SOURCING SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL FASHION FOR NEW ZEALAND
What does sustainable fashion mean to us?
At Cosmic, we aim to provide New Zealand with a range of clothing that isn’t just cool, it is also good. Good for the planet, good for the people, and ultimately providing a good alternative to fast fashion.
The journey began with the conception of our in house brand Cosmic Hemp four years ago. Designed by our fashion buyer Ruby as a sustainable everyday wardrobe, made from hemp & certified organic cotton.
Creating this for NZ inspired a really positive change for Cosmic, since then our range has grown to include environmentally friendly brands such as Afends and Lucy & Yak.
To celebrate how far we have come both sustainably and ethically, we are going to unpack and explore how we make, design, and choose clothing that fits in with our values.
If you’ve shopped with us before, or even just popped in, you might be familiar with these stamps - but what do they mean? We will be going into more detail about each of these values, but for now let’s focus on…
Each brand we stock must be conscious of their approach to fabrics, packaging, energy use, water impact, chemical use, organic status, and waste management. This leads to producing garments that respect the planet by causing less damage, and therefore sustaining the environment. So when we look at sustainability, what are the specifics?
What kind of fabrics are sustainable?
We prioritise sourcing quality clothing made with natural & biodegradable fabric, products that are durable, timeless and designed to last a long time. Mountains of plastic clothing waste is filling up landfills in New Zealand, by providing long lasting biodegradable garments we can help to minimise this.
How can packaging be sustainable?
We want reusable, recyclable and biodegradable packaging for our products wherever possible. Afends is on board, all their packaging is made from renewable and sustainable plant materials as well as non-toxic compostable resin making them 100% home compostable.
What is sustainable energy?
We look for fabrics made from plants that don’t need much energy to grow and thrive, and support businesses committed to renewable energy resources. Lucy & Yak and Afends both use solar energy to power their HQ, warehouse and factories helping to reduce their CO2 emissions.
What is sustainable water use?
We want the fabrics used to be made from plants that don’t damage waterways,or use too much water in order to grow, and do not shed microfibres when washed. Hemp only uses 1/20th the amount of water to grow and process as regular cotton.
Why is organic clothing sustainable?
We don’t want chemicals used in the growth of plants or the processing of materials and fabrics, which is why we look for organic fabrics. The chemicals used in regular cotton crops have been linked to groundwater, surface water and drinking water contamination across the globe. Choosing to buy organic helps to support these socially responsible farms, as change must begin with us as consumers and producers.
How is waste managed?
Of course we want our products to be mindful and limit waste and recycle where possible. Lucy & Yak are great at this! They use their online community to promote a zero-waste lifestyle,use recycled materials, compostable packaging and create totes and hats made from their fabric offcuts.
We have worked hard to hand pick collections that fit these sustainable specs, check them out below or instore at a Cosmic near you!
Cosmic’s very own brand, designed in house. Simple styling, high quality fabrics, functionality and inspiring an eco-friendly choice are the basis of Cosmic Hemp. Naturally, we use the best plant for the job - hemp. Wanna know why? Click here https://www.cosmicnz.co.nz/why-hemp
Lucy and Chris, the founders of Lucy & Yak began their ethical business journey on a beach in New Zealand. Their UK based brand is something truly inspiring for the rest of the world, as well as the most comfortable dungarees ever! They are committed to proving that everyone from production to customer can be happy, whilst taking care of the environment in the process. By using organic textiles and low impact dyes, their beautiful colourful clothes make you feel proud to join their #comfortmovement! Cosmic is stoked to be the only international stockist in the world, we are so lucky to provide Lucy & Yak for Aotearoa!
From across the ditch, this brand specialises in sustainable fabrics and are passionate about the misunderstood super plant - HEMP. Born in 2006 off the back of a small screen printing business, owners Declan and Jono decided to investigate how they could promote sustainability to the people, while cultivating change in the fashion industry. Their Hemp Revolution is about providing quality hemp & organic products to the world, in timeless designs that will last you a long time.