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Collective Thinking Puts Starfish On The Catwalk

Media Release
Wednesday 17 August, 2011

Collective Thinking Puts Starfish On The Catwalk

The first fashion label to win a New Zealand Sustainable Business Award, Starfish has always aimed for the stars with its ethical business practices. For this month’s New Zealand Fashion Week, Starfish Director and Head Designer, Laurie Foon, has joined forces with a clique of like-minded, environmentally conscious organisations to bring her show to the catwalk.

Wellington’s celebrated eco-fashion label continues on a stellar trajectory with Lunatopia, its Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. Lunatopia is inspired by the rock and roll revolutionaries, style icons and shooting stars who have changed their world by daring to dream big. This aspirational theme carries right through to securing a range of sponsorship partners who share Foon’s dream of sustainable business.

“Two voices speak louder than one,” says Laurie Foon. “We’ve learned that the more we share our experiences, the stronger we contribute to raising awareness and action. Together, we believe we can co-create conscious consumer choices in the daily lives of our customers.”

Starfish are proud to be sustainability leaders in the local fashion industry, promoting ethical choices through their clothes, stores, communications, everyday practices and participation in industry initiatives. All Starfish garments are entirely and proudly made in New Zealand. It should come as no surprise then, that when it comes to seeking sponsorship partners, Starfish’s motivation is more than just financial.

“The partners we seek are innovative thinkers that have similar ethical values to ourselves,” says Foon. “Our partners celebrate with us and contribute in their own way. We all understand that being sustainable, or producing with an ethical focus, is fundamental to doing business in the future.”

Starfish’s mindfully selected major partners for New Zealand Fashion Week 2011 are, The Body Shop, Electrolux, Powershop and Project Crimson.

The Body Shop will be using its brand new Extra Virgin Minerals make-up, made with 100% mineral pigments and 100% Community Fair Trade cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, to create a fresh and flawless complexion on the Starfish models.

The Body Shop founder, Dame Anita Roddick, who pioneered a socially and environmentally responsible approach to business, had a profound influence on Laurie Foon as a young woman.

“Laurie reminds me of Anita in some ways,” says Barrie Thomas, Director of The Body Shop New Zealand. “She’s visionary, extraordinarily creative, and isn’t afraid to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, if it means doing it the right way.”

“I’m still in complete awe that Starfish and The Body Shop are working together to build a strong partnership,” exclaims Foon. “It is really befitting that The Body Shop will be providing our make-up look at New Zealand Fashion Week, and that together we can show people that you can still have great style while making ethical choices.”

Electrolux has actively engaged with Starfish through its colourful and compelling Vac from the Sea campaign. To raise public awareness about the plastic waste that fills our oceans, while sustainable recycled plastic remains in short supply, Electrolux gathers plastic debris from vulnerable marine habitats and produces limited edition vacuums out of it.

Laurie Foon and her team will be designing a Vac from the Sea cover, as well as distinctive pieces of jewellery, using recycled plastic and Electrolux technologies.

“When looking at Starfish, we saw so many things in common,” says Electrolux Green Ambassador for Asia Pacific, Julian Huitfeldt, “From the way recycled materials and zero toxicity print is used in their manufacturing, to the brilliant and innovative designs. As we are both talking to the same customer, Electrolux is proud to have the opportunity to work together with Starfish to promote responsible and sustainable product choices.”

Powershop is actively tracking the power usage of the Starfish show at New Zealand Fashion Week in order to offset the carbon consumed. For Starfish, this partnership is about supporting an innovative business that is empowering people to manage and reduce their electricity usage.

Carbon emissions generated from the electricity used in the production of the Starfish show will be calculated using a New Zealand Government approved formula. Powershop will then purchase a Gold Standard carbon offset for Starfish, certifying that the emission reduction has occurred and the carbon offset has been retired.

Project Crimson has teamed up with Starfish for the third time to create a limited edition fundraising t-shirt for summer. All profits from their sale will go towards protecting and restoring Pohutukawa and Rata trees in New Zealand.

“This year we’ve added a special touch by inviting New Zealand renowned artist, Shona Moller, to join the partnership,” says Laurie Foon. Titled Pride, these distinctive, New Zealand made t-shirts will be launched immediately following the Starfish show.

Starfish presents Lunatopia at New Zealand Fashion Week on Tuesday 30 August, 5pm in Shed 2 of Auckland’s new Viaduct Events Centre

Starfish will also participate in the Merino Show on Friday 2 September, 1pm in the Westpac Shed.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” – Oscar Wilde


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