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This trusted Dunedin la­bel’s un­der­ground im­age has been strate­gi­cally de­tached from main­stream fash­ion for around 30 years, but its use of ac­cred­ited Child Labour Free re­sources and New Zealand-based pro­duc­tion meth­ods are thank­fully be­com­ing more wide­spread in the in­dus­try.

De­signer Mar­garita Robert­son says de­mand for sus­tain­able fash­ion changed dra­mat­i­cally with the emer­gence of fast fash­ion. Since the late 1990s trends have come and gone faster than you can say “I’ll take the cargo pants”, and both de­sign­ers and con­sumers have started to re­think the ethics be­hind their pro­duc­tion.

Al­though Robert­son says it takes more ef­fort to en­sure com­plete trans­parency in the pro­duc­tion line, it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be ex­pen­sive for the con­sumer in the long run. “It’s more about us­ing qual­ity man­u­fac­tur­ing to lengthen the life of a gar­ment and in­vest­ing in pieces that have been sus­tain­ably made and there­fore will have a much longer shelf life,” she says.

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