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Walking the talk


Walking the talk and making changes one step at a time is Sara Templeton’s lifestyle for herself and family, the city she loves – and the planet.

 

 

After her role as Hagley Ferrymead Community Board Chairwoman, Sara was voted in as Councillor for the Heathcote Ward in 2016. Her new position was very motivating. “I was now in a job that I can really help make a difference in the wider community,” she says.

“I didn’t like the idea of puffing my way to work on a regular bike, but believed in the cycleways’ potential to cut emissions, so did some research and bought an e-bike. By car it’s 20 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic, but on my bike it’s 24 minutes every day.”

The e-bike gave some base fitness and adding in a little jogging led to her entering the 10km section of the Christchurch Marathon in 2017. Sara went from an overweight middle-aged mum with three to the healthiest she’s been in decades.

This January, Sara sold her own vehicle and now mainly cycles, busses or occasionally uses Yoogo Share – a shared 100 percent electric car fleet. “If we all didn’t use our cars for just one workday each week, it would bring Christchurch’s daily traffic numbers down by 20 percent.”

Taking her coffee KeepCup everywhere, she has only used six takeaway cups since being elected – and they’re drinks others have bought her. The Templeton family haven’t used plastic shopping bags for a decade – only cloth, mainly ones she makes. She uses solid-bar shampoos to omit plastic bottles, eats less meat, and buys organic where possible.

“Transitions are never easy when it comes to social movements and large-scale change,” she says. “For example, the Suffragette movement took three petitions before victory. We tend to over estimate what we can achieve in a year and underestimate what we achieve in a generation.”

Now it’s on to the next personal goal. Sara made a pact to buy no more clothing for a year. “On average, an item of clothing only gets worn seven times. It has made me look into my wardrobe to find a few things I had forgotten about!

“My floral blazer from the Woolston Sallies and my Jane Daniels jacket from Time and Time Again in Sumner still get complements. We’re far more critical of ourselves than others are. No one really cares how often we re-wear something.

People may have noticed her necklace from social enterprise Bead and Proceed. Each coloured wooden bead represents one of 17 United Nations sustainable development goals. Sara chose five that represent what mostly matters to her – good health and wellbeing, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, and peace, justice and strong institutions.

The Coastal Pathway is where Sara recharges. She says the clear space on the wide, well-lit walk is so good for the brain. It’s here, or while cycling, that she now does her thinking, planning, and practising Te Reo.

“It’s the small things we do every day. It’s not all or nothing – it’s just making a change. And we don’t need to be perfect at everything.”

 


 

Environmental Eating


As food moves to the forefront of sustainability, we’re starting to look more critically at not just the nutritional content of our foodie buys, but their overall environmental impact too.

 

 

With our food – from what we eat to how it is grown – accounting for more carbon emissions than transport, our culinary innovators globally have been working tirelessly to play their part in rectifying industry-wide issues and seeking a more sustainable path.

We’ve already seen numerous operators removing single-use plastics, and this year we can expect to see a ton of new plant-based innovations focusing on sustainability, particularly highlighting nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies and even algae! Here are some of our favourites.

 

 

  1. ‘Ugly’ produce: Supermarkets and businesses aiming to reduce food waste are looking for different ways to utilise so-called ‘ugly’ produce – basically fruit and vegetables that aren’t ‘ready for prime time’. UK-based supermarket Tesco and US-based retailer Good Use have launched cold-pressed juices which utilise oddly shaped produce that would otherwise be destined for landfill, and locally, our very own Countdown has followed suit with The Odd Bunch, an initiative that packages ‘funny looking’ fruit and veggies at cheap prices – perfect for smoothies, soups and more!

  2. Seed butters: All hail the new nut butter! Perfect for people with nut allergies, seed butters are full to the brim with unsaturated fat, protein and tons of vitamins and minerals – plus they utilise the part of the fruit/vegetable that is commonly discarded. We’re seeing a bunch of creamy ‘butters’ made from every seed imaginable; pumpkin, sesame, poppy, sunflower, hemp – even watermelon!

  3. Essential oils: EPA and DHA are the primary omega 3s needed to support heart, brain, eye and maternal health, and this year they’re on the rise in the food and supplement arena, as is CBD (a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant) oil. Particularly gaining traction amongst vegans and vegetarians is algae oil, which is slowly appearing as the new superfood oil due to being a huge source of DHA – one tablespoon of algae oil packs the same amount of omega 3s as one whole avocado! As it is flavourless, it makes for a nutritious substitute for vegetable cooking oils like canola or sunflower.

  4. Blended burgers: The newest eco-food ‘blend trend’ is projected to mushroom this year, with chefs and food producers alike beginning to combine veggies and grains – such as lentils, mushrooms and quinoa – with meat for burgers that strike that perfect mark between plant-based and meat, offering non-vegetarians a tasty way to eat more plants. Blended burgers are flavourful, healthy and sustainable – the blended burger has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than a patty made of 100 percent meat. In 2018, more than 350 restaurants in the US served their take on the blended burger – and this movement is expected to grow far and wide across the planet.

  5. Gut health: A newfound appreciation for digestive and gut health is emerging, as we become increasingly aware of the powerful role the microbiome plays in both our physical and mental health and wellness. But it’s not probiotic pills that will be in the limelight this year, rather it’s foods and drinks jam-packed with pre- and pro-biotics that are expected to escalate in popularity – particularly items with ‘shelf-stable probiotics’, like pastas and breakfast foods (Kellogg’s is already introducing a new line of pre- and pro-biotic cereals!). Fermented foods full of these necessary bacteria (kimchi, kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut) are predicted to continue to make their well-deserved appearance on supermarket shelves over the next year.

 


 

The Fermentist’s sustainable mindset


The Fermentist Brewery and Taproom is a microbrewery in Christchurch committed to sourcing locally where possible.

 

 

Sourcing locally is about creating shared value in business practices and supporting the local community and economy. It’s also about reducing emissions from the transport of ingredients. The team is committed to making a difference where it can and locally sourcing is a fundamental element of their overarching sustainable ethos.

With their malt coming from Gladfield Malt in Darfield, their hops from NZ Hops in Nelson, and their menu featuring seasonal vegetables, sourced either from The Fermentist garden or from Sydenham vegetable retailer Funky Pumpkin, it doesn’t get more local than this.

Georgia-Rae Taylor from The Fermentist team expands on this unique city brewery’s ethos. “Everything we do – every choice we make – comes from a sustainable mindset. We’re on a journey of trying to improve on traditional brewing methods and embed sustainable practices into our business.”

Sustainability initiatives such as the installation of solar panels, offsite composting, waste minimising and recycling, and better usage of water, including waste water management, prove their commitment to the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. Even some of the taproom furniture is recycled, with the pews coming from the old St Matthews church.

The team at The Fermentist are the first to admit they don’t expect to get everything perfect, but on one thing they’re all agreed – they’re never going to stop trying. Find The Fermentist at 380 Colombo Street, phone 03 363 8413 or visit www.thefermentist.co.nz.

 


 

The heart of sustainability


We’ve been experiencing a shift in how we approach fashion globally, as we eschew fast fashion and seek ethics and sustainability in our attire. Metropol catches up with one of the country’s leaders in this space – Kowtow’s Gosia Piatek.

 

 

Your story of fleeing Poland at the reach of the Soviet Union in 1987 is an incredibly inspiring one. I understand your family had just $200 to their name?
My family left Poland as political asylum refugees in 1985 – I was five years old. During this time Poland was a locked boarder communist nation. It was hard for us to leave and we left everything behind including our friends and family. My parents followed their noses to a refugee camp along the Italian coast, where we stayed for two years whilst we waited to get accepted by New Zealand. Back in the 1980s Europe didn’t have the same influx of refugees as it does now, so we were welcomed with open arms and looked after incredibly well. We were given a house on the beach, I attended school and learnt Italian and have very fond memories of my time there. In 1987 we were granted entry into New Zealand.


What is your design philosophy?
We have an exciting design philosophy as everything we create has to meet our incredibly stringent criteria for sustainability and ethics. For many years, we only worked with fair trade certified organic cotton, and recently we have started to add other fabrics, like tencel made from eucalyptus trees, ZQ certified New Zealand merino wool and swimwear made from recycled fishing nets. Since I have started to live half my year in London it’s really opened me up to meeting new people and learning about new technologies that are on the market. As far as the actual creative design goes, we start with a mood board and think about the creative direction for the season, we design 18 months in advance as we source all our yarn from the farm level (for traceability), so we can’t jump on trends and create what we think is endemic to Kowtow and what we love. In general, reoccurring themes for us are volume, colour, patterns and minimalism.


Why do you think the world has connected so strongly with Kowtow and what you do?
When I first started Kowtow 13 years ago, the story of ethics and sustainability in fashion wasn’t one many people wanted to hear. However, fast forward to 2019 and we are now living in a very different landscape. Especially after the Rana Plaza disaster which highlighted the affects first world hunger for fashion has on third world labour, people are now wanting to spend their money with brands that they can trust have an ethical and sustainable supply chain and we are one of them. It’s nice to know that we are also very legitimate too; Kowtow was built on very staunch values from day one and it’s only become clearer 13 years on as we take on new information, every product we produce, 100 percent of what we do is made responsibly.


 

The Flock

Sensationally sustainable: fly to The Flock for an ethical shopping experience

The Flock’s new layout at The Tannery reflects its purpose for selling ethical and sustainable items. With mainly Kiwi tunes playing in the background, it’s befitting for browsing among the locally made fashionwear and gifts.

The Flock

Owner Melody Leveridge only sells exquisite clothing made of natural fibres. It’s where she draws the line – no synthetics. The Labels – Elk, Kowtow and From – all have the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) approval. Elk’s high-quality 100 percent cashmere jerseys also include short-sleeve tops beautiful for layering, and twist-knit merino. Elk boots come in green-blue, tan, burgundy, black and patent leather. Kowtow also designs in organic-cotton, while the From collection features soft, fine-detailed merino.
Not forgetting the men, the Stanley extensive range of flasks keeps food and drink piping hot for up to 32 hours. There’s also superb handbags and wallets, natural skincare and Songbird cards hand-drawn in Diamond Harbour. The Flock has a story and a reason behind everything.

Plastic bags

Bye bye bags: ditching the plastic bag in favour of sustainability

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.

Plastic bags

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.

Nurse Maude Hospice Shops

Winter demand for hospice shops: Nurse Maude Hospice Shops wants your last season warm winter clothing

With winter nearly upon us, the city’s Nurse Maude Hospice Shops are desperately short of warm jackets, tops and jerseys in good condition.

Nurse Maude Hospice Shops

“Every jacket, jersey, pair of boots or winter top donated is directly supporting the Nurse Maude Hospice,” says Sue Bramwell, Nurse Maude’s General Manager Marketing.
“And with good quality winter clothing selling almost as fast as it comes in, we’re in dire need of good quality winter clothing, particularly women’s tops and jackets and larger sized women’s clothing.”
Sue says it’s important people don’t think it’s not worth dropping off just one or two items. “Each and every one of them will find loving homes and buy valuable nursing
hours in the Nurse Maude Hospice,” she says.
Running alongside the Hospice Shops is Maudes on Trade Me, which also supports the Nurse Maude Hospice. While the Hospice Shops concentrate on fashion retail, Maudes on Trade Me sells everything from antiques, jewellery and silverware, to sporting and household items, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Every week more than 250 items are listed for auction, so it is totally dependent on a steady stream of donated goods from the community.
While smaller pieces can be left for Maudes on Trade Me at any of the Nurse Maude Hospice Shops, it is sometimes possible for larger or bulk items to be
picked up.

Untouched World founder Peri Drysdale

The untouchable Peri Drysdale: our Q&A with the seriously clever and savvy Untouched World founder

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.

Untouched World founder Peri Drysdale
New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs inductees, Untouched World founder, Peri Drysdale MBE (left), entrepreneur and prolific director, Mavis Mullins MNZM (centre) and Fashion Week founder, Dame Pieter Stewart (right).

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.

Hybrid Homes

Architectural eco-showhome: Hybrid Homes wanted to show just how good a home can be without sacrificing the environment

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.

Hybrid Homes

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.

Project Partners

  1. Edward Gibbon
    Ph: 03 366 7137
    Web: www.plumbingplus.co.nz
Untouched World

A conscious collection: Untouched World Autumn/Winter 18 collection is trend-setting (and not fashion trends)

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.

Untouched World

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.