What happened after Jacinda wore our Huia Feather Earrings

On Friday 29th May New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wore a pair of the Huia Feather Earrings during a press release about supporting the arts. My friend messaged me to tell me she had spotted them and I shared the news on the Remix Plastic Facebook Page. It wasn’t until I posted in the New Zealand Made Products Facebook group on Sunday morning that my weekend became a whirlwind!

17,000 people liked the post and the orders began. By about lunchtime I turned off the email notifications because the constant dinging was too overwhelming! I wasn’t sure what to do with this volume of sales so I paced around my house then went and made some shortbread.

First thing was to find some extra help, so already Jacinda’s support of small businesses resulted in employment for two people who were struggling after their work had been affected by COVID-19.

The next thing to do was to purchase more earring fixings and packaging boxes. Remix Plastic’s goal is to support a circular economy, which means purchasing from other local businesses so all of the products and materials we buy are sourced locally. The boxes we use for shipping are recycled cardboard.

The source material for the earrings comes from 3D printer waste from the production studio of Christchurch’s Central Library, Tūranga. Tūranga also houses the laser cutter that I use to cut the earrings. Without the support of Christchurch City Libraries, and specifically Danny McNeil, I wouldn’t be able to make these earrings.  So the next thing I did was ring Danny and thank him for his support.

Recently I’ve realised that changing the way we bank has a huge impact on climate change. Mainstream banks in NZ invested $7.4billion into fossil fuels between 2015-17. Now I have a bit of money coming in, I want to change my bank to one that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels. To help me figure out my options I contacted Caresaver, a NZ KiwiSaver provider that aligns their customers ethics with investments. (More info on this to follow!).

Over the past 3 years I have had the fortune to meet incredible people doing amazing things. I have never been in a position to support many of the projects and organisations financially. I quickly seized the opportunity and made a donation to Creative Junk a Christchurch charity that redistributes materials to the community and schools. This provides affordable resources for art and craft projects and keeps waste out of landfills. I source my office stationery and numerous bits and pieces for workshops from Creative Junk.

Last but not least, I emailed Jacinda to say thank you, and to let her know that her simple act of wearing earrings made in NZ from recycled plastic is having such a huge impact. 

And now I am off to make some earrings! If you don't hear from me for a while, send a search party!