Spotlight: Five NZ Brands You Should Know

Keeping it local, here's 5 brands you should know about. From sneaker pioneers who found inspiration from the humble sheep, handmade men's goods sourced from local leather, to a new streetwear label born from the streets of Auckland. 


1. Allbirds

You may have heard of Allbirds - the merino wool shoemaker, as they've been making international headlines, with the likes of features in Forbes and Esquire

Allbirds is the brainchild of an ex-All Whites star, Tim Brown who traded his football boots, to start his venture in making comfortable, ethical & environmentally sustainable merino wool sneakers. We've got merino in our clothing yet this was the first time it was translated to footwear. Merino is comfortable and regulates temperature, so it's fitting for a shoe. 

We're becoming an increasingly concerned consumer when it comes how, where and what products are made of and Allbirds have a clear vision and conscious when it comes to the things that matter most, namely our Mother Earth and you read up on their full story and why the seek inspiration from the world around them, like our cool sheep. 

Check 'em out on the gram and no doubt you'll have a pair on your feet by the end of the week. That rhymed without me trying btw. 




2. Good Winter

I recently discovered this brand via a friend who used to work alongside the founder of Good Winter in a previous job for one of the most well-known local luxury fashion brands. 

GW is all about clean, unsophisticated, simple designed and quality built leather goods. 100% New Zealand designed and created, with the leather coming from a tannery situated in the city of Wanganui. Nice and local.

From wallets, bags to backpacks there's a piece that'll be your go-to every day. You can even get your named monogrammed on any of their pieces.  A little touch of personalisation, niiiiiccceeeeeee. 

Get inspired by the GW range on the gram. I've got my eye on The Basic Backpack, so swish!  


3. Among Equals

Among Equals is a fairly new player in the streetwear and urban scene here in New Zealand, but it grew up on the streets, and launched with the backing of Cotton On, using their production, supply chain knowledge and retail space throughout the country. 

Streetwear is riding high at the moment thanks to some fairly big hitting fashion influencers like Mr Kanye and Jerry Lorenzo from Fear Of God and luxury & streetwear brands getting in bed together. A= however stays true to itself, it's on-trend, it's got a local flare to it with Dan Tupari from Sole Merchants behind a lot of the key design and marketing considerations and this new label even reached the biggest and most influential fashion platform Hypebeast

More and more my wardrobe is being filled up with Among Equals pieces, from a camo bomber, graphic long sleeves, waffle tees and long tail tee basics. The range is huge and it's constantly being updated, so check out the range in-store or have a peek online yeah

Give A= a follow on instagram


4. Meadlowlark

Jewellery can be a tricky one when it comes to men's fashion. Where to start, what's appropriate, what's too much, basically a lot of questions. Meadlowlark however have good handle on some rings that'll suit any guy looking for something simple, or maybe a little different or perhaps a ring that's a signature piece. 

I've for the 12mm ring in silver, it's just simple, but the boldness comes from the size/thickness and I wear it with basically any outfit whether that's something relaxed or more formal. 

Get a handle on Meadlowlark's feed to see all the handmade jewellery (and guys there might be something there for the girlfriend to if you want to spoil her). 


5. hih

hih is a cool new ethical clothing label on the scene, with Dan Buckley (ex-Huffer man) behind the wheel. I'm friends with Dan so saw it pop up on his feed and obviously anything fashion, and more so local stuff peaks my interest. 

hih use a high quality Pima cotton (a type of cotton that has a longer strand than your usual) across the tee range, makes for a really soft, marshmellow like texture. hih also have high quality work standards to ensure their clothes are made in an ethical fashion, and production is down in South China. Interestingly, many labels have shifted their manufacturing to places like India where labour is cheaper, so it's good to see hih putting a line in the sand and you can read up on it here

Another cool point about hih is they do package deals where they pair up a few pieces to give you extra value.  I grabbed this all black deal over Summer; a pair of shorts, a tee and singlet for under a $100. I live in the shorts, they've got a lining like workout shorts so they're comfy as anything and great for adventures. 

Get yourself familiar with their grid, I think you'll quite like what you'll see. 

So there's 5 local Kiwi brands doing good things in the fashion space, go support them and you'll not only look good, you'll feel good for it too. Ace.