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May 5, 2016

Burt’s Bees and Pink Tartan launch limited-edition T-shirt to help save the bees in Canada

Lucire staff/13.06

Burt’s Bees Canada and Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan have teamed up to create a limited-edition T-shirt for Burt’s Bees’ fifth Wild for Bees campaign.
   The latest campaign (hashtagged #PinkTartanXBurtsBees and #beechic) sees Burt’s Bees and Wildlife Preservation Canada plant 10,000 wildflowers to support bee health and sustainability for each Pink Tartan × Burt’s Bees Bee Tee sold.
   The T-shirts retail for C$49 each, and are available from Pink Tartan directly (at stores and online), Holt Renfrew’s H Project, and select London Drugs locations.
   Burt’s Bees has supported Wildlife Preservation Canada since 2012 to help save at-risk bumble bees.
   ‘Bees play an integral role in our ecosystem and our partnership with Pink Tartan allows us to share that message in an exciting way,’ said Carolyn Hungate, Burt’s Bees’ marketing manager. ‘We want people to recognize the hard work bees do for our planet and understand that, by doing simple things, like planting wildflowers, they too can help the bee population thrive.’
   Pink Tartan has modified its ‘Be chic’ tagline to ‘Bee chic’ on the limited-edition T-shirt, and Burt’s Bees says it will be accompanied by two of its natural lipsticks in Tulip Tide and Iced Iris, Newport-Mimran’s favourite shades of pink.

April 20, 2016

New Zealand gets first Renault Zoé glimpse at Leading the Charge event in Wellington

Jack Yan/6.13



New Zealanders got their first look at the Renault Zoé last Friday at the Leading the Charge event in Wellington.
   The electric car, which has been a standard-bearer for the French company’s zero-emissions ambitions alongside its Twizy single-passenger commuter, arrived in the country only that week in right-hand drive form and made its way to the event at the CQ Hotel in Wellington.
   The Zoé posed alongside the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3, which is the subject of an upcoming comprehensive Lucire road test.
   Leading the Charge is a real-world north-to-south road trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff, New Zealand to educate people about zero-carbon motoring, to prove that it is indeed possible, even in a country like New Zealand where major cities are scattered around the landscape, with rural roads linking them.
   Better NZ Trust and EECA are behind the drive, and for Wellingtonians, guest speaker Steve West was on hand to talk about his venture, Charge Net NZ, which aims to have 100 fast-charge stations located nationally.
   Instead of the nightly charge of a car via the mains, which can take all night, these fast chargers pump electricity through in less than half an hour, making the electric car particularly viable. Presently, owners of electric cars pay no road tax.
   In New Zealand, where electricity is in part sourced from hydro sources, electric cars make environmental sense overall.
   Host CQ Hotels had installed eight electric car charging stations in its car park, as part of its social responsibility to the environment.
   The cars have made their way now to the South Island. You can follow @leadingthecharge on Instagram for the latest updates.—Jack Yan, Publisher







April 19, 2016

Sponsored video: Louis Cole looks at Nestlé’s sustainable cocoa harvesting for Kit-Kat

Lucire staff/1.27

A Lucire special promotion

Louis Cole, the man behind Fun for Louis, has over 1·7 million followers on his YouTube channel, making daily vlogs about his travels around the world. He’s built up that following without mass media: it’s all through clever content that people want to watch.
   When you combine Cole with international footballer Didier Drogba, then you’re likely to get a lot of eyeballs.
   Nestlé has done just that in promoting Kit-Kat in its latest series of videos, hiring Cole as its front man in a series made in the Ivory Coast, showing how sustainable the process is. It’s a move toward transparency by the Swiss giant, appealing to consumers who want goods that have a socially responsible element.
   The video series humanizes the chocolate production chain, beginning with the local families on the Ivory Coast who harvest the cocoa beans.
   Cole heads to the Ivory Coast to see workers who use a unique tool developed by Stanford University to harvest cocoa beans, replacing the dangerous machetes that they once used—and which are still commonplace in the country. The tool is more efficient and safer and, as Patricia Ekaba from the Nestlé Cocoa Plan notes, the cocoa is sustainably harvested. In fact, she says, Kit-Kat is the first global confectionery brand using 100 per cent sustainable cocoa—although it should be noted that this applies to those manufactured by Nestlé.
   The typical family-run cocoa farm in that part of the world is 2–3 ha.
   The wet cocoa beans are put on banana leaves for five days, during which the flavour is developed. Once the beans are fermented, they are taken to the local village, where they are dried under the sun, naturally.
   The final stop sees the cocoa taken to a cooperative’s warehouse, where their quality is checked and the farmers are paid. The cocoa is then taken to a processing factory, including one in York, and they are turned into cocoa liquor.
   Additional videos show Drogba, who is Ivorian, visit a local school in a farming town. Nestlé, it turns out, has built over 40 schools in Ivorian towns to provide better infrastructure for farming families, and Drogba has a charity working with the company to build another. The company also has initiatives supporting women, and preventing child labour.


Post sponsored by Kit-Kat

April 18, 2016

Fashion Cities Africa gives a snapshot of four cities on a varied, rich continent

Jack Yan/3.51

The second largest continent on the planet is, logically, home to a massive number of fashion designers and movements, although out of Africa, there hasn’t been as much recognition of them till recently. Fashion Cities Africa, the book, inspired by the exhibition of the same name at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery that opens at the end of April, is one high-profile development which seeks to shine a light on the variety present on the continent, while on a similar note, next month’s Africa Fashion Festival in Wellington will do the same for its designers.
   Hannah Azieb Pool, who edits the new book, is a Eritrean-born, London-based journalist, who, along with Helen Jennings, has co-writing duties, resulting in a cohesive, beautifully presented book that examines contemporary fashion in Nairobi, Casablanca, Lagos and Johannesburg. It doesn’t pretend to be a fully comprehensive guide, stating from the outset it is meant to provide mere glimpses on a continent that is incredibly diverse. The foreword by Binyavanga Wainaina, a flâneur, reminds us that there are clusters scattered throughout the land that have their own tendencies, and that her favourite designer is Nigerian, Chioma Chukwulozie.
   The reader is thrown in to the colour of Nairobi, where sibling bloggers Velma Rossa and Papa Petit (a.k.a. Oliver) take one half of the first spread with their über-stylish and proudly urban Kenyan clothes, and stylists, musicians, designers, bloggers and artists profiled on following pages give slices of their lives that shake occidental sensibilities with their own palettes and ensembles. Nairobi, for the most part, emphasizes comfort, and the clothing shot on these pages by Sarah Marie Waiswa demonstrate that the city’s fashion could easily translate to other places, spanning everything from casual to luxury. Adèle Dejak has shown in Milano, for instance, and appeared in Vogue Italia with her collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo, while John Kaveke and Nick Ondu show the sort of sartorial elegance that could easily influence menswear in other fashion capitals.
   Profiles of some of the personalities from the city follow, reminding us that Nairobi is a crossroads: Ami Doshi Shah is of Indian descent, her family brought there by the British when both countries were under Crown rule, while Ann McCreath is a Scots émigrée who fell in love with the fashion there. There’s a dose of youthful energy, too, with Anthony Mulli, a jewellery designer who started when he was 16, pointing the way forward.
   The book follows a similar structure for subsequent cities, moving on to Casablanca next.
   Lucire readers will be familiar with Morocco thanks to travel editor Stanley Moss’s writings, and Jennings’ chapter, with photographs by Deborah Benzaquen, takes us on a similar journey through the country’s largest city. It was, of course, a home for Yves Saint Laurent at one point, as well as a drawcard for many western celebrities, when a first wave of Moroccan designers became known outside of the region. A second wave, Jennings explains, emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, with Zineb Joundy a graduate of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. A greater sense of artistic freedom and Casablanca’s position that blends Arabic, European and indigenous cultures has resulted in some looks that may seem familiar—perhaps thanks to the likes of Saint Laurent and his influence. Again the profiles are well selected, a cross-section of the highly varied cultures in the city: Amine Bendriouich, Amina Agueznay, Yassine Morabite, Saïd Mahrouf, and Zhor, Chadia and Aida Raïs each cover a very different parts of the fashion spectrum, from T-shirts to traditional caftans.
   Once the book gets to Lagos, it’s apparent that there’s a sense of “bubbling under”, with Lakin Ogunbanwo’s photographs, paired with Jennings’ words again, showing slightly more subdued looks for men, but prouder, more flamboyant looks for women. Jennings notes that civil war and Nigeria’s military juntas stalled its fashion scene for some years, before a revival when democracy returned in 1999. Foreign labels were seen as cool till recently, with the country discovering its confidence in its own æsthetic, to the point where one of her interviewees, stylist Bolaji Anumashaun, says that fashion can be one of Nigeria’s ‘greatest exports’. Anumashaun founded thestylehq.com with a pan-African fashion focus, and Arise magazine, founded in 2008, also stepped up the promotion for Nigerian designers. With Nigeria’s GDP now greater than South Africa’s, that confidence is bound to increase, and Jennings looks at Nike Davis Okundaye, who owns the biggest gallery in West Africa in Lagos, and happy to promote young talent. Others, such as Yegwa Ukpo and Amaka Osakwe, both were schooled in the UK before returning to Lagos to found their brands, while PR consultant Zara Okpara and luxury concept store owner Reni Folawiyo complete their city’s picture.
   Johannesburg completes Fashion Cities Africa, and it’s perhaps fair that Pool chose to put it last. Many mistakenly think of South African fashion when they refer to ‘African fashion’, spurred in part by the Republic’s sporting ties to many other countries in the Commonwealth. Victor Dlamini has the photographic duties here, and Pool pens the words, and she goes through the various Jo’burg neighbourhoods, noting that its fashion is more established than Nairobi’s but less self-conscious than Lagos’s. There is a western infusion here in some parts, she notes, but on closer examination there are accessories that reference Soweto streets or Zulu culture. The city even has two fashion weeks: South Africa Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg, making the city spoiled for choice when it comes to giving its designers a platform. David Tlale, whom Lucire readers will have heard of, and who has shown at New York Fashion Week, hails from here, and Jo’burg designs have a greater sense of familiarity thanks to western media exposure. It oozes colour and vibrancy, much like the photos chosen for Pool’s first chapter on Nairobi, and in similar fashion (pun unintended) there are profiles from across the spectrum: designer Thula Sindi, creative collective, the Sartists, accessories’ and shoe designer Maria McCloy, and womenswear designers Marianne Fassler and Anisa Mpungwe.
   It’s our hope that we can cease talking about ‘African’ fashion and instead replace the dialogue with specific cities or countries, just as we do for smaller continents such as Europe. Just as there is no such thing to fashion observers as ‘European’ fashion, there is equally no such thing as ‘African’ fashion: it is impossible to generalize at a continental level. Both as an informative volume and a coffee-table flick-through (as it is softcover), Fashion Cities Africa succeeds, and it’s exceptionally good value with full-colour photographs (needed for its story, over 196 pp.) at £20 (available via Amazon UK here, or Book Depository here) or US$28·50, (Amazon link here). It is published this month by Intellect Books, as part of its Street Styles series.—Jack Yan, Publisher

April 13, 2016

The Body Shop’s British Rose body care and make-up an ideal line for Mothers’ Day

Lucire staff/14.57


The rose is often associated with England, and the Body Shop’s new range plays on that—though to be inclusive, it’s dubbed the British Rose range, with a full line of body care and cosmetics that plays on the love of a rosy scent.
   The roses are grown in Herefordshire, without the use of chemicals. The whole process respects the biodiversity of the area and the balance of nature, providing a home for the mammals and insects, especially bees, there.
   We’ve sampled the Instant Glow body butter (NZ$36·95), which is silky smooth to apply, and quickly absorbed to start doing its job. There’s no stickiness, and has promises 24 hours’ moisturizing. We love the scent, which is more noticeable in the container, and subtler after application.
   The second Instant Glow product we’ve tested, the Body Essence (NZ$45), is a body lotion that’s light, also quickly absorbed, feels nice on the skin, and gives it a subtle shimmer. The shower gel (NZ$16·50) is soap-free and the scent is more noticeable—which makes the showering experience quite a delight!
   There’s also an eau de toilette (NZ$39·95), bath foam (NZ$29·95), hand cream (NZ$23·95) and exfoliating soap (NZ$15) which we didn’t test.
   In the make-up range, the Body Shop offers nine shades for the British Rose Lip & Cheek Stains. We checked out Pink Hibiscus and Deep Berry, both of which give 12 hours of hydration with a blend of Community Trade honey and organic alœ vera, retailing at NZ$35·50 each. They are gorgeous shades that suit different skin tones, and are right on trend. There’s only a single shade for the British Rose nail colour—a mid-pink—giving a nice finish for only NZ$12·95.
   The remaining item in the range which we didn’t check out is the eye and cheek palette, retailing for NZ$59·50, with a variety of shades suiting casual and formal looks.
   For Mothers’ Day, the Body Shop has three gift packs: the British Rose Treats at NZ$30, with the shower gel, body butter and a Mini Bath, in Lily in Pink; the Essential Gift Collection (NZ$82), with the shower gel, vitamin E moisture cream, body butter and hand cream; and the Deluxe Gift Collection (NZ$152), with shower gel, vitamin E moisture cream, body butter, Body Essence and eau de toilette.
   The British Rose range hits stores in New Zealand on April 18.





April 11, 2016

H&M launches M.I.A.’s ‘Rewear It’ to mark World Recycle Week; Olivia Wilde supports Conscious Collection

Lucire staff/10.27



Max Larsson

Olivia Wilde is the face of H&M’s Conscious Collection, and promoted it in New York last week alongside her friend Barbara Burchfield.
   She wore a lace skirt and matching blouse from the range, complemented by a Balenciaga leather jacket.
   Wilde and Burchfield co-founded Conscious Commerce, which she discusses in our video below. Her venture encourages companies to work in sustainability into their day-to-day operations, and says that H&M is a good ally, a company that proves that one does not need to sacrifice style for nobler aims.
   On a related note, H&M today (April 11) launches its campaign for World Recycle Week 2016, with a video entitled ‘Rewear It’, featuring British performer M.I.A., who also composed the song exclusively for the company.
   The video encourages people to recycle old or unwanted clothes. The Swedish giant says M.I.A. ‘personifies the conscious consumer with a social awareness.’
   Aaron Sillis choreographed the video, which runs for 3 minutes, 37 seconds and features a cast of music and dance artists and allies in sustainability, shot all over the world.
   H&M aims to collect 1,000 tonnes of unwanted or worn-out garments from its customers worldwide, through its 3,600 stores. It is part of the company’s goal to close the loop in fashion, recycling unwanted garments to create textile fibres for new products.
   ‘World Recycle Week is about embracing important environmental issues such as the landfills, and highlighting a global movement,’ she says.

April 8, 2016

Kourtney Kardashian announces she’s the new Manuka Doctor ambassador

Lucire staff/0.20

Kourtney Kardashian has inked a deal to represent Manuka Doctor, with the mother-of-three taking to Instagram to make the announcement, accompanied by a photograph of her topless and wearing gold make-up.
   A video from Manuka Doctor shows off its products along with Kardashian, who says she had been using manuka honey for years. She had posted Manuka Doctor via her own app, and says that the company reached out to her to be a spokeswoman.
   ‘When we heard that Kourtney was a fan of our products and a believer in our brand philosophy and approach, we knew that she was the ideal choice for our global ambassador,’ said Manuka Doctor’s Claire Perry. ‘Her track record of believing in natural products that are backed by science, along with her position as a pop culture icon and committed Mom, makes her incredibly relatable to our consumers worldwide.’
   Kardashian calls the tie-up ‘a super, organic, perfect fit.’
   She is known for using natural products, with her personal website focusing on eco-friendly products.
   The deal is for two years, starting April 2016.
   Auckland-based Manuka Doctor sources its manuka honey from New Zealand and is sold through 12,000 stores globally. Its line is 100 per cent bee-friendly. It was first featured in Lucire in 2012.

A video posted by Manuka Doctor (@manukadr) on

April 6, 2016

New Zealand photographers examine human impact in New York City exhibition

Lucire staff/13.39





Above, from top: Andrew B. White: Single Tree Fog. Claire Price’s L’Enfer VI. Jonathan Pilkington: Piopiotahi 1 & 2. Nichola Clark: Merania.

With opening night tonight, the Ora Gallery at 51 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10011, is showing Anthropocene Vision: Photography by Four Artists, exhibiting works by four New Zealanders: Nichola Clark, Jonathan Pilkington, Claire Price, and Andrew B. White.
   The images show ‘nature and interiors that conceal—or reveal—vestiges of a human presence,’ noted the gallery. Anthropocene refers to our present era, one where humans have had a permanent impact on Earth. The works being shown attempt to ‘capture, influence, understand, and form a spiritual connection with the world we inhabit.’
   Each photographer covers a different part of the main theme, with Clark exploring land and belonging, looking at Hiruhārama, New Zealand and the Ngāti Hau people, Pilkington examining the relationship humans have with stone; Price studying how humans can manipulate and destroy nature; and White photographing Prospect Park in New York as he studies an urban park and the human presence concealed within his images.
   The exhibition runs till April 29.

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