Two prominent Kiwi outdoor goods retailers, Kathmandu and Cactus Outdoor, have collaborated to produce a line of certified ‘Buy NZ Made’ products which will be launched in Kathmandu stores around New Zealand on Buy NZ Made Day this week.
This Thursday marks Buy NZ Made Day, in which participating manufacturers and retailers offer deals on New Zealand made products to promote local industry.
Kathmandu and Cactus Outdoor created a series of products that will boost local skills and employment out of concern for the future of outdoor apparel manufacturing in New Zealand.
The first product they created is the Merino Tee. It was made by Albion Clothing, a manufacturer Cactus Outdoor purchased earlier this year, and will be sold under Kathmandu’s branding.
The Kathmandu Merino Tee has been designed, developed, cut, sewn and packaged in New Zealand, using merino wool farmed on high country stations in the South Island.
Commenting on the outdoor apparel manufacturing market in New Zealand, Cactus co-founder and director Ben Kepes said, "For close to half a century, Albion Clothing has been making the highest quality garments for some of the most discerning and well-known New Zealand organisations. We are proud of this heritage and very excited to add Kathmandu to the roster of brands that partner with us for garment supply.
“When Cactus acquired Albion, we did so because of a deep belief that there is a strong future for locally manufactured apparel. We congratulate Kathmandu on this move, and look forward to a positive future working together.”
Kathmandu general manager – product, Ben Ryan said Kathmandu’s New Zealand heritage is of utmost importance to the brand.
“New Zealand shaped us from a small business, to one of the world’s more inspiring travel and adventure brands. We believe in the importance of provenance, as well as ethical manufacturing across all elements of the supply chain.
“Kathmandu’s Christchurch product creation department, through value-based partnerships, aim to support a healthy and vibrant local manufacturing industry within New Zealand”.
“Cactus' purchase of Albion is driving reinvestment in the local industry and giving companies new options for local production” said Ryan. “Regardless of whether manufacturing occurs locally or overseas, Kathmandu expects all partners share the same values when it comes to the ethical production of apparel. As Kathmandu expands globally, we acknowledge our responsibility as a leader to contribute to the ongoing health of the local industry to ensure that the next generation of Kiwi outdoor brands can start, grow and thrive.”
The brands aim to kickstart a more collaborative ecosystem of outdoor brands in New Zealand, while paying homage to New Zealand’s proud history of manufacturing for the outdoor sector.