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Shoe revolution At Fashion Week


Shoe revolution

From the glamour of AIR NEW ZEALAND FASHION WEEK comes a bold social statement about who we tread on when we tie our laces.


Notorious for exploitation of workers worldwide, the footwear industry has relied on consumers buying shoes produced in sweatshop conditions using child labour – until now. Enter fair trade importer Trade Aid, socially responsible Christchurch fashion label chalkydigits, and the only 100% unionised footwear factory in the world, and you have ‘No Sweat’ sneakers setting foot on the catwalk at AIR NEW ZEALAND FASHION WEEK this month.

chalkydigits clothing label was conceived four years ago in the coffee houses of New Zealand’s Southern Lakes, and has since become a symbol of urban and environmental exploration. Creative, individual and comfortable, chalkydigits is for those who like to get out and do rather than be and is proudly passionate about embracing all that New Zealand has to offer. This home grown brand will be profiled as part of the New Generation Show at AIR NEW ZEALAND FASHION WEEK this month, having won Lifestyle Designer of the Year at the at the Canterbury Fashion Awards in November 2003.

chalkydigits uses local materials and labour wherever possible and strongly promotes support for New Zealand made products. Designer, Liz Collins, is concerned about the lack of social responsibility in the international fashion industry. Research shows that many consumers share her concern and want reassurance that they’re not contributing to exploitation of workers. “With little production information generally available to socially conscious consumers, I’m pleased to help launch ‘No Sweat’ sneakers through AIR NEW ZEALAND FASHION WEEK as a responsible footwear choice.” ’No Sweat’ shoes provide the workers with health benefits, rice allowances and wages 30% above minimum wage and you know this because every shoe comes with an information sheet detailing the benefits earned by the makers of the shoes.

Imported by Trade Aid as part of an international movement and to be worn by chalkydigits catwalk models the message being sent to the international world of fashion is “we care what we wear”.

‘No Sweat’ shoes are the perfect complement for the fashionable, functional street wear of chalkydigits and after their debut at AIR NEW ZEALAND FASHION WEEK they can be found in New Zealand Trade Aid stores from late November.

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