Making the most of the lockdown, Douglas Furniture took out the mirror to reflect on its processes and how the team can better improve them. After operating in Christchurch for more than 65 years and being one of the more established joineries in New Zealand, they managed to find uncharted territory. We caught up with Howard Nossiter about their latest expedition in the furniture world.
The business is more commonly known for providing bespoke joinery and light steel fabrication. Capabilities and experience “cover anything from built-in and standalone residential and commercial joinery, through to a complete design and fit-out service,” Howard says.
But there is something very exciting in the woodworks for this beloved local, a range that will set to put them a cut above the rest.
“We’re in the process of finishing an environmentally friendly furniture range, name yet to be determined,” Howard explains.
What sets this range apart from what is already on offer is where the materials come from.
The range of furniture will be generated from their offcuts, creating a truly unique and bespoke offer.
The team at Douglas Furniture noticed that, because of the truly bespoke nature of their business, “there were increasing volumes of off cuts destined for landfill – it has become a challenge in terms of finding a home for them”.
So, what better way was there to rehome unused materials than bringing to life their latest escapade.
The range includes, “Standard designs where clients can pick and choose what they want – feet, handles, everything that was going into landfill”.
You may be thinking, why now? “We are constantly questioning our practices and how we can reduce impact on the environment,” Howard says.
“Now more than ever, there is a similar push from our commercial and corporate clients.
So, with this range you’ll be told the value of how much landfilled space each piece saved, upon purchase”.
This awesome new idea definitely has our green tick of approval!
Are you looking for a simple, environmentally friendly sewage treatment system that doesn’t require expensive, on-going maintenance? The NaturalFlow system not only provides an eco-sustainable sewage solution and produces a high quality result to treat wastewater, but saves money and time.
Keeping it simple is the company’s philosophy – using power-free, natural processes to treat wastewater. Owner/director of NaturalFlow South, Kingsley Kepple, says the vermiculture system is an alternative to aerating treatment systems which require pumps, electricity and computers – which can break down over time – and there is no noise! “It’s a natural system, which replicates what is done in nature. It’s really economical to run as there are no ongoing pump costs and it works all day, totally on aerobic treatment processes, doing everything for you.”
The system is also very flexible, he says. “It’s ideal for the more awkward sites where you can’t get a big concrete tank to, such as in the Marlborough Sounds. It’s made of modular plastic and weighs only up to 600kg per unit. You don’t need power, so it’s perfect if you are off the grid.”
Produced in the North Island for more than 18 years, Kingsley began installing NaturalFlow systems in the South Island after the earthquakes, when he was working in Christchurch on commercial road drainage. “We decided it was such a good system, that I took over the agency for the South Island, selling and supplying them to a range of customers, from farmers and lifestyle block owners, to camping grounds and homestays.”
We’ve long been aware of the social and environmental benefits of fair trade and, as sustainability becomes cooler than consumption, now we’re turning our attentions to plastic.
While Metropol has made the conscious decision to not plastic wrap our fortnightly glossy magazine, we’re excited to see some of the country’s largest retailers adopt a less is more approach when it comes to plastic.
Earlier this month Countdown announced 10 of its supermarkets would go plastic bag free, with the remaining 172 to follow by the end of the year.
Soon after Mitre 10 followed commercial suit, announcing its 128 stores, including Mitre 10 Mega and Hammer Hardware, will be plastic bag free from 1 July, a ban which includes bags at the checkout and boot liners.
From this date, customers can either bring in their own bags, or other means to transport their shopping home, or can choose to purchase a reusable bag in store for $1. Recycled paper sheets will be available in Mitre 10 and Mitre 10 MEGA stores for customers requiring something to keep their vehicles free from dirt and debris when transporting garden goods.
Mitre 10 General Manager Marketing, Jules Lloyd-Jones, says the decision to remove bags and boot liners was an easy one to make and had unanimous support from the co-operative’s owner-operators.
“As the country’s biggest home improvement retailer, we take our duty to be socially responsible seriously and always strive to do the right thing by our customers, communities and the environment.”
We’re sure it won’t take long before consumer expectation sees others follow commercial suit.
Once upon a time, Rebecca Swindell was in her local St Vincent de Paul shop when she spied a shelf of vintage lace and fabric remnants. “The needlework, the hours of love that had gone into creating these beautiful pieces… imagine if they ended up in landfill!”
Rebecca returned home with her tablecloths, pillowcases and doilies then looked at the rack of op shop garments hanging in her studio. It was 2013, her stall of home décor was selling well at the recently opened Pallet Pavilion, and the op shop clothes were popular, too, but Rebecca’s artistic eye was already envisioning something else. She slipped an op shop dress over her mannequin and got out her pins and tacking thread. RLS Redesigned Boutique was open for business.
Rebecca says she was born creative. “When I was little, I’d sit beside mum while she was working on her sewing machine and stitch away on scraps she gave me; from the age of ten I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer.”
Apart from markets or country fairs, Rebecca’s romantic, wearable works of art can be found at the Lyttle Kiwi, 15 London Street, Lyttelton. She also opens her studio by appointment. “Bring your mum; bring your girlfriends. I love the interaction and the social side of my work. Knowing I’ve dressed someone – to see their elation – that’s the best feeling of success!”
For more information phone 027 3040 484 or find RLS Redesigned Boutique on Facebook.
In an age where sustainability is front of mind, and the Bank of Mum and Dad are becoming one of the country’s biggest lenders, medium density housing might just be the answer.
Affordable, sophisticated living with a strong focus on community and proximity to amenities, this architectural typology is definitely not short of fans offshore and is establishing itself as a smart living solution on home soil. Dubbed ‘the missing middle’, medium density is classified by the Ministry for Education as comprehensive developments including four or more dwellings with an average density of less than 350 m2 per unit.
In plain speak this translates to a new generation of housing that ticks all the boxes, something that is summarised best by Architectural Designers of New Zealand CEO Astrid Andersen. “When done well, medium density can benefit the whole of New Zealand; we see improved health outcomes, less car usage and less power usage. (It) meets the requirements of a diverse community with mixed housing options; creates communities; keeps New Zealand arable land for arable use and fulfils key sustainability principles.”
Explore Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration if you’re in the market for a new abode. You may have found your dream home with the missing middle.
Once again, the Superhome Tours will feature work by Bob Burnett Architecture, which is noted for both award-winning design and energy efficient, environmentally sound buildings.
Bob is dedicated to improving the quality and performance of homes, by encouraging people to see beyond the substandard building-code minimum. New Zealand has the highest rate of childhood asthma in the world, with 30 percent of our seven-year olds being afflicted and research has shown that our cold, damp houses are to blame.
Bob co-founded the Superhome Movement in 2015, to generate open source sharing of new design ideas, technologies and building techniques – connecting consumers and industry groups to achieve collaboration, resulting in higher building standards that are economic and socially sustainable.
Following on from the Superhome Movement’s hugely popular Superhome Tours in Christchurch in 2016/17, this year’s tours are taking place across New Zealand, providing an opportunity for both consumers and those working in the industry to learn more about what’s involved in designing and building warmer, dryer, healthier homes.
Research shows that more than 80 percent of people decide what to build after visiting a show home and, with 95 percent of homes being built by group home builders, the Superhome Tours offer a rare chance for the public to see warm, energy efficient homes that exceed the building code. Starting from 9 June, the Christchurch tours will take place over three weekends, with workshops to be held in the months following.
To get involved, go to www.superhome.co.nz or for more information visit www.bbarc.com.
The vibe is chill, the feeling is restorative and the products are eco friendly at the two Soulstyle Organic Hair Salons owned and operated by Deanna and Greg Campbell.
Blending authenticity with style to bring you the uplifting but calming experience that every hair appointment should be. Locally roasted Switch Organic espresso is brewed for you by expert barista Greg, including Rangiora’s Claridges Herbal tea range that anyone passing by can come in and enjoy.
The South New Brighton salon came first, and Lyttelton is the latest lucky community to get a soul boost. Deanna and Greg love the feeling of being a part of the city coming back to life, growing and regenerating. They’re on a mission to help retain our heritage: both salons are located in older buildings stuffed with character, with the Lyttelton salon housed in an original 1880’s building. Greg and Deanna love the community feel of the port and are excited to be one of the many new businesses in Lyttelton.
All the products are organic/natural, ammonia free, mineral and plant based, and locally sourced where possible. With 100 percent grey coverage and stunning fashion colours, you are in safe hands with these talented stylists. Soulstyle’s Mother’s Day special is a free cut and organic treatment with every colour in the week after Mother’s Day (conditions apply) and, of course, vouchers are available.
Feed your soul, nurture your style at Soulstyle!
A less is more approach isn’t one traditionally taken by a successful fashion label, but then Untouched World founder Peri Drysdale isn’t one to play by the rules. Doing things differently is, after all, what has cemented her place in the upper echelons of entrepreneurial royalty.
Metropol talks to Peri about her recent achievements and striking a sartorial chord.
How does it feel to have been recognised at such a high level, as one of the 2018 Company of Women Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Inductees?
It was humbling to be recognised amongst such a group of enormously courageous and successful NZ women. However, I am only the face of our company and our success is the result of incredible input from amazing people I have had working alongside me now and in the past, and with fantastic family input and support.
Can you take us back to the start of Untouched World, what sparked the idea for the business?
As I travelled around the world selling our knitwear I had become extremely concerned about the trajectory the planet was on. I could see environmental degradation going on from visit to visit. Government and business talk the world over was all about GDP and financial bottom line. I worried about what could one person, one company could do. The problem was so big, but I came to the conclusion that we had to do something about it. So, long story short, we decided to create a sustainable lifestyle fashion brand.
I wanted a brand that would model a new way of doing business, that would highlight that style and quality could be achieved without pollution to water and air, filling landfills or treating workers poorly. Back in those days sustainable clothing had a hemp sack reputation, but I wanted to reach people who were in a position of influence to really make a change. So we had to create luxurious, high quality products that would appeal to that market. I also wanted a brand that would give back, put its money where its mouth is and wanted a project to coalesce the stakeholders and get them thinking about what was happening to the planet. So, Untouched World was born – with the bold vision to use fashion as a vehicle to champion what is possible for our planet and its people.
Why do you think the business story of Untouched World struck such a chord and, as a result, has become such an incredible success?
Untouched World is a brand of enormous depth, the kite logo and brand story has an incredible resonance with people all over the world. It is creative, different and has a great energy. People talk about finding Untouched World inspiring. The fact that we built the brand on a sustainable model, though ahead of its time from a commercial point of view, meant that we have been global leaders in this space, so have always had highly engaged followers. Strangely after nearly two decades, Untouched World still feels fresh and ‘new’ to me.
You are one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, what has been the winning formula for you – hard work, dedication, passion, a great product?
Ha ha! All of the above! I think stickability; an utter belief in what you are doing and being prepared to do things differently are key.
What has been some of the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Early on, it was to not go into partnership with someone else. We looked at partnerships a few times. I was given the sound advice that a partner who shared the same motivation and goals during a start-up phase, wouldn’t necessarily share the same vision in years to come, which could ultimately result in more effort going into running the partnership than the business. Early on it is tempting to take partners on as you don’t know what you are doing. Keeping control has meant we have been able to stick to the values that underpin the business, the raison d’etre that gets me up in the morning.
What’s the best part about what you do?
Pretty much everything! I love it all. I love the people – our team, our customers, our suppliers, our foundation team. I love the design and creative process as well as production. I wake up and look forward to another day.
Unafraid of tricky building sites, Hybrid Homes has built a new thermally broken, zero-energy showhome. “Power and rain water collection systems combined with building techniques that maximise efficiency allows us to run this home at zero energy cost,” says Hybrid Homes Director Jamie Harrington, who has been designing and building eco homes for more than ten years.
The company has also designed a series of customisable ‘ekohomes’ to make owning a sustainable home more affordable, but this double living, four-bedroom plus study abode on Sumner’s Richmond Hill Road is a top level architectural showcase of expertise and techniques.
Smooth contemporary concrete floors are softened with a natural textured mat defining the dining area. The spacious kitchen has wooden accents, stunning hexagonal tiles and clever hidden lighting that brings everything to life. The tap is a nickel finished ‘Elisa Sink Mixer’ by Waterware and supplied by Edward Gibbon. “We love working with Hybrid Homes. They choose great products from our most innovative ranges,” David Walker-Rogers of Edward Gibbon says.
“All of the tapware is eco-friendly – reducing volume but not pressure.”
The eye-catching Waterware ‘Istone Basin’ in the bathroom is a black rimmed oval number, paired with ‘Modern Linear’ basin mixers atop a wooden vanity unit. The luxurious double shower head is a ‘Nova Shower Tower’. The dark gloss-finish tiles in the bathroom play with the light from the marble look tiles that line the rest of the walls. It is a glam, modern environment.
On the exterior, the contrast of white plaster with black aluminium joinery is pleasing to the eye, as is the clever use of lines: the diagonal roofline with that of the rail for the steps and, while sitting around the firepit, the straight lines of the seating area with the dramatic square lines of that side of the house. The sunken firepit feels holiday spot-esk, the simple decision to use stones underfoot shows Hybrid Homes know how to get the vibes right. Once your eyes have lingered on the detail you can catch a view of the ocean.
Open the first Saturday of the month 11am-2pm or by appointment for a private tour of the multitude of features and options available for your new home. Visit www.hybridhomes.co.nz.
Ph: 03 366 7137
At face value, a less is more approach seems at odds with the very basis of a capitalist economy and, in particular, a commercial fashion brand.
Boldly bucking the fast fashion trend, Untouched World is about beautiful, understated designs. With 97 percent of the range made in New Zealand, each piece is carefully crafted in timeless designs that match the quality.
At the heart of this label is an ethos of sustainability, epitomised by the new Autumn/Winter 18 Collection, which features clever new innovations that deliver on style and sustainability.
The new Voyage capsule mixes luxurious milled wool and merino knit with a light, water resistant outer and Ecodown fill made from recycled PET bottles. Offering a fresh take on the popular puffer jacket, the new Ecopossum™ Puffer has organic cotton lining and Ecodown fill. The result is a warm, lightweight jacket that uses up to 10 post-consumer plastic bottles.
Another brilliant addition is their pure organic cotton jeans. Made from fabric from one of the world’s most sustainable denim mills, these consciously made jeans will end the hunt for the perfect fit.
Well known for knits, this season doesn’t disappoint, with beautiful textured sweaters, effortless wraps and cosy felted jackets offering luxurious options in merino, possum and cashmere blends.
Complementing the clothing is a beautifully curated range of luxurious homeware, jewellery and gift lines made by local and international artisans, along with a not-for-profit collection that supports two causes the company is passionate about; helping those less fortunate achieve freedom, and educating and inspiring change in our young people, so they can create a more sustainable future.