EFWA 2018 Upcycling Challenge Interview with Denise Anglesey of Denise H and Founder of NZ Eco Fashion Week

Please share a bit about about the journey that led you to embrace fashion design as a career.

My journey as a designer began in 2006 after entering and winning my section recycled trash to fashion event.  When the opportunity presented itself for me to salvage denim from going to the local landfill I did so. This started the journey of my label - Denise H.

I know you are self-taught.  Where did you start to learn your sewing skills?

My grandmother taught me how to sew as a young teenager.

Who you are as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand? Etc.? Do you offer a new line each season, create custom work or both?

My brand is mostly one of a kind Unique pieces but more recently I have developed a few patterns that I use. These are semi commercial ranges and are stocked in three stores within New Zealand.
I am so thrilled to have you a part of the EFWA Upcycling Challenge by Marilyn R Wilson. Have you ever upcycled usedgarments before? If so, how?

My women’s skirts are made from recycled t-shirts. I also offer a range of beanies in all sizes made from waste collected from a local second hand store.

Please share a little about your approach/inspiration for creating your runway look for this international show? What can the audience expect?

My Upcycled business shirt challenge garment for eco fashion week Australia will be made from corporate waste business shirts. The garments will be able to be reproduced for the retail market. It will be comprised of a layered mini wrap skirt and matching top. The top and skirt can be worn together or as separates.

What would you most like the international fashion audience to know about you as a designer and your brand?

My brand over the last ten years has led me on a journey I never thought I would undertake. Having a background in sales management has helped me to brand, market and sell my range well. In 2013 I decided that helping others to do the same would cast a bigger light onto how amazing this type of fashion is and I implemented the NZ version of Eco Fashion Week. The show is currently on hold due to events centre construction locally. We hope to resume in the new year.   

What's next for you as a designer? What are your long term dreams?

Currently I am working with a group of local women to form a business enterprise called ReFAB. We use waste fabrics sourced locally to create unique gifts lines for retail. Being part of the enterprise means they get to learn to sew and learn all the aspects necessary to run and operate a small business. Our first product is now available in stores throughout NZ and online - “Mini Organic Wheat Hand Warmers or Cold Press”

My goal with my own range is to grow my wholesale market with the hope of being able to make a difference to employment locally. 

Website - www.econoutiquenz.com
Facebook - Denise H Eco & Upcycled Fashion