Mindful Fashion AGM

The Mindful Fashion team along with members from across the fashion and textiles industry gathered together recently for our AGM, held on the 28th of April 2021.

More than 80 from the local industry attended the Auckland in-person event, current members as well as interested business owners and industry stakeholders keen to find out more about us. Alongside this, many of our members and industry stakeholders from around New Zealand attended via Zoom, including representatives from fashion educational institutes Whitecliffe, AUT, Massey University and Otago Polytechnic, AgResearch, Usedfully and Oritain.

Together we reflected on the past year, celebrated our achievements, mapped out our objectives for 2021 and heard an important message from Keynote speaker Chloe Swarbrick.

He waka eke noa.

This whakatauki speaks to the mission of Mindful Fashion, we are working in unity and leaving no-one behind.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern set the scene with a short video presentation. She highlighted the opportunities the pandemic has presented to rethink the way we do business in a way that drives sustainable change, in particular, to ‘support our local people, our local economy and our beautiful Whenua.' You can watch her address in the video recording (3:15) here.

Chair of Mindful Fashion, James Walker shared important data we have gathered about the clothing and textiles industry in NZ, and provided an overview of our achievements in the last year as we work to create an innovative, full-circle and thriving future for the industry in NZ.

Jacinta FitzGerald, Programme Director of Mindful Fashion, reinforced the importance of our mission and the organisation’s objectives, and spoke about the need to prioritise our work. Our 4 key priorities for 2021/22 year are:

  • Industry Capability
  • Sustainability
  • Circular Textiles
  • A Sustainable Organisation

Keep an eye on our Projects page to follow our progress, and get in touch if you would like more information or to get involved.

A highlight of the evening was Keynote speaker Chloe Swarbrick. Chloe presented a valuable message around structure, culture and 3 key levers that make change happen. She shared that structure is how things are built or formed and that culture is a shared set of values, making the case that culture is where you have the power to make the change.

Chloe highlighted 3 levers our industry can use to make change happen:

  • Educating customers, society and politicians.

  • Media and Social Media: The fashion industry has a powerful storytelling capability and this story is important. As an industry, we need to tell our story through a range of different angles and media channels.

  • Collective action and community building.

Chloe Swarbrick was joined by Kate Sylvester and Emily Miller Sharma for a Q&A, with key questions shown below.

How many apprenticeships will your apprenticeship program create?

  • The number of apprenticeships will depend on demand. We plan to start with machinist apprenticeships and build more from here. There is interest from 30-40 businesses.

How will apprenticeships be structured?

  • The apprenticeships will be a combination of on-the-job training, with support from a private training organisation to deliver external training block courses, assessments and mentorship.

How will apprenticeships work in smaller towns?

  • This will entirely depend on the way the governance structure is set up, and the demand from industry. We are developing the program at the moment and will endeavour to meet the demand from the industry.
  • As part of the current education system reforms, there is potential to have training occur within certain smaller areas if they are identified as an area of industry opportunity. These Government initiatives are called Centres for Commercial Excellence.

Chloe Swarbrick: What are your ambitions?

  • The aim is to actively build community by helping people with their day-to-day problems. The Karangahape Road electorate office is now open. Having a physical space will give us space to build a community and an ongoing place for people to drop in.

How do we as an industry get recognised by the government?

  • By creating cultural importance, empowering people to be our champions and asking people to tell our stories.

The night concluded with a Karakia by fashion designer and Mindful Fashion Board member Kiri Nathan.