New Blood needed!

The Big Shwop. It is just about the coolest concept ever. Seriously.

It is far less cool, however, when the events are never held.

We know. We suck. You have all been without a Shwop since December 2011. Gah!

shwop girls


You see the thing is Inga, Chrissy and me have kind of moved onto new things. Chrissy isn’t even in the same city as us anymore. We still care deeply about sustainable fashion and still love to shwop, but the impetus to create big community events for us all to enjoy? It’s kind of dissipated.

We love The Big Shwop and it seems a shame, just because we don’t have the energy to run the events anymore, for it to mothball into a lovely fond memory.

So, in the interest of the concept of Shwopping, we want to pass the event on. You know that whole thing about if you aren’t wearing it than just pass it on? Yeah, well it has come full circle to the event itself and it is time for someone else to lead The Big Shwop. We have volunteer t-shirts, 2000 hangers, a website, a blog-site, shwop vouchers, a trademarked concept.  We have a wealth of experience, and photos and contacts.  Who wants it all?

If you are a keen eco-fashionista, and you want to lead The Big Shwop forward, get in touch!

Email us at and we’ll go from there.


September 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Beyond Kew Gardens

Back when I lived in London, I remember skulking around Kew Gardens on one cool autumn day. It was a  lovely park and a lovely day. I never went back though. Strange really as I went past it on the District Line to Richmond countless, countless times.

This series of videos takes you behind the trees and the glasshouses into the back of house of this splendid treasure  of a place.

Spend five minutes with people who study fungus at Kew. I was glad that I did.

And then soak up the amazing work of the Seed Bankers, aiming to pass on our entire botanical heritage to future generations intact.

“Every seed bank should have a Wolfgang,” she says matter of factly.  Indeed.

March 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

I meant to say…

… we are just taking a small hiatus. Be back in a couple of weeks. Unplugging and recharging. xx

March 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm Leave a comment

Kony 2012

Just watch and be inspired by the scope of social media, of a new type of participatory democracy and the power of NOW.

I recommended that you watch the documentary Us Now  a wee while ago. Fascinating take on what we might expect in the coming years as media intersects with us as citizens and the way we collaborate and communicate. Seems its really starting to happen. Exciting times. Watch it here if you haven’t already

March 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Downsize me/The Wardrobe diet. Step Four: Tops

Right, back to downsizing. After reading about this guy, I figured it was time to trim my wardrobe sails and get more minimal myself.  But when I streamlined my collection of dresses, scarves and shoes, I needed a bit of a breather. Talk about traumatic. I’ve been surprised though – I haven’t missed a single item once and I love how much tidier certain areas of the wardrobe are now. So I am buoyed to carry on. Next stop: tops. But not jackets, jumpers, cardigans or vests. One step at a time people, one step at a time.

So I had 48 tops. Forty eight. That is quite a few tops. No wonder my drawer was shutting under considerable protest.

1. Patterned tops

There are heaps that I think are great in theory, but are always bad in practice so they never get worn. The red tops, like the red dresses, have had very few outings so they got the boot. Well, to be honest, only the swirly one got the boot because I do really love the material of the other one, and kinda thought that maybe this time I will wear it. We’ll see. There’s a Moochi top in there that never gets out, so thats gone out, and then there are some perennials in there that I have worn, and worn, and worn. So I said goodbye to leopard print and the blue spotted number too. No-one wants to be wearing giant spectacles from the eighties in the nineties (although now they are Bang! Awesome Again) so I thought it was best not to be stale and say adios, while we are still friends. And then there is Coral Camp. I never knew I had such a thing for the colour coral. I have a coral skirt too. Maybe I could wear it all together and wig out at myself. That’d be amazing.  Needless to say, I kept all the coral I could.

2. Cottons

This pile is almost exclusively kowtow clothing – organic fair-trade cotton awesomeness from right here in Wellington. I am a devout follower and ain’t no way I am separating myself from any of their numbers. If you aren’t already acquainted with them, than get so. Its guilt free goodness. I kept the yellow number from Kilt too, because it has two birds on it. Fickle and true.

3. Sundries

A glitter singlet, a polka dot sheer top, a Sabatini top that should be good but isn’t, two mullet singlets – hmmm, there was a lot here to get rid of.

4. Black.

I took a photo, but really it just looks daft. Like it didn’t upload properly or something. So just imagine a pile of 16 black tops. Yeah, that is a few. Seems black is the constant across my wardrobe. I got rid of well over half – lets leave it at that shall we?


Sum total of tops after downsizing – 17. Thats the bottom of the drawer you can see there. I know -its a beautiful, beautiful sight.

There may be a sneaky few in the wash, but I figure, if they are in the laundry than I am clearly wearing them so that’s all good.

I looked at that minimal man again –  he had five shirts sum total. Well, there’s minimal and then there’s me.

March 8, 2012 at 9:10 am 2 comments

Seductive Marni at H & M

Its this kind of campaign that rails me. Soooooo seductive. Hot-horse Sophia Coppola has directed the latest ad campaign for a collaborative range between the fashion house of Marni and high street megastar H & M. And boy does it look gooooood.

It has it all – Marrakesh, retro sun-soaked backing track, delicious eye-makeup, warm sun, greyhounds, candles, a pool and hot, hot people wearing covetable patterned threads living a life of enviable lax. What’s missing? Hmmmm, maybe just the small fact that H & M haven’t paid their garment workers a living wage for making this s**t.

Such a thin veneer of glamour over the labour behind the label.   What would the ad look like if it were telling us the truth? For one, it would be set in the slums of Bangladesh or India, and not in the resorts of Morocco. But hey ho, it looks good on their wealthy bodies so who cares where it came from right?


Sounds like heaps of fun to shop on the launch day too. Gee whizz.

For more information about H & M’s labour record, see our blog post here, and this here, and this here,  and well – there’s a lot of it. Google away.


March 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Shoe evolution

Love the idea of these – two in one shoe, a ballet flat and a stiletto. Wear them out for the night and just pack away the heels when you’ve had enough. Or, wear the flats to work and slip on the heels for some clubbing. Clever.

They have some eco-credentials, using some recycled and earth-friendly products in their manufacture. The shoes are lightweight, nontoxic, and hypoallergenic. The insoles have some antibacterial guff going on too which you can “recharge” under the sun.

But I cant understand some of their claims. The shoe apparently “enhances and protects ecosystems and diversity” and “improves air quality”. Sounds pretty amazing if its true, but not too sure how evidenced this actually is.

In the meantime, here’s to the continuation of shoe evolution – from mean to green.

Shoes from Nael Coce. Via Ecouterre.

March 7, 2012 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

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