Ethical Threads

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24 August 2022

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Thrive editor Niki Bezzant checks out sustainable brands with inviting spring collections, and an alarming report about fashion’s failure to get serious about its environmental toll.

How ‘GOOD’ is your favourite brand?

The index is a tool created by global movement Fashion Revolution. It’s an annual review of 250 of the world’s largest fashion brands and retailers ranked according to their level of public disclosure on human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts. The index collates nearly 60,000 data points across 246 different indicators, from supply chain traceability to carbon emissions, purchasing practices to microplastics, sustainable materials to gender-based violence and more. The authors sound a dire warning in the report, which shows only marginal improvement by brands in the past year:

“A little more than seven years: that’s the time we have left to avert climate catastrophe. We have already breached six of the nine planetary boundaries.

Yet, there is still much fashion industry denial and paralysis about the impending climate crisis. Commitments contradict the fact the industry shows little sign of slowing down its levels of production and that so few brands are transparent about their climate impacts. The vast majority of brands fail to admit their clothing waste ends up in places like Ghana and Chile where local communities are managing mountains of waste. Industry injustice, however, is not an isolated incident – it is pervasive.

Waste dumped in one place can make its way around the world and have global implications. Microplastics are being found for the first time in freshly fallen snow in the Antarctic and in human blood. Rivers are being declared biologically ‘dead’. By now the ‘enough is enough’ threshold has been crossed dozens of times.”

You can read the full report and check up on your favourite international brands at

Feelings blouse, $390 at

Spring Feelings

It might still be cold outside, but spring is in the air in the fashion world, with spring and summer ranges starting to appear from August. Wellington-based label Twenty-seven Names has named the first of its spring/summer 2022/2023 collection after the collective feeling in the air – Truly, Madly, Sleepy. They say: “Think trippy florals, dopamine checks, and dazed and confused suits.” This is one brand where shopping online is a joy. For each garment, Twenty-seven Names includes where in Aotearoa it was cut and made (it’s all made here), plus information on fabrics and trims. There’s extensive fit and measurement information (even sleeve and bodice length) as well as accessibility information (will this garment work if you use a wheelchair?) and the most detailed washing and care instructions we’ve ever seen.


Sustainable brand Kowtow has taken inspiration from the garden for its spring collection, starting with a vibrant floral palette and creating collage prints from images selected from vintage New Zealand gardening books.

The end result is “an abundance of foliage, a flower-filled utopia to get lost in visually and physically”.

Fleur dress, $389 at

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