Great Full brings together talented creatives in New Zealand to raise money for worthwhile causes. We chat to founder Melissa Gardi about the non-profitâs new collection.
Studies have frequently shown that gratitude is associated with greater happiness and Melissa Gardi is well versed in the benefits of counting oneâs blessings. âThere is just so much scientific research that shows that practising gratitude can have quite transformative effects on peopleâs lives for the better â on your physical health, emotional wellbeing, career and relationships,â she says. âPractising gratitude can enhance your life.â
Gardiâs appreciation of the goodness in her own life inspired her to found Great Full, a not-for-profit that sees leaders from New Zealandâs creative sectors collaborate to produce limited-edition collections of goods, with profits from sales donated to a designated charity.
Gardi moved to New Zealand from the US 17 years ago, and during her time in Aotearoa her admiration for all that the nation has to offer has grown. âAs much as this is a small country, there is also world-class creativity that comes in many shapes and forms,â she says. Reflecting on what made her grateful to live in New Zealand made Gardi realise that we are âa place of greatnessâ â a country brimming with talent: great full. âI thought, letâs recognise and celebrate how great New Zealand is by bringing people together to do great things.â
Each Great Full collection is made in New Zealand and supports a cause that affects New Zealanders. Gardi launched Great Full a year ago with a line of baby onesies, toddler tees and beanies designed by top names in Kiwi fashion: Juliette Hogan, NOM*d, Trelise Cooper, twenty-seven names and Zambesi. The project has raised about $14,000 for the Starship Foundation. Now, Great Full has launched its second project with new products, new collaborators and a new cause. The collection comprises âBum Huggersâ â his and hers briefs â to raise awareness of bowel cancer and raise funds for Bowel Cancer New Zealand. âI was absolutely floored by the statistics of how bowel cancer affects New Zealanders,â says Gardi.
Bowel cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer death in New Zealand. It kills as many New Zealanders as breast and prostate cancer combined, and it can affect anyone at any age. âThose were all compelling reasons for me to decide to get behind this cause.â The Bum Huggers feature original designs from six prominent New Zealand artists: Dick Frizzell, Flox, Michel Tuffery, Misery (Tanja McMillan), Ruby Jones and Shane Hansen. âI was hoping that we could reflect the diverse fabric of New Zealand in the collection of artists that we invited to be involved,â says Gardi. âFor every artist that we invited, Iâm appreciative that they all immediately said yes. Some of them have had personal experiences with bowel cancer.â
Although Great Full benefits its designated charities and raises awareness of its causes, it also serves the creatives and businesses that collaborate to make the products. âOver the past 17 years of living in New Zealand, Iâve observed how challenging it is for Kiwi businesses because of our being a country of less than five million people,â says Gardi. âSo itâs important that weâre celebrating all that is great in New Zealand and that we also give pathways for our creative community to get involved in these projects.â
See Great Full’s bum huggers in the album below – each woman who was part of the photo shoot has had a family member diagnosed with bowel cancer.