Velvet Heartbeat started in 2017 through a lifelong love of fashion and a desire to be part of a global shift in how we produce and use the items we acquire to express ourselves.
For us it is critical to place importance on where our materials come from, who makes our products, and that they are built to last.
Where do our materials come from?
All fabrics and components are 100% vegan as we don't believe any animal should suffer for any reason, particularly fashion. We try to be as sustainable and avoid waste as much as possible and are constantly looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet, people and the environment. The materials we use come from 4 main sources:
Deadstock is a term used to describe merchandise that was never sold or used by customers before being removed from sale. For us this can be end of roll lengths no longer required by a designer, fabrics with flaws we can work around, crafts-people destashing, swatches, emporiums, discount warehouses, bins - you name it, we'll be looking! These materials are often high quality but surplus to requirements and have the potential to end up in landfill.
Piñatex® (AKA pineapple leather) is a sustainably-produced plant based textile, developed according to the principles of a circular economy. The pineapple leaves that form the basis of Piñatex® are the byproduct of existing agriculture, so no additional land, water, fertiliser or pesticides are required to produce the raw material, and by adding value to a waste product provide an additional income stream to pineapple farming communities.
re-purposed or vintage
Often if you look at something in the right way it has the potential to be more than trash. We like to re-purpose when possible, this could be thrifted materials, hardware from clothing or accessories that cannot be repaired or the hessian coffee sacks we use as internal structure on some of our bags. Additionally, vintage items are often built to last and have been around long enough to become cool again. We try to incorporate a little bit of vintage where we can like these colourful zips.
Brand New materials
Although the bulk of our materials are acquired through the first two avenues, there are times we need something we just can't find such as new thread, sewing supplies, labels, some hardware and fabrics.
It is very important to us to keep this to a minimum so we can avoid adding to an industry that has so much waste already.
Who makes our products?
Quite simply - we do! Everything we make is created in our Auckland, New Zealand workroom by skilled crafts-people being paid a fair, living wage. Fair wages and working conditions are non-negotiable for us. When growth requires us to look outside our workroom for help with production, we will be looking for makers with the same values.
are our products built to last?
We sure hope so! the utmost care is taken to select quality materials and carefully design and construct each item so it's worth our time and yours. It is estimated that garments currently have an average lifespan of 3 years, we think we can do better as a society. We also produce low stock levels so our pieces are produced relevant to demand and don't contribute to more industry waste.
NZ Made Guarantee
Velvet Heartbeat is licensed by the Buy NZ Made Campaign to use the Kiwi trademark to promote our New Zealand Made goods and services that meet the requirements of the Fair Trading Act for Country of Origin labelling.
When a product carries the registered Kiwi trademark, buyers can be confident it’s made in New Zealand.
For more information about the campaign check out www.buynz.org.nz
Our aim is to be part of the antidote to fast fashion. Could we do better? Always! We will continue to strive to improve our products and lessen our impact.
If you have any more questions or suggestions we'd love to hear from you!
Welcome behind the scenes! I'm Suzie and #imadeyourbag - every Velvet Heartbeat bag is lovingly handmade in this tiny workroom in Auckland, New Zealand. I am proud to stand with a global crew of makers for industry transparency and fair working conditions. Knowing how much work goes into making fashion makes Fashion Revolution so much more important to me. Nobody should suffer for the sake of fashion! My brand is open, fair and honest - as I wish the whole industry to become. Stand with me and ask your favourite brands #whomademyclothes - join the Fashion Revolution at www.fashionrevolution.org