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Collective thinking puts Starfish on the catwalk

Starfish director and head designer Laurie Foon has been collaborating with like-minded organizations to bring her show to this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week catwalk
August 18, 2011/23.05

Laurie Foon
Above Starfish’s Laurie Foon, championing sustainability and living the brand.

As a pioneer in the field of ethical business practices and sustainability, it should come as no surprise that New Zealand designer Starfish is the first fashion label to win a New Zealand Sustainable Business Award. Appropriately, Starfish director and head designer Laurie Foon has been collaborating with like-minded organizations to bring her show to this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week catwalk.
   Wellington’s celebrated eco-fashion label continues on an upward trajectory as Lunatopia, its autumn–winter 2012 collection, dares to dream big. This ambition can be seen through Starfish’s business practices and its ethical choices with their clothes, stores, communications, everyday practices and participation in industry initiatives. Of the choice to secure a range of sponsorship partners who share the dream of sustainable business practices, says Foon, ‘Two voices speak louder than one. We’ve learned that the more we share our experiences, the stronger we contribute to raising awareness and action. Together, we believe we can co-create conscious consumer choices in the daily lives of our customers.’
   Just as all Starfish garments are entirely and proudly made in New Zealand promoting sustainable fashion, Foon notes, ‘The partners we seek are innovative thinkers that have similar ethical values to ourselves. Our partners celebrate with us and contribute their own way. We all understand that being sustainable, or producing with an ethical focus, is fundamental to doing business in the future.’ For New Zealand Fashion Week, Starfish has carefully selected its major partners to be the Body Shop, Electrolux, Powershop and Project Crimson.
   The Body Shop will be using its brand new line, Extra Virgin Minerals make-up, made with 100 per cent mineral pigments and 100 per cent Community Fair Trade cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, to create a fresh and flawless complexion on the Starfish models.
   Foon, who as a young woman was profoundly influenced by the Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick, says, ‘I’m still in complete awe that Starfish and the Body Shop are working together to build a strong partnership. It is really befitting that the Body Shop will be providing our make-up look at New Zealand Fashion Week, and that together we can show people that you can still have great style while making ethical choices.’
   Electrolux, a company that raises public awareness about the plastic waste that fills our oceans by gathering plastic debris from vulnerable marine habitats and produces limited edition vacuums out of it, has engaged with Starfish with its colourful and compelling Vac from the Sea campaign. Laurie Foon and her design team will create a Vac from the Sea cover, as well as distinctive pieces of jewellery using recycled plastic and Electrolux technologies.
   Powershop, a company which allows consumers a choice in which brand of power they use, is actively tracking the power usage of the Starfish show at New Zealand Fashion Week and will then offset the carbon consumed. Starfish is collaborating with Powershop in order to encourage people to manage and reduce their electricity usage.
   Powershop will purchase a Gold Standard carbon offset for Starfish, certifying that the emission reduction has occurred and the carbon offset has been retired.
   Project Crimson, a trust that aims to protect and restore pohutukawa and rata trees in New Zealand, is teaming up with Starfish for the third time to create a limited-edition fundraising T-shirt for the summer. All profits earned from the sales will go towards protecting the trees. Of the partnership with Project Crimson, Foon says, ‘This year we’ve added a special touch by inviting New Zealand renowned artist Shona Moller to join the partnership. Titled Pride, these distinctive New Zealand made T-shirts will be launched immediately following the Starfish show.’
   Lunatopia will be presented at New Zealand Fashion Week on Tuesday, August 30 at
5 p.m. in Shed 2 of Auckland’s new Viaduct Events Centre. Starfish will also participate in the Merino Show on Friday, September 2 at 1 p.m. in the Westpac Shed.—Sabine Ernest

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