A growing Kāpiti business is fighting back against textile waste and its impact on the planet by creating an system to process textile waste in Kāpiti.
The business is a passion project of Kāpiti resident Julia Scott, who is creating unique garments from textile waste sourced in Kāpiti under the label, The Fabric Warrior.
"It's said our planet already has enough fabric on it to clothe the next six generations," Julia said.
"We don't need to keep producing fabric at the rates we have been, this is why we are focused on using what is already on the planet.
"We are creating new garments with a history, designing new ways to use existing materials and products rather than the traditional take-make-dispose model of the fashion industry.
"Designing out waste is one of the three principles of a circular economy.
"We are doing it by creating new material out of second-hand clothes and manufacturing waste, using manufacturing waste as design elements and creating zero waste patterns to avoid manufacturing waste."
With sustainability and environmental responsibility becoming a focal point in the cycle of consumption, brands such as The Fabric Warrior and Juli Hunter Eco Friendly Style based in Waikanae, are fighting to change buyer behaviour.
"The great thing is everyone is so positive about what we are trying to do," Julia said.
"Most people understand the need to be kinder to the planet.
"However, buying behaviours are slower to change - we are creatures of habit, but people tell us what we are doing is fresh and exciting.
"What I absolutely love is that we are creating garments with a history that are one of a kind and is diverting waste from landfills.
"Fashion allows us to express ourselves creatively and culturally but the industry needs tremendous change, a revival of design.
"We need less waste and short term wear - too often an item of clothing is thrown away because there's one thing wrong with it.
"Each piece we create is unique and has a story to tell."
Working together with Juli Hunter in Waikanae who creates and alters clothing with a sustainable flair, Julia currently has a range of tops made completely out of the good bits of second-hand garments and Juli has released a range of drape dungarees made from vintage curtain fabric.
Another local company is also joining the fight for conscious consumerism with Orba, a sustainable shoe company producing plant-based biodegradable shoes, recently marking UN World Soil Day as a nod to environmental priorities instead of adding to the hype of Black Friday sales.
Sustainability manager Gillian Boucher said the shoe industry is an example of products being made with little thought about where they will end up at the end of their lifespan.
"We are fighting back against the pollution caused by the 20 billion shoes produced globally every year and destined for landfill," she said.
"This year, the sustainability-focused business launched the world-first Orba Ghost - a stylish street sneaker made almost entirely of natural materials and designed to biodegrade.
"Orba's materials were chosen with a thought about the pesticide and irrigation impacts that crop farming can have on local communities.
"We've chosen some of the most highly renewable plant-based materials in the world.
"These have very low environmental impacts during farming and cultivation and they don't degrade our soils."
Julia said support for a new way of production and consumption from locals has been fantastic.
"We have created a local ecosystem to process textile waste in Kāpiti and the local support has been fantastic.
"People in Kāpiti appreciate the beautiful place we live in and want to support initiatives that keep it that way."