We talk to Ryan Jennings, the Executive Director of Buy New Zealand made, about the state of the New Zealand apparel industry and the benefits of Made in NZ apparel.
Buy New Zealand Made are the owners of the famous Kiwi trade mark used by licensees of the Buy New Zealand Made Campaign. Apparel brands using the trade mark include Desiree, Anyone’s Daughter, Velvet Heartbeat, and Cactus Outdoor. Excitingly, Buy New Zealand Made is set to release a newer, more minimalist version of the Kiwi trade mark for use by fashion-forward brands.
The benefits of using the Buy New Zealand Made trade mark are twofold. First, brands have a trusted market origin advantage for export opportunities. Velvet Heartbeat is one brand reveling in this success, with its handbags stocked in Australia and Canada. The second benefit is that consumers can check and verify the ‘New Zealand Made’ claim through an online searchable registry.
When asked about the state of the NZ apparel industry, Ryan says that it’s an interesting time for NZ apparel brands. For consumers, quality is sometimes not enough to pay a premium. He notes the longevity of brands where customers are willing to pay a premium, for example, because the brand is sustainable, or renowned for comfort. Coupled with a Made in NZ status, it’s the secret to success.
Ryan also notes the positives for Kiwi brands who operate via a Direct to Consumer model, as there are no retail margins or heavy capital outlays.
On Thursday 21 November, retailers are celebrating New Zealand Made products for New Zealand Made Day. Retailers are offering sales on New Zealand Made products, and manufacturers are offering deals directly to consumers. Details of sales are advertised on social media via the hashtag #nzmadeday.
Retail NZ has also promoted a similar message with its #ShopLocal advocacy.