Lucire   Lucire home page / Fashion / / Volante: travel features and news / Living / Lucire: Insider blog
News headlines / Lucire Reader Forum / Subscribe to the print editions of Lucire
Lucire Community 
Lucire feedback 
Subscribe to the Lucire Insider feed
Subscribe to Lucire

fashion: special promotion

Tika: the real thingTika: the real thing

Born of an auspicious meeting between a Kiwi and an American, tika stays true to their mission of doing the right thing. The merino apparel maker is Lucire’s pick of environmentally friendly labels for this issue by Seka Ojdrović

From issue 27 of Lucire


A SUPERIOR PRODUCT, timeless style, and a solid commitment to the earth. Merino apparel manufacturers tika had the recipe for success to turn a concept into an internationally recognized brand.
   Husband-and-wife team Matthew and Barbara Anderson met in Santa Monica, California. After the stress of dividing their time between two American coasts to fulfil their corporate responsibilities, they knew they wanted more. The couple began thinking seriously about trading in the daily grind to create a fashion line with a soul.
   ‘My husband Matthew introduced me to New Zealand merino on a winter visit to Alexandra in July 2005 and I fell in love with the fabric. I knew that merino would work well in the United States market and we set out to design a line of merino apparel that would suit the casual lifestyle of the [US] west coast,’ says Barbara. ‘We made the decision quite quickly and have never looked back.’
   By September, they had quit their jobs and sold their house to start anew in New Zealand.
   tika was launched in April 2006, with Barbara as managing director and Matthew as creative director. The company’s name, pronounced teeka, is Maori; meaning ‘correct, true, ethical, right’. ‘It is a strong and positive word, and reflected our belief in creating a company that did things the right way,’ Barbara says.
   The tika team knew that their consumers were more attuned to a business’s ethics than they used to be. That’s why it was so important to them that they run a consistently sustainable business right through the production line. That, and knowing it was just the right thing to do.
   They lead the way in environmentally-friendly business practice every day—sourcing from local suppliers, reducing carbon emissions in company travel, pairing up with like-minded models, photographers, and stylists—but still they wanted more. That’s why they partnered with Zque to check the sustainable practices of the farms producing their fibre. Zque audits the total gamut of farm management—from animal welfare to environmental impact.
   ‘We wanted to approach the market with something that had teeth,’ says Barbara. ‘Zque’s independent audits give us the added assurance that our fibre and fabric are made with respect for people and the planet.’
   But what’s a fashion line, even an environmentally friendly one, without the fashion?
   The tika collection includes 22 styles for men and women, with everything from skirts and dresses, to cardigans, polo shirts and boxer shorts. tika’s aim is to design slow fashion clothes: fashion that will last because of its timeless elegance. ‘Buyers recognize the high-quality fabric and love the colours and fit’, says Barbara.
   They took their line of merino apparel to the magic trade show in Las Vegas in 2007 to see if they’d hit the mark. Magic is the leading trade event in international fashion for small retailers to meet with worldwide buyers.
   Given Barbara’s background (she holds an MBA in marketing and has 15 years’ experience in international business), it was little surprise that tika had a global perspective from day one. International sales going strong, and a partnership with a distributorship in Korea, gives the impression that they know when they’re on to something.      
   The line sells in the US and in Korea, while the website ( sells to all other countries. In May 2009, tika opened its first retail store in Alexandra to showcase its full line while growing its home sales.
   From the seed of an idea amongst mundane corporate static to a thriving entrepreneurship with international stakes. It just goes to show: doing the right thing can go very, very well. •


Add to | Digg it | Add to Facebook


Related articles
Lucire 2005 | The Global Fashion Magazine

Fighting Aids with fashion
Hennes & Mauritz joins celebrities in contributing proceeds from a collection to HIV and Aids prevention initiatives
photographed by Daniel Jackson

Lucire 2005 | The Global Fashion Magazine

‘Behind the Label’ special: be jewelled with the earth-inspired wonders of Kirsten Muenster’s new jewellery line. Summer Rayne Oakes shows that these precious, little pieces have a big story to tell
photographed by Jon Moe
Expanded from issue 19 of Lucire