nine minutes. It operates 41 affiliated refuges throughout New Zealand, with sixty percent of its workers being volunteers.

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