We recently met with the incredibly talented local founder of holi Oragnic Wear, here is what Kelly du Toit had to say;
Noticing a niche in the market when I wanted to buy cleaner & greener replacements for clothing I decided to hone in my own skills and create my own brand . That way I could tick all the boxes myself . Made locally . Tick . Sustainable fabric . Tick . Quality . Tick . Made ethically . Tick . Stylish . Tick . And holi was born !!
I have always had a great love for natural fibres so using these was an absolute no brainer when creating holi . We namely use organic bamboo / cotton , local merino wool knits , New Zealand lamb and merino yarn for our Good Knits range . These types of mediums are renewable sources with little impact on our Mother Earth whilst providing comfort , temperature control through New Zealand’s trans-seasonal weather . It’s a win for our planet and it’s a win for holi .
A part of what makes holi sustainable is the brands core focus on quality & longevity . Throughout the process of producing a garment it always comes back to sustainability . Are the fabric sources sustainable ?? Are the wears themselves sustainable ?? That’s why we produce garments that are made to last ; with classic , feminine lines that are timeless . The fabric whether it be the soft yet durable nature of the bamboo blends or the New Zealand merino , we know that they are going to go the distance . That’s why we urge our customers to look after their clothing and it will look after them right back . For a holi customer to open their closet in 10 years and still have a holi garment in their wardrobe is something I dream of . From the hand paper packaging , to the labels on recycled card , garment to ethos – holi is sustainable .
holi is a feel good / be good brand so a large part of being in this industry came down to ethics also . It is finally coming more into the main stream media about the price of fashion and it’s a killer , quite literally on our environment and the people you don’t see behind the scenes in factories overseas . The slave labour , children workers , extreme poverty and it all taking place in some awful working conditions . So there was no way I wanted to be a willing contributor nor participant to that part of the industry . I want to change the status quo by educating about where your clothing comes from and who makes them and from what . We need to ask questions , research and inform ourselves in all matters of consumption . Communication is absolute key in breaking the down barriers . I think holi encapsulates the feel that fashion can be kind and beautiful .
Our organic bamboo fabric is sourced from fair trade factories in China which are frequently visited by our suppliers in New Zealand . The fabric is also Oeko-Tek and GOTS certified . The manufacturing of holi is kept within in Hawkes Bay , New Zealand and we have opted to use local professional seamstresses - your wears are made by someone’s mother or daughter . I know them all personally . They are involved in the process of the finished product . Their involvement & expertise in my brand is not only crucial but gives them a sense of belonging and pride thus giving the brand a cosy feeling of community . These women are highly skilled and I hold them very dear . As we progress and grow I hope to contract more industrial seamstresses , she might be single Mum or someone out of fashion school , that’s how it works here in Hawkes Bay and I love that . holi may eventually use local factories which I hope in time has growth and expansion as the large majority of the New Zealand manufacturing is now offshore . It would be an absolute dream to revive this industry in our own back yard . Working conditions and pay rates would be more transparent and regulated . Whichever route we choose going forward ethical practise will always be front of mind .
Holi is currently available online exclusively with limited edition collections and made to order knits . We offer layby payment options and will soon have a studio space where the collection can be viewed & purchased in Napier .