One of the Wellington Nope Sisters has won a $10,000 scholarship to expand her business selling T-shirts highlighting issues of sexual consent, period poverty, youth suicide and eating disorders.
Brittany Cosgrove said it was "incredible and extremely validating" to win the national scholarship from AMP to help expand her social enterprise, Nope Sisters Clothing.
Launched from a shoestring budget out of her bedroom in her family home with sister Johanna Cosgrove, Nope Sisters has sold nearly 2000 T-shirts worldwide, including the Mastectotee, which is embroidered to resemble a mastectomy scar.
The Mastectotee and the NOPE T-shirts were also added this year to Te Papa's collection to celebrate 125 years of women's suffrage.
The T-shirts are designed to empower young women with powerful messages, while sharing profits with charities.
They have donated more than $6500 to chosen partner charities, including NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Youthline, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network and the NZ Eating Disorder Association.
Brittany, 24, wants Nope Sisters Clothing to raise awareness and make a positive social change by creating a conversation about the real social problems that affect New Zealanders.
"I feel very lucky that I won, and now I have the money to further our business and make it bigger and better."
The Nope Sisters have a new design coming out soon which will focus on environmental issues, and some of the money will go toward that.
Winning the scholarship validated all the hard work they had been doing, she said.
"It sort of affirmed the fact that there are big companies out there that look at our idea and think that it's a really good idea that could go somewhere with a little bit of backing."
AMP Scholarship judges said Nope Sisters educates the community about important messages around consent and #MeToo.
Brittany not only talks about the message, but she inspires others by living it, they said.
AMP managing director Blair Vernon said the company received more than 2700 scholarship applications from noteworthy Kiwis all across New Zealand in 2018.
"We're very proud to celebrate 20 years of AMP Scholarships, having dedicated more than $2.5 million towards helping over 320 remarkable Kiwis. These wonderful and inspirational New Zealanders' pursuit of their dreams have encouraged and positively impacted countless others in ways we couldn't imagine."