The Local Beauty Experts We’re Visiting This Season

Whether it’s beautiful brows, a lunchtime laser treatment or a serious skin-health journey you’re in need of, Skin Institute Group has been taking care of Kiwi skin health and complexions for more than 25 years.  There’s never been a better time or reason to get behind local beauty businesses. If you’re in need of expert advice where your beauty routine is concerned, New Zealand-owned Skin Institute Group employs some of New Zealand’s best medical practitioners and highly trained skin and beauty therapists to help you achieve the results you’re after. With Skin Institute, Lovely by skin institute and OFF & ON – all under the Skin Institute Group umbrella – you know you’re in the right place.

Skin Institute
For a quarter of a century, Skin Institute has been leading the way in New Zealand skin treatment. In fact, these days there’s not a lot that its 17 clinics around the country can’t do when it comes to achieving your skin-health goals. Because no two complexions or skin concerns are alike, a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to skin is at the heart of everything that Skin Institute does. The knowledgeable and talented team consists of more than 200 highly qualified surgeons, specialists, doctors, nurses and advanced skin therapists that work with you to address your unique needs.

Whether it’s the early signs of ageing, pigmentation, sun damage or volume loss that you’re interested in addressing, Skin Institute offers an array of cutting-edge appearance-medicine techniques and treatments that will help you look and feel your best. As well as being experts in appearance medicine, Skin Institute has a wealth of expertise in skin cancer and veins. In fact, Skin Institute is the only skin health centre in New Zealand that offers everything from full-body skin cancer checks right through to advanced cosmetic surgery.

To book, visit and follow Skin Institute on [email protected] 

Lovely by skin institute
As part of the wider Skin Institute Group, Lovely by skin institute is a mall-based and go-to expert skin and beauty brand that offers accessible and affordable general skin health, laser, injectables and body treatments within its five Auckland locations.  A philosophy of looking and feeling great is important to Lovely by skin institute, and the highly trained and experienced team utilise superior technology to help you get the complexion of your dreams.

And because all services are signed off by the Skin Institute medical doctors, you know you’re in the best hands possible. From results-driven skin peels or anti-wrinkle treatments, or the lunchtime non-surgical facelift – Ulfit, to extensive treatment plans, Lovely by skin institute offers a wide array of treatments at affordable prices, so reaching your skincare goals has never been easier.

To book, visit and follow Lovely by skin institute on Facebook @lovelybyskin 


Looking and feeling great doesn’t end with a bespoke skin-health journey. In fact it most often starts with having your essential maintenance sorted.  OFF & ON are the iconic New Zealand leaders in hair removal and brows with branches nationally dedicated to taking it off and putting it on… with a twist.  Armed with a veritable toolkit of techniques and specialist brow artists, ON is the complete home of believable brows and luscious lashes including the signature Browography microblading and Henna Spa.

The recent addition of the specialist  injectables bar supported by Skin Institute Group’s leading appearance-medicine experts, delivers bespoke, beautiful and believable results. That leaves OFF to, well, take it off.  The specialist waxers, custom-wax formulation and the famous ‘miyagi’ technique honed over 12 years means that even a waxing experience can be enjoyable. The addition of state-of-the-art laser hair removal with the Rolls-Royce of technology and dedicated laser techs means there is a solution for every hair-raising situation and has cemented OFF & ON as the country’s hair-removal experts.

To book, visit and follow OFF & ON  Facebook and Instagram: @offandonnz

Transparency in Fashion: Who makes the clothes we wear?

Who makes the clothes we wear? It’s a simple question, but one that many in the fashion industry are struggling to answer. Transparency – the idea that brands should openly disclose their business practices and have full traceability of supply chain – has quickly moved its way into the modern fashion lexicon.

The term is becoming more than a buzzword. It’s growing ubiquity signals a major shift in the industry and the demand for greater transparency is something many brands are grappling with.

The State of Fashion 2020, an independent report by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company that took an in-depth look at the fashion industry, recently called out this need for radical change. “Fashion players are under pressure to … address growing demand for the industry to face the sustainability agenda head-on,” it stated. “Consumers and employees will continue to demand more from purpose-driven companies that champion their values – from climate change consciousness to diversity and inclusion.” Sustainability is one of the key drivers behind the push for transparency. As the world’s second-largest polluter, the fashion industry is responsible for 1,715 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions a year, forecast to grow 63 percent by 2030.

The State of Fashion 2020 notes that “fashion accounts for 20 to 35 percent of microplastic flows into the ocean and outweighs the carbon footprint of international flights and shopping combined.”

Climate activists have put the industry in the spotlight, bringing the environmental impact to the top of consumers’ minds. In a recent McKinsey survey, 66 percent of respondents said they are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. Another survey, commissioned by not-for-profit organisation Fashion Revolution, found that 37 percent of fashion consumers thought it was important that the clothing they buy is produced in a way that is not harmful to the environment.

Ethical working conditions are another key driver behind the call for transparency. In 2013, the devastating Rana Plaza disaster – a building collapse in Bangladesh which resulted in the deaths of 1,134 people, many of them garment workers – brought the need for transparency to the forefront of the fashion conversation.

The tragedy has been held up as an example of the consequences of unethical practices and lack of transparency in the supply chain. Due to a gap in traceability, many brands didn’t know their garments were made at Rana Plaza and only discovered it weeks later.


“The fashion industry still operates in an opaque manner, which is a huge barrier to change,” says Carry Somers, co-founder of Fashion Revolution. “Exploitation thrives in hidden places.”

“Factory fires and accidents, poor working conditions, dangerous pollution and exploitation of garment workers remains rampant six years after Rana Plaza,” states Fashion Revolution in their The Fashion Transparency Index 2019 report.

Campaigners like Somers are calling out the fashion industry for a lack of responsibility when it comes to understanding their supply chain. Without stringent oversight, brands can find their work subcontracted to many other suppliers, often without their knowledge. “This … makes it extremely difficult to monitor human rights and environmental impacts,” says Fashion Revolution.

While consumer interest in ethical and sustainable fashion continues to grow (internet searches for “sustainable fashion” tripled between 2016 and 2019) the landscape remains murky, plagued by a lack of information and an emerging trend of ‘greenwashing’. “Consumers are unsure what ‘sustainability’ means or how to identify sustainable brands,” explains The State of Fashion 2020, noting a survey of 100 European firms that showed consumers are often swayed by misinformation or lack of information.

Good On You is one of the latest fashion platforms looking to bring clarity to consumers. By “reading between the seams” Good On You lets consumers track the ethical rating of a brand through an app. The ratings pinpoint four key areas of transparency: people, planet, animals and information sources.

“There are a lot of conflicting messages out there and some real greenwashing when it comes to ethical and sustainable fashion,” says Gordon Renouf, co-founder of Good On You.

“[Our platform] means that people can get an easy-to-understand rating for a brand and they can make choices based on information they trust.”

Provenance is another tech startup enabling brands to embrace this new model of transparency. Founded by engineer Jessi Baker, the tech company uses blockchain software to help brands gather and present information and stories about products and their supply chains.

Merino knitwear company Sheep Inc. is one brand taking advantage of this type of cutting-edge technology. Rethinking the consumer model, Sheep Inc. lets customers track the sheep from the farm where the clothing’s wool is sourced, through a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID) tag. Their position, says founder Edzard van der Wyck, is that you need to give people a reason to care and be involved in the story behind the supply chain. Van der Wyck says he embraces the accountability that comes with transparency. “You have to make sure you are really scrutinising every aspect of your business.”

Local designer Kowtow is another brand making conscious decisions around sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing.

Transparency, explains founder Gosia Piatek, was the pillar of the brand when she started it 15 years ago. “I wanted to know who was working in my production chain from seed to garment and I wasn’t going to budge on that,” she says. This commitment, she explains, isn’t easy. Unlike a product like coffee, there are many steps throughout the clothing supply chain – from growing and processing, to cutting and stitching. “Clothing is really complicated and maybe that’s why people have put it in the ‘too hard’ basket … I wanted to do something that was going to shake things up.”

Like Sheep Inc., Kowtow believes in holding themselves accountable. “For us, it’s about being really honest with our customers and being accountable,” says Piatek.

As smaller brands shift towards transparent business models, they are beginning to demand greater responsibility from the industry’s leaders.

New Zealand-American footwear brand Allbirds recently caused a stir in the industry when they published an open-letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking him to “steal our approach to sustainability”. After Amazon released a pair of $45 Wool Blend shoes that looked strikingly similar to the Allbirds Wool Runners, co-founders Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown wrote to Bezos, saying, “We are flattered at the similarities that your private label shoe shares with ours, but hoped the commonalities would include these environmentally-friendly materials as well.”

As the industry begins to embrace this new wave of radical transparency, it is younger consumers who are leading the charge. According to the McKinsey survey, 42 percent of millennials now want to know what goes into products and how they are made before they buy.

Kate Hall, a Kiwi ethical fashion blogger, says she’s seen this change first-hand. “I’d like to think consumer habits are changing for the better, however we probably have a really long way to go,” she says. “The true cost of fashion is starting to ruminate amongst society, and more mainstream brands are beginning to talk about this.

Conscious Choices

“Transparency gives consumers the power to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to brands depending on whether they fit their values, therefore swaying the fashion industry to represent what consumers actually want,” says Hall. The responsibility, she believes, goes both ways – consumers must hold themselves accountable and not fall into the traps of fast fashion. “For consumers to embrace conscious fashion choices, there needs to be a mindset change; not just a whole lot of conscious fashion brands popping up.”

Campaigner Carry Somers agrees. “More than ever, brands and retailers are being held to account and beginning to realise that their fashion statements need to be embodied in truth,” she says. “There truly is an ocean of truth lying undiscovered before us when it comes to fashion, but there is a sea of change taking place and we are seeing a lot of consumers wading in and asking, demanding to know the truth behind their clothes.”