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You eco-consciously light up my life


September 13, 2008/1.40

Starfish store reopening
Witchery in-store signage
Osram light bulb
Witchery store opening
Witchery store opening
Clockwise from top left: Revealing an old wall at Star?sh with an eco-friendly re?t. One of the new Osram energy-saving lights. Witchery’s ?agship store in Wellington is tasteful and elegant.

Ever since we took the ?les for the New Zealand issue to the printer, I have attended a few more dos around Wellington (as to New York, LA, London and Auckland, there’ll be other Lucire folks filing reports). First up was Star?sh’s ?agship store reopening at the end of August, which was a pleasure to attend. Co-founder Laurie Foon—Lucire’s ?rst interviewee back in 1997—talked about how the soul of Star?sh really was the Willis Street store, and when faced with the end of the lease even considered moving before realizing that they really couldn’t. Having won environmental awards, Star?sh wanted the new store to be in keeping with its brand, and that was ful?lled by reusing materials from the old, installing low-energy lighting, and even making better use of its space.
   Speaking of low-energy lighting, I have read all manner of panicky news items and emails talking about those new eco-lights. One told of how they were ?lled so much with mercury that if one broke, you’d better leave the room.
   A function for Osram’s new Halogen Energy Saver range, endorsed by the Minister of Energy, David Parker, himself, who spoke at the launch, indicated that the mercury levels in those lights were about ?ve per cent of what they were in traditional ?uorescent lights. And the Halogen Energy Saver range, for those who are still a bit worried about the newfangled twisty lights, the Osram ones are bulbs that look like the traditional incandescent ones—but, as was pointed out, since they had been with us for 100 years in a similar form, it was about time for improvements.
   The company claims a life of 2,000 hours (twice as long as the incandescent type), that the Halogen Energy Savers have no mercury, and that they even have recycled glass inside. Prices begin at NZ$3·50, so they are not price-prohibitive compared to other eco solutions.
   I did joke that it seemed appropriate that an event hosted by a politician was at Te Papa’s I Con Room; of course, it was the Icon Room.
   Last Thursday, Witchery opened its New Zealand ?agship store at 187 Featherston Street, Wellington, at least to the press (the public got in Friday). Kiwis can now get Witchery’s tasteful, elegant styles at its own, lovely stand-alone store (the head-of?ce Melbournians who came over remarked how alike Wellington was to their city, i.e. Witchery is ideally suited to Wellingtonians). There is a line extension coming out in March, we were told. And to seal the deal, the Australians were decent enough to serve us Moët et Chandon brut, not the usual Lindauer that seems to pass for champagne (take it from someone who knows: it ain’t), which certainly suggests they aren’t going to do things half-baked for their across-the-Tasman cousins. (Props to Smith the Grocer for the nibbles, too.)

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