Wellington Designers to Runway at Ecoluxe London During London Fashion Week

Ghost Train fashion

GHOST TRAIN / Model: Kendall Baker Photo: David Duffy Makeup: Sharee Wilkinson

New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed has announced today that DENISE H & GHOST TRAIN Labels will runway at Ecoluxe London sustainable luxury fashion show – A Grinn Fairy Tale to be held on 17th February 2014, at Kingsway Hall, 66 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5BX Covent Garden, London.

It was a last minute decision to attend the event as we were only informed the week before Christmas which left us no time to really think about developing a range for the UK Market said Denise Anglesey – Designer and Director of New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed.

For its 8th edition, Ecoluxe London teams up with award-winning prison charity and social enterprise Fine Cell Work for the first ever sustainable luxury fashion show during London Fashion Week, with an online silent auction to raise funds, including donations from Stella McCartney, Margaret Howell and Chloe in support of Fine Cell Work, that will be embellished by its embroiderers to create unique pieces. Denise decided to add her pieces to the auction last week. “I was really torn about letting the two garments go because they had featured on so many overseas press releases but sometimes you need to do something to help those who are less fortunate”.

Denise and Zorro decided last week that there was absolutely nothing to lose by sending a few garments from the Eco Runway held in Lower Hutt last September. Denise Anglesey of DENISE H and Zorro Potion of Ghost Train who both live in Wainuiomata decided to send the garments after being encouraged by the organiser of Ecoluxe London. This marks the beginning of a unique collaboration between the two events.

Stamo – London based designer and organiser of the London event made contact shortly after the announcement of the Inaugural New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed Runway in 2013 and has been a great support to Denise who has been designing and selling her label DENISE H since 2008. Zorro on the other hand has always designed but the garments never left her home until New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed 2013.  Her range entitled Twenty Thirteen was the crowd favourite at what is now an annual Lower Hutt runway.

It has been a really busy year for Denise who literally fell into fashion designing. I started recycling denim in the tourist town of Kaikoura.  I cut it up, made new ‘one of a kind skirts’ and sold them to the tourists. It all grew from there” says Denise. “I always knew eco fashion was far bigger internationally than it was here”. Implementing the Runway was a dream and I knew someone would do it if I didn’t. Little did I know that the rise of the Eco Fashion Week was just beginning to take off with similar events now being held in Vancouver, New York, Russia, Hong Kong and of course Ecoluxe London.  My goal with New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed is to create opportunities for designers, to educate the public about “Eco Fashion” and how it differs from main stream, and how people can have sustainable wardrobes and still look spectacular”.

DENISE H  Fashion

DENISE H / Model: Hannah Pasene Photo: David Duffy – This Garment is up for auction at Ecoluxe London

After successfully implementing New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed she opened an Eco Boutique in Lower Hutt and is currently adding an online store via the Exposed Web Site for designers who runway to market their collections. “Along the way I have met some amazing people and made some new friends like Laurie Foon from New Zealand Pioneer Eco Label Starfish” Mayor Ray Wallace has been incredibly supportive and has helped Denise with securing the event for The Hutt Valley.

“Attending the Ecoluxe event is paving the way for other designers like Zorro to attend going forward”. “We had to break the ice so to speak”.

More information can be found about Ecoluxe London at http://ecoluxelondon.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/ecoluxe-london-sustainable-luxury-fashion-show-a-grinn-fairy-tale/ or on the New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed web site.

The Ecoluxe Online Auction can be viewed at http://ecoluxelondon.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/happy-bidding

New Zealand Eco Fashion Exposed which will runway again in July 2014.

Green Urban Living Autumn Challenge 2014

Autmn Challenge 2014 Poster

The Green Urban Living Autumn Challenge is all about making it easy for everyone to live a little greener in ways that suit them and helps the environment.

Become part of the movement to create a personalised green revolution for every person and family that cares about themselves, their children and the environment. The main aim of the Green Urban Living Challenge is for us all to find and provide a range of “little green nuggets”, that people can choose from that best match their interests, desires and situation.

Why not become part of the solution and tap into and help grow a worldwide community using technology to share ideas, successes, failures, hopes and questions.

A who’s who of green champions have been asked to judge each weekly prize including Te Radar, Tony Murrell, Lynda Hallinan, NZ Eco Chick, Annah Stretton, Malcolm Rands and Wendyl Nissen.

To be eligible to win one of the 12 weekly prizes you need to participate and document and share each of the following challenges on the Green Urban Living facebook page or Green Community forum (found on Green Urban Living.co.nz). You can enter all the challenges or just one, it is up to you.

You can post as many of your own little green nuggets for each challenge as you wish. Make sure you follow the Facebook page/ Green Community forum for lots of ideas, helpful links and information to get you started. The prizes up for grabs each week will be announced online each Monday morning during the challenge. Good luck and have fun.

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Fence Could Start in May

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary - Nelson, New Zealand

Image – Nelson Weekly

Construction of a $4.7 million pest-proof fence around the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary could begin as early as May this year.

General manager of the trust behind the fence, Hudson Dodd, says an application for the remaining $1.5 million needed is being considered and he is “fairly confident” of a positive result. “If that doesn’t work out I have a whole list of plan B’s,” he says. “Either which way the fence will start in 2014.”

Tenders have been accepted for the build and include Brightwater’s Taylor Construction for the earthworks and pest-proof fence specialists Xcluder of Rotorua, for the fence itself.

The sanctuary is 715 hectares of bush in the Brook Valley, two thirds of which has never been cleared for farming or forestry. That means the eco-system already there is much more advanced that what you’d find elsewhere in New Zealand.

The Brook Sanctuary Trust wants to build a 14.5 kilometre fence around the sanctuary to stop pests getting in, allowing native birdlife to thrive and giving visitors an opportunity to see and hear them in their natural environment.

The cost of the fence will be $4.7 million and Hudson says they need another $1.3 million to reach their goal. Construction won’t start until all of the money has been fundraised and will take between 12 and 15 months to complete.

Money raised so far has come from Nelson City and Tasman District councils, community trusts, high value donors, the community via the “Get Behind the Fence” campaign and from various other grants.

Hudson says if the grant from the Lottery Grants Board comes through they’d be able to start construction in May. If the grant doesn’t come through, it may be later in the year.

“We’re very hopeful and confident that it is all going to come together in the next few months so we’re proceeding as if it’s going to and we’re well advanced with the planning for the fence,” he says.

“The pieces are in place to be able to pull the trigger. It is an exciting time and we can see it all come into focus. We can almost taste it.”

The sanctuary is already open to the public with three main volunteer-built tracks winding their way through it. That track network will be expanded when the fence is built. Hudson says once the fence is completed they will start eradicating the remaining pests from within the fence and then look to bring in other native birds, like kiwi and kaka.

“Bringing in kiwi is dependent on permission from the Department of Conservation but I’m confident we will have kiwi in the Brook Valley soon after the fence is built.”

For more about the sanctuary visit www.brooksanctuary.org

Source: Nelson Weekly http://nelsonweekly.co.nz/sanctuary-fence-could-start-in-may/

SPLORE UPDATE: Conscious Consumers Festival Accreditation

Conscious Consumer have awarded their first ever FESTIVAL ACCREDITATION to Splore

Splore Receives First Ever Conscious Consumers Festival Accreditation »



Splore Loves Zero Waste Volunteers



Sign up now to get in behind the scenes of one of Aotearoa’s iconic music festivals and volunteer in exchange for entry and camping.

There are all sorts of exciting positions available.

Love and respect your Splore space, leave no trace – Splore is on the hunt passionate and enthusiastic volunteers who care about the environment and are willing to donate their energy and time to encourage and educate the recycling initiatives and spread the Zero Waste message far and wide.

Check out more info on sustainability right here: http://www.splore.net/splore-story/sustain/




UNPACKIT Awards 2013 – Supermarkets take out Worst Packaging Award – Again!

Unpackit logo

For the second year running supermarkets have been voted as the worst packagers in the country – with the Unpackit Worst Packaging Award going to Countdown, owned by Progressive Enterprises.

The Awards were decided by 15,632 votes. Rethink Reusable Fresh Produce bags took out the Best Packaging Award.

One third of voters chose fruit and vegetables on meat-trays and wrapped in plastic as their most hated packaging.

Foodstuffs won the 2012 Unpackit Worst Packaging Award for the same type of packaging. Since then, Foodstuffs have provided guidance to all their stores to restrict the use of polystyrene meat-trays to butchery products only. They estimate that 30 percent of their stores have achieved that.

Sophie Ward (L) with the trophy for Best Packaging and Gina Dempster (R) with the trophy for Worst Packaging.

Sophie Ward (L) with the trophy for Best Packaging and Gina Dempster (R) with the trophy for Worst Packaging

Unpackit spokesperson Gina Dempster said that voters had sent an extremely strong message to supermarkets that selling fruit and vegetables on meat-trays is not acceptable.

“Putting fruit and vegetables on meat-trays and wrapping them in plastic is thoughtless and ridiculous,” she said. “If supermarkets want credibility as responsible corporate citizens, they need to stop using this wasteful packaging that ends up in the rubbish*.”

According to Countdown Merchandise Manager Produce Stephen Sexton, Countdown tries to minimise packaging and use recyclable packaging where possible.

“Selling fruit and vegetables on meat-trays is definitely not minimal or recyclable, so Countdown scores a D – needs to try harder – with their fresh produce packaging,” said Ms Dempster.

“Introducing a firm policy to minimise the environmental impact of their packaging, and an auditing system would stop unnecessary, wasteful packaging sneaking in to their stores,” she said.

Ms Dempster recognised that Countdown had made progress in reducing their waste to landfill by 38% since 2006, despite increasing their selling space (new and upgraded stores) by 28%. Initiatives included donating food past the sell-by date to food banks, removing all polystyrene from packaging on imported produce, and moving to reusable crates for transport and display for all local produce.

“However in-store packaging is the most visible face of supermarket waste, and customers will judge them on that,” said Ms Dempster. “Hopefully cleaning up their in-store packaging will be Countdown’s next focus.”

Unpackit organiser Sophie Ward said she was delighted at the public response to the Unpackit Awards this year. She said the record number of votes show that people really care about packaging and are frustrated by packaging which is designed to end up in the rubbish.

“It’s not up to shoppers to decide how things come wrapped up on the shelves. That decision is made by businesses and retailers, so the responsibility of choosing smart packaging falls on their shoulders.”

Ms Dempster said for many products smart packaging doesn’t have to be expensive or highly technical.

“Many people told us they voted for Chelsea Sugar’s 1.5 kilo paper bag in the Best Packaging Award because it is so simple, is fully recyclable and has been the same forever.”

Chelsea Sugar placed second in the Best Packaging Award this year. First place went to a small New Zealand company, Rethink, who make cotton reusable bags for fresh produce.

Miss Ward said there was an unplanned symmetry in the Award winners this year, with the Best Packaging winner being the alter-ego of the Worst Packaging winner.

“It’s like the Jekyll and Hyde of fruit and vegetables,” said Miss Ward.

She said it’s a step forward that Foodstuffs are now selling the Rethink Fresh Produce bags in some of their New World supermarkets.

“People really love the Rethink Fresh Produce bags, but their distribution has been limited because they’re a small company. If all our supermarkets sold them in every fresh produce section, that would be a real breakthrough. It could significantly reduce the amount of packaging used to sell fruit and vegetables.”

Winner: Rethink Reusable Fresh Produce Bags, for cotton reusable bags

Winner: Rethink Reusable Fresh Produce Bags, for cotton reusable bags

Third place in the Best Packaging Award went to Ecostore for their range of recyclable packaging and refill systems.

“Ecostore really deserve the recognition for the commitment and care they put into the packaging of their whole range,” said Ms Dempster.

“Their packaging really lives up to their environmentally friendly products, and we’ve noticed throughout the three years we’ve been running the Unpackit Awards that consumers are really looking for that.”

Second place in the 2013 Worst Packaging Award went to Dell, for the non-recyclable, over-packaging of their computer monitor.

Third place in the 2013 Worst Packaging Award went to Nespresso, for single serve capsules which cannot be collected for kerbside recycling.


Arsenic used in home-building materials

builder carrying toxic building materials

Image – DANIEL TOBIN/Fairfax NZ

Kiwi homes are being wrapped with plywood containing an arsenic treatment banned in several overseas countries because of toxicity concerns.

Bracing plywood treated with the preservative copper chromium arsenic (CCA) is increasingly being used for residential repairs and rebuilds in Canterbury. Both arsenic and chromium compounds pose a potential health hazard in certain conditions.

Public health concerns about CCA arose 10 years ago when arsenic was found to leach from the treated timber, often used for decks, framing and playground equipment.

Plywood bracing products have appeared on the market since then, becoming more popular after leaky homes concerns, and are now in common use.

CAA is either banned or has restrictions placed upon its use in the United States, Canada, and several European Union countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Read the full article here »

Forest & Bird to present DOC’s famous lost submission at Ruataniwha hearings

Forest and Bird logo - giving nature a voice

A 32 page Department of Conservation submission on the environmental impacts of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s planned irrigation dam, which was substituted for a two paragraph submission in unusual circumstances, will be made public after all – but not by the department.

The Hastings-Havelock North branch of Forest & Bird will present DOC’s original submission at the hearings of a Board of Inquiry convened to determine if the Ruataniwha irrigation dam should proceed.

The original submission was famously leaked to the media after DOC produced only a two-paragraph document in its final submission on the dam project, a couple of days after Conservation Minister Nick Smith met with DOC’s deputy director-general Doris Johnston.

Irrigation schemes, mainly for the dairy industry, are a key plank of the government’s economic strategy. The government has committed hundreds of millions of dollars of subsidies to promote their development.

DOC’s submission was obtained by Forest & Bird via the Official Information Act, but only after an unusually long delay. OIA requests are meant to be met within 20 working days. Forest & Bird did not receive DOC’s original submission until the day evidence to the Board of Inquiry was due – last Tuesday, October 8, 36 working days after the request was made.

Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says that while it is good news that the Board of Inquiry will get to see what DOC’s scientists think about the scheme, it would be far better if DOC and its experts were going to present the submission themselves.

“Community groups like Forest & Bird don’t have the money to engage expert witnesses in the proceedings of lengthy boards of inquiry. Community groups also aren’t resourced to wade through the mountains of material and briefs of evidence typically produced by applicants, particularly within the ridiculously tight timeframes demanded by boards of inquiry,” says Kevin Hackwell.

“The current government created the legislation that gave rise to these boards of inquiry, which have to make their decision within nine months of being formed. But when it comes to these huge, nationally significant projects, a fast decision is not necessarily a good decision.

“It appears that when the senior managers of DOC talk about working more with the community, this is what they mean – community groups doing the job they should be doing, and would have been doing, up until recently. We are seeing this situation repeat itself across the country,” Kevin Hackwell says.

“With the key government departments keeping their heads down on the environmental impacts of Ruataniwha, this Board of Inquiry’s ability to do its job has been severely undermined.

“The public and the Ruataniwha Board of Inquiry have the right to an informed debate on the benefits – and costs – of large scale irrigation projects. But as things stand, that will be nearly impossible,” Kevin Hackwell says.

The Board of Inquiry’s hearings will be held in November.

Fun, Festive, and Free… Manawatu Harvest Festival

Te Manawa Museum is again to host the annual Manawatu Harvest
Festival, Saturday, 19th October, 10am to 4pm, presented by the
Sustainable Living Trust. The festival enjoyed a crowd of over 4500
people in 2012 and promotes sustainably in our communities, with
exhibitors, demonstrators, speakers, and entertainment, showcasing the
environment, gardening, alternative energy, building practices, bee
keeping, farming, organics, health, food, crafts, to name a few.
This year we have created an even more exciting event, Te Manawa this
year have pulled down the walls, exhibitors in themed zones throughout
the museum exhibits, creating a new, vibrant, and flowing atmosphere.

These a monster of things for the kids to do, heaps of live
entertainment, bands, buskers, magicians, and dance. Our speakers talk
on a range of interesting subjects, Eco Films shown in the theatre,
loads of demonstrations, healthy food, and over 70 exhibitors.
There is still room for you, your business or organization to become
involved in this growing festival, harvesting the knowledge around us.
Our website is full of the latest information, and funky stuff


Join us, it’s going to be freakin fabulous , and remember, it’s
free, see you there.

Manawatu Harvest Festival 2013

How to compost your household scraps

By Cathy Leov


Composting is a cheap and easy way to dispose of a large proportion of your household waste.

It can be as simple as digging a hole and burying scraps but, with a little bit more thought and effort you will be amazed at how quickly your pile of waste disappears and lovely dark compost appears.

First, decide where to put it – for preference a sunny spot as the heat will speed up the composting process. Your first layer should be twigs and sticks up to as thick as your finger – this keeps the compost up off the ground and helps the air to circulate. You can just build a pile, or contain it in a bin or wrap some netting around 3 stakes. Once you’ve made each addition, cover with some sort of lid, old carpet works well.

The experts say to carefully layer your additions, alternating between carbon rich (brown) and nitrogen rich (green), at a ratio of about 25 carbon to 1 nitrogen. But, realistically, high nitrogen materials are what you will have most of (vege peels, weeds, lawn clippings). The most important thing is not to put too much of the same thing in at a time, and try to mix in what you’ve just added with the layer below.

You can add almost anything to your compost that has ever been alive, but be aware that if you put in meat scraps, dairy products or cooked leftovers you could attract rats and mice.

Here’s a few ideas of things that can be put in the compost to start you off:

  • Vege peelings, apple cores, banana skins, egg shells etc
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Vacuum cleaner dust
  • Hair
  • Egg cartons, shredded paper (junk mail, newspapers)
  • Pulled weeds and lawn clippings
  • Autumn leaves
  • Animal manure (not dog, if you plan to use your compost to grow food)
  • Paper towels and tissues

Once your bin is full or your pile is becoming too tall, if your compost is well decomposed you can spread it around your garden, up to 4-6 inches deep – the worms will soon pull it into the soil for you. If there is too much un-composted material to add to the garden immediately, start a temporary pile elsewhere and add to that until your first lot is ready. Having a system of 2 or 3 bins in different stages of decomposition works well.


Did you know?


Here’s some eco-facts from Eco-deals:


Did you know…

17/10/12 12:29 PM

  • New Zealander’s throw away 2.5 million tonnes of waste per week.
  • By recycling 1 glass jar, you save enough energy to power 10 energy saving light bulbs for an hour.
  • Tissue takes 3 months to break down.
  • We throw away 83 kilograms of used packaging per person per year.
  • For every tonne of paper we recycle 13 trees & 5,000 litres of water is saved.
  • NZ’s use more than 400 million cans each year – of which aluminium & steel cans are 100% recyclable.
  • On average every kiwi uses around 155 plastic bags each year.
  • For every one aluminium can that we recycle, it saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours.
  • We only recycle 58% of packaging that is currently used.
  • New Zealand throws out $750 million worth of food every year. This ends up in landfill and rots away giving off greenhouse gas methane into the air.
  • If you choose laundry powders that are phosphate free you help reduce blue green algae in our waterways.
  • One of the biggest environmental benefits you can do is to recycle your clothes to either a charity shop or onto other families. For every 1kg of clothing which is recycled, it saves 6,000 litres of water consumption.
  • Just over half of all litter in NZ is paper and a quarter is plastic from discarded packaging, so an easy step to keep NZ Clean and Green is not to litter and to place it in recycling bins.  This will also save plastic bottles, food packaging and cigarette butts polluting our waterways.
  • Resource: Ministry of Environment
  • Over 100,000 marine animals die every year because of plastic bags.
  • That nearly 80% of debris in the ocean comes from land based sources –  Like Humans
  • That a child uses 4,000 to 5,000 nappies during the first three years of life
  • That there are over 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean
  • Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides. Cotton covers 2.5% of the worlds cultivated land yet uses 16% of the world’s insecticides, more than any other single crop. http://www.ota.com/organic/environment/cotton_environment.html

Cruelty Free Week 15-19 July 2013

SAFE is the ‘voice for all animals’ and is part of the global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics.

Click here for a product list of cosmetic available in NZ that are not tested on animals