NZFW designer Holly Norman's top tips for sustainable shopping

Holly Norman from Olli
The designer is returning to NZFW with her signature style. Photo credit: Instagram/Holly Norman

Back for another year at New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW), Holly Norman is more focused on sustainable fashion for her brand Olli than ever. I'm peeved that I used the fantastic headline 'from curtains to couture' last year. 

After showing off her pastel, ruffled creations during the 2018 New Generations show Norman is back, once again blurring the lines between art and clothing. Picture King Henry VIII mixed with modern street style. 

But far from the expensive fabrics retailing at hundreds of dollars used by many of her peers use, Norman creates designs sourced from local op shops and linen closets.

"We try to keep it as sustainable as possible. I've always been passionate about sustainability and all things nature - I didn't want to be contributing to landfill," she explains. 

Sustainable and slow are the direction we're heading as a country, she believes. 

"New Zealanders are getting good at moving away from fast fashion, we're beginning to look down on that industry as a whole. I think there's support for small brands in particular." 

If you're not quite up to shopping the catwalk just yet, Norma has put together some top tips to shop sustainably. 

  • Buy less, high quality and trans-seasonal garments, as opposed to many poor quality pieces which will only last a season. Cherish these pieces and they will last a lifetime. 
  • Learn how to repair and mend your garments before you think about letting something go. A needle and thread will save you some hard-earned cash. 
  • Favour natural fibres like cotton, linen and wool as opposed to polyesters and other man-made materials. Not only are these fibres more sustainably sourced, they will also feel nicer on your skin. 
  • Steer clear of fast fashion outlets and focus on thrift stores in your area. You can often find similar styles, for a fraction of the price.

New Zealand Fashion Week runs from August 26 - September 1, 2019.