Dave’s interview with Wallace Chapman ( The Parnel RadioNZ ) and see how he started his new venture!
Why a New Business sewing hemp organic cotton t-shirts in these difficult times
Hemp organic cotton t shirt made in NZ? Are you crazy?? The idea, born out of the ashes of Covid, combines money in my bank at little interest and wanting a better return (why not invest in my own company which I have control over rather than another company). The desire to help my country through the inevitable economic downturn after lockdown. To provide jobs in my community, revive a once vibrant clothing industry and bring those skills back. Utilize the interest in hemp in NZ (no fabric yet but hopefully soon) https://hempfarm.co.nz/ and promote my art images. Use our restaurant building which we had to close early because of the pandemic and to promote my passion for ecologically sustainable business.
Go New Zealand
I am proud to be a New Zealander and if I can show to others that anything is possible (even me learning to sew t-shirts!) we can use our Kiwi resilience to be the best little country in the world. I don’t like promoting myself but my guru web designer says I must. So, here are a few reasons why a hemp organic cotton t-shirt from us is a good choice. I’m good looking (he says that is subjective and not what he means by promotion! Damn)
Brand New T-shirt Business
New to the business but that doesn’t mean one T-shirt sleeve is longer or some seams are in and others out. Although some were and I considered a line called ‘Dave’s Folly’ because the pile of bad ones was much higher than the good! Also considered manuka smoked T-shirts because it’s cold in here and we’ve got the fire going. Sewn in NZ as opposed to Made in NZ because some of our competitors say that but their shirts are sewn overseas.
So here we are in beautiful Whitianga using local labour and resources though it’s hardly labour is it team?? (lucky there are no rotten tomatoes around). We are positioning ourselves to take advantage of the hemp boom but unfortunately no fabric here yet so we are importing a hemp/organic cotton mix to fill the gap. There used to be fabric mills dotted around the country which have all but gone. So let’s plant wonderful hemp with its myriad of uses and start them all up again and prove that T-shirts can be made in NZ!
T-shirts using our Design or Customise your Own
Design – simple, durable, sexy (oh come on a guy can be sexy! (Note to myself: find a sexier web designer!) and ethical. Hemp is known to get better and better with each wash. Improves the soil by up to 50%, and uses 5 times less water than cotton. It also doesn’t need herbicides and pesticides and breaks down the fibre naturally so no chemical processes. Certified organic cotton is grown under strict ecological conditions. With ordinary cotton one T-shirt = the water drunk by one person over two years!
Promoting the Arts
I am a sculptor/painter and have always supported the arts in our local community. Hosting live music, giving art classes and curating exhibitions. With a friend I started Mercury Bay Art Escape which opens artists studios to the public over two weekends and is still going strong. So the images you can choose to print on the front of your shirt are all my own artworks. Later I hope to feature work by other local artists in their quest to be better known. To all of those people out there that are supporting NZ businesses a big thank you. We will strive to continue to provide a reasonably priced, ethical, locally made T-shirt you will cherish and show that T-shirts can be made in NZ!