CategorySmart Systems

Unexpected Reactions

First forays into the world of emerging contaminants Less than two years ago, before our attention was taken up by a global pandemic and recession, we were on a quest to rid New Zealand of single-use plastic. Micro-plastics were our common invisible enemy, now superseded by a virus. Every self-respecting café sold keep cups, restaurants on Wellington’s waterfront pledged to eliminate plastic...

Regenerative Agriculture and Food Waste

Regenerative agriculture has become a hot topic in New Zealand. At its core, regenerative agriculture is about shifting from a carbon intensive food system to a regenerative, carbon-negative food system.  While a number of definitions exist, the common focus seems to be on farming principles and practices that increase biodiversity, enrich soils, improve water quality and enhance ecosystem...

The Sartorial Skin You Are In Pt. 1

Part 1: The current state of the fashion industry. The word ‘fashion’ can evoke an elite clique of creatives to which ordinary clothes wearing people like you and me can feel excluded. But unless you are reading this in the nudey, and all power to you if you are, your clothes wearing self is part of the global clothing system. Fashion, far from being frivolous, is one of the largest and most...

The Sartorial Skin You Are In Pt. 2

Part 2: How to build a better clothing industry, for everyone Clothes Neither you nor I, but our washed-out clothes: shirts, kameezes, and briefs under the starry sky on the clothesline whisper with each other… ~Bankim Let There is no sugar coating the seismic disruption the pandemic has created for the clothing industry. New Zealand, small and remote, is in a unique position to build a better...

Rethinking Growth Part Two

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planet is either mad, or an economist –  Kenneth Boulding If you’ve read the NZ Productivity Commission’s milestone 2018 report Low-emissions economy, you’ll know it’s a widely-researched 600-page response to various climate imperatives.  Repeatedly, it flags population and economic growth as causes of rising greenhouse gas...

Rethinking Growth Part One

Under the banner The systems that got us here have failed, acclaimed business commentator Rod Oram recently shared his insightful stock-take on many things, and lamented,  Too often we can’t even agree a simple set of facts about a problem so our chances of solving it are minimal.  An intriguing example was last year’s public spat on RNZ between two economics big-hitters: Kate Raworth (of...

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