Beanie, deadstock organic cotton, lined with deadstock NZ merino NZ$ 46. Scarf , deadstock 100% NZ merino NZ$45.
For sustainable brand Luca Broccolini’s owners Jenni Scoble and Jodi Soni, circular design is at the heart of their philosophy. Empathy for the process, empathy for the makers and the wearers is evident when you step into their whimsical world of beautiful wools and playful deigns which evoke a sense of nostalgia and connection with our planet.
As explained by Dr. Anna Brismar in 2017 CircularFashion.com, ‘Circular fashion’ can be defined as clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced, and provided with the intention to be used and circulated responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.’
This way of designing can be challenging but can also provide a mindset which has the potential for truly magical and transparent results. This is the case of New Zealand childrenswear brand, Luca Broccolini…and this is what happened when Fashion and Heart sat with owners Jenni Scoble and Jodi Soni to find a bit more about their brand:
Fashion and Heart: “ Where does the drive to create a brand devoted to a circular fashion system come from?”
Jenni and Jodi: “We care about our Earth a lot. We ride bikes, grow as many vegies, herbs, berries and fruit as we can, buy second hand and sew many of our own clothes. In general, we try to step lightly on our planet. Our personal values have formed the foundation on which our business is built.”
Co founder Jenni Scoble
Fashion and Heart: “What materials do you use and why?”
Jeni and Jodi: “We only use deadstock, salvaged, vintage, and pre-loved fabrics. This is because we believe there is more than enough fabric in circulation already and we don’t want to support the production of new textiles, contributing to an already overloaded industry.”
“We also believe in encouraging kids to develop a respect and appreciation for slow fashion, as a way of helping to look after our planet – hence our tagline – ‘ Kids! Wear Your Greens’. A great place to help kids start, is by developing a connection to the clothes they wear. The vintage wool we use for our jackets and bonnets was made here in New Zealand. Most people had a few of these blankets in their linen cupboard and can conjure up stories of these familiar and nostalgic blankets.”
Co founder Jodi Soni
Fashion and Heart: “When did you start the brand Luca Broccolini?”
Jenni: “We talked about the idea for many years, but Jodi was living in Melbourne, and we couldn’t do much more than think about it. When Jodi moved back to Hawke’s Bay we bought the industrial machines, sourced the fabric and started sewing two years ago.”
Jodi: “The great thing about working with Mum is that we complement each other perfectly. She is the doer and I’m the thinker. I had been sitting on the idea of starting my own business for about 15 years, but it wasn’t until I moved back to New Zealand, and Mum got on board, that it finally happened. Luckily all those years I spent thinking about aspects of the potential business weren’t wasted, as it gave us a clear vision of how our brand was going to look and operate.”
Fashion and Heart: “Why childrenswear?“
Jenni: “Jodi has a very active son who is extremely hard on clothes. He is forever going through the knees of his pants, splitting seams, and unravelling hems. This is what inspired us to make durable, comfortable unisex kids clothes -sustainably.”
Jodi: “Having a son who thrashes his clothes highlighted for me the issue of durability. On our garments, knee and elbow patches come standard, we reinforce stress points, tape and top-stitch shoulder seams, and box stitch all binding joins, to name just a few areas we pay special attention to. We run our sizes big. We want kids to get as much wear as possible out of the clothes we make. We encourage our garments to be passed on to siblings or friends when they’re eventually grown out of.”
Tee, deadstock 100% cotton NZ$85. Bags from hand woven slaughter free NZ wool NZ$40
Fashion and Heart: “You process your own wool, what exactly do you do?
Jenni: “We used to live in the country, and I had five pet sheep – Amberly, Toto, Chocolate, Petal and Wild Thing (the strong-willed one). As well as being great lawn mowers, they provided beautiful wool for my spinning and weaving. The girls lived long, happy lives with no fear of ending up in the deep freeze or on the dinner table as our family are all vegetarians. Using wool from happy sheep who were not for slaughter is important to us. They were shorn twice a year, and the wool accumulated quickly. We have bags of it stored in our loft studio, which I am working through. We also dye usin natural dyes. We love natural colours. I have used bark, walnut shells, berries, and onion skins to get lovely earthy colours and we currently have weld plants growing in the garden, so next summer we can create a turmeric coloured dye to play with.”
Jodi: “The gentle sound of the spinning wheel was almost the soundtrack to my childhood. Mum would take her spinning wheel out into the garden while my brothers and I played. Now my little guy runs around outside while we work, and it’s a lovely feeling of something having come full circle. I still find it a very relaxing sound, and love working in the studio listening to the clickety clicks of mum on the spinning wheel.”
Fashion and Heart: “Where can we buy Luca Broccolini clothes?”
Jenni and Jodi: You can find us on Luca Broccolini
Bonnets, vintage NZ wool lined with vintage cotton blend NZ65. Jackets, vintage NZ wool lined with vintage cotton blend NZ$ 185