Have your say! Where & how would you like our t-shirts made?

We want to know what YOU think about issues related to manufacturing clothing offshore. So, here's your chance to have your say, and we will seriously consider the results! Thanks!! : )

Ok, it starts! We're now officially on the look out for the cutest coolest kids as models for our Plunket t-shirt collection 2009.

You can find more info about the search at our Models section. Applications can be done online or posted via snail mail, and close 19 December 2008.

Please let your friends know if you think they'd be keen and their kids have got what it takes : )

The thought did pass through my mind briefly that it would be fun to get my toddler involved - but that wouldn't be fair for you out there! And her daddy wants her out of the business spotlight and as anonymous as possible. So, ok, alright, she has every right to privacy at the age of 16 months! : )

The mailout we did overnight announcing the newsflash is also the first time we're using a proper high-tech mailing program too so hopefully more of you will get our emails successfully. (Aha! they had better do as I stayed up all night trying to figure it out & get everything set up!)

Our email address has already started to be blacklisted by Xtra NZ and Yahoo because we used to send our news email updates individually (would you believe it?). They don't like it!

So, a little reminder that if you like getting emails from us (including order confirmations!), please add us to your email address book in your email program or Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo etc. In theory, the emails will then get through (or so they tell me!).

Want to ditch those festive season greeting cards?

Speakerdog collectionLooking for something more creative than a Christmas or Seasons Greetings card (or just any old greeting card for any occasion)??? How about giving someone their very own handmade Speakerdog or Cubeecraft paper toy made with 100% recycled card stock (of course!) & have your personal message scribbled over it? Or, if they're the hands-on type, a pre-printed, flat packed version for them to diy!

I found Speakerdog paper toys a while back and have used them as presents before. Just print and put together! They have a huge selection, with illustrators & artists from around the globe contributing the most awesome designs!

Have now discovered Cubeecraft paper toys that don't require any glue to hold them together. Not as extensive a selection as Speakerdog, but still plenty of different ones to choose from.
Personal favourites are The Brain, Bloo and Lion-O. They also have Alice in Wonderland characters in the making which I'm looking forward to! Post us one of the faves if you're in the giving mood : )

Just to show how "onto it" they are - they have even got Vodafone sponsoring them to provide Christmas Cubeecraft paper toys as part of a promotion. You can also customise the Christmas versions to have your photograph on it.

By the way, if you're looking for 100% recycled card stock, Sustainable Group in the States sell them and also ship internationally. Please note that I haven't bought from them before, so buyer beware.

Well, kind of! Just thought we'd share some of the previously unreleased shots from our Mental Health Foundation tees Bro'town photo shoot on thehinitiative's Facebook! I had a few chuckles viewing the shots when our photographer had sent them through so maybe you will too. We'll be adding some more over the coming week or so as well..

Whose Mo won?

Mo'st Memorable Mo 2008!

Thanks to Shalene for entering her hubby! We'll be in contact as you've scored two cool tees : )

P.s. This was the only entry we managed to get (lucky we even managed to get one back as computers crashed and were email-less for a while) but if you think you know of a more memorable mo, send us a pic and we might be nice and send you a tee.

Are you a shopper/hero?

If you're in Singapore or nearby, check this new thing out at Post-Museum in Little India!

Shopper/Hero is a new project of Post-Museum which is envisaged to be a groundbreaking addition to the world of shopping in Singapore and the region.

The mission of Shopper/Hero is to promote consumption of products which benefit society. The objective of Shopper/Hero is to provide an educational platform regarding the work of NGOs and other cause-related organisations in Singapore and the region while offering consumers a convenient and easy way to purchase products which satisfy their needs and wants while contributing to the various causes.
Sounds awesome - the kind of thing we would love to be involved in! If you've been to it, let us know how it was : )

Something I've recently come across:

Addressing students at the University of South Carolina, Chief Judge Alexander M. Saunders said, "As responsibility is passed to your hands it will not do...to assume that someone else will bear the major burdens, that someone else will demonstrate the key convictions, that someone else will run for office, take care of the poor, visit the sick, protect civil rights, enforce the law, transmit value, maintain civilisation and defend freedom...What you do not value will not be valued, what you do not remember will not be remembered, what you do not change will not be changed, what you do not do will not be done. You can, if you will, craft a society whose leaders...are less obsessed with the need for money. It's not a question of what to do, but simply the will to do it."

Sometimes we don't take responsibility because we believe others are more qualified. No, those who make a difference in life don't do so because they're the best qualified, but simply because they decided to try.
Something encouraging and motivating for everyone else to read and also for me personally, especially when one is a (reluctant) "qualified accountant" on paper, and not a fashion or design or even a business guru! Have to keep trying & trying!

Found out about this great way of supporting a cause using mobile phone technology - texts/SMSs - and all homegrown here in Wellington, New Zealand!

A group of young entrepreneurs is using mobile phone technology to address world poverty issues.

The win-win situation sees mobile users receiving promotional text messages, relevant to their fields of interest, in exchange for ‘credit’, that can either be used to top-up their mobile phone account or support World Vision education projects.

It’s part of a service called SchmallTxt, provided by Small Change Enterprises. Five Wellington College students established the business, as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), with a good deal of initiative and a heart for the poor.

The tech-savvy students understood that many traditional advertising mediums, such as flyers and print ads, are rarely read by young people. By using mobile phone text messages as an advertising medium and tailoring the messages they send, advertisers receive a better response rate.

With the incentive of ten cents credit from each message received to use as airtime or as a donation to World Vision’s education projects, new customers have not been difficult to come by. Happily, one third of new customers have chosen to donate their credit to World Vision.
Click here to read more....or just go check out their website at www.schmalltxt.com

Fair trade chocolate truffles - know of any?

I've been trying to do a google search for fair trade chocolate truffles (of the gourmet kind!), and have only come across this place - can't tell if they post overseas and then again, it might cost a bomb to get it internationally! Anyone know any place they can recommend?

Conscious Style?

I just found out about an Ethical Fashion Day at the Victoria and Albert Museum from Supernaturale.
It has the coolest things happening, e.g.:

  • Swishing - The clothes swap. Swishing is an eco-fabulous way to get a new wardrobe by exchanging your quality fashion items for someone else's
  • Build a Sustainable Fabric Dress - Draw designs and messages on swatches of hemp and attach them to a life- size dress frame to create a dress. Watch the dress grow over the day.
  • Reinvention: Cut and Sew Workshop - Bring your tired, out-of-style clothes and regenerate them with the help of experienced dressmakers and a pair of scissors.
And people well-known in the field of ethical fashion are there, like Katharine E Hamnett (I probably shouldn't be plugging others too much on thehinitiative's blog but I love her slogan tees. And there's no NZ stockist...hmm...)

Pity it's already passed - not to mention it's in South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London......and I'm in Wellington, New Zealand! We need to have something like that in this part of the world! Another hmm...

Ed: Sorry this Vocalize event has now been postponed til further notice due to unforeseen circumstances. We'll let you know when something new is sorted.

Our friends at Vocalize are putting on a party & we'll be there with tees from most of our collections if you want to have a browse, try or chitchat : )

Please come and celebrate the launch of the new PhotoSpace Studio with us! We have heaps of treats and freebies lined up including a free cocktail and goodiebag upon arrival, a whole lot of spot prizes to give away and a celebrity host for the day - Geraldine Brophy from Second Hand Wedding!
As part of the launch party we will be holding a fundraising art/clothing exhibition where a percentage of all sales will go to Vincent's Art Workshop, Wellington City Mission, World Vision and the Mental Health Foundation.

So please get your friends together and come celebrate with us by supporting local artists, designers and musicians.

Booking slots are hourly from 12pm - 8pm and tickets are $15 each. You can pre-purchase by emailing rsvp at vocalize.co.nz. Please select a booking time below. Please note that numbers are limited, so make sure to pre-purchase your ticket asap! Limited door sales only.

Booking times:
12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
1.00 pm – 2.00 pm
2.00 pm – 3.00 pm
3.00 pm – 4.00 pm
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm
5.00 pm – 6.00 pm
6.00 pm – 7.00 pm
7.00 pm – 8.00 pm
8.00 pm – 9.00 pm.

Hope to see you there!

Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a global annual charity event held during November. Clean shaven guys get a month to grow and “groom” their Mo while raising money to benefit men’s health.

Our charity partner, Mental Health Foundation, is one recipient for the funds raised this year!

So email your best Mo photo to info (at) thehinitiative.com and at the end of the month, they’ll be up for public vote of Mo’st Memorable Mo on our website. Winner scores one of our Mental Health tees (the one with the Mo of course!) and one other t-shirt of their choice.

Making your mark for mental health?

It's Mental Health Awareness Week!
I can't believe it has been nearly a year's full work to get to this part of the year and so many have helped it making this happen.

The second t-shirt collection was released on Saturday and is now available online (our shop re-opened on 1 October!) and at selected stockists.

The first few online customers AND lucky customers at some of our retail stockists also receive a very cool little Mental Health Awareness Week magnetic poetry kit.

Mental Health Foundation are running a Magnetic Poetry Competition too - send them a photo of your favourite magnetic poem or message using the Mental Health Awareness Week magnetic poetry kit, and they will put the best up on their website for the world to see your global handprint, making a mark for mental health. Their favourite will also receive a $50 book voucher! Click here for more details on their website or see some examples here.

Dining out for good

I've recently found out about New Zealand's DineAid:

Dine out at a participating restaraunt during November and December 2008, and at the end of your meal you will notice a voluntary donation of just $2 per table has been added to the bill. (separate to any other gratuity or tips you may chose to leave). Participating restaurants send the donations back to DineAid at the end December and then distributed to those who may need a bit of a ‘helping hand’ during the festive season. Wellington City Mission is one of the charity beneficaries!
This cool concept is based off UK's StreetSmart:
The beauty of StreetSmart is its simplicity. It is an innovative, easy fundraising scheme which works during the holiday months when people begin to think about those less fortunate than themselves.

At participating restaurants, with the benefit of a tablecard, or a reference on the menu, a voluntary £1 is added to the table bill at the end of the meal during the months of November and December. At the end of each month, the restaurant passes on the total money raised to StreetSmart. We then use all of those £1s to support reputable charities in that city. So participating London diners are helping out London organisations, and Newcastle diners are helping organisations in the North East.

And remember: since all StreetSmart's running and operational costs are generously paid for by our sponsors, every penny in every £1 raised goes directly to the people who need it!

Remember us mentioning The Travel Channel?

Back in May, we mentioned that Jennifer Santiago had found out about us and wanted to get our t-shirts on screen during her new Travel Channel documentary.

We've been emailed this video still of her wearing one of the Mental Health Foundation "Talk, Just Talk" t-shirts in the army green. That's the MHF logo behind! We've yet to see the full documentary on screen - need to find out when it hits New Zealand screens!

A new website I hear you say?

Hey folks, pop along to our new website thehinitiative.com! Our .co.nz site is past its best before date and all packed up. There's only one cardboard box left behind telling people our new site address : )

There has been lots of hard work behind the scenes to get the .com going (on top of everything else happening) and it looks quite different to the .co.nz. Hopefully easy to navigate too!

It's still very much about continuous improvement, so you may see some tweaks here and there. The big thing that is yet to be launched is our online shop / catalogue - it will be completely different, plus, there will be brand spanking new tees up for the 2008 Mental Health Foundation t-shirt collection.

Shop's meant to be up & running by 22 September (fingers crossed) - we'll let everyone know by email when it is.

P.S. Feel free to leave any comments here about what you think of the new .com so far : )

Introducing Laura Cibilich, winner of the 2007 World Vision Art4Aid competition t-shirt category, designer of the Freedom Dove t-shirts!

What have you been up to recently?

I've just recently got married and have come back from my honeymoon in beautiful Fiji and the Gold Coast. So I'm just getting back into the swing of things at the moment. I've got a few ideas in the pipeline so watch this space!

How did you first get started in design?

I've always been creative and had a love of art, so I guess it progressed from that. I took Design in my last year at high school, then did a design diploma, and just went from there.

How would you describe your style?

I try not to get stuck into one kind of style, but generally my designs use quite solid lines and I often like to experiment with different textures and backgrounds. At work I'd say my style is quite corporate, so I like to break out of that a bit in my personal work.

What inspires your work?

Anything and everything. I'm a great believer in anything you do, see or have experienced in your life inspires and influences you somehow. It often depends on the project, but I'm constantly inspired by my husband Raymond, and cat Prince, as well as great photography, words, books and much more.

Why get involved with thehinitiative?

To help out a worthy cause in a way that I can - through design.

How did it feel to have your designs made into tees?

Pretty cool - its always nice to see the finished product, and great to see other people wearing it.

And my favourite ice cream flavour ever is...

I've just come back from a trip to Australia where I got addicted to 'Cold Rock' where they mix up your own ice cream flavour. My fav mix was coconut gelato, with mashed up bounty bar, mini
marshmellows and chocolate brownie pieces mixed through it - yum!

Thanks Laura! (and the ice cream sure sounds yummy!)

Thought I'd give Aucklanders a heads up that JET will be stocking our exciting new Mental Health Foundation t-shirt collection to be launched in October. They'll be stocking our adult tees, while our baby tees will be stocked in limited quantities at EGG Maternity Newmarket in October too.

"Baby tees?" you ask?
Yep the whole family can be fitted out in tees that look great & do good!
(Ok we bluff, not quite as we haven't got a 2 y.o. to school age collection yet. But it's a start...)

Introducing a small selection of our Birds on Wires tees: mens tee in the white colourway, and womens & baby girls tees in in the natural cream colourway. We'll also be having this printed in different colours and on different tee colours too.

Again, we have to give credit where it's due - this excellent design was by Aaron Hogg (Ministry of Aesthetics). He has the most awesome design & illustration work! Love the detail - everything has a place : )

I used to keep an eye on GOOD magazine ...

GOOD is the integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good. We are a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward. GOOD's mission is to provide content, experiences, and utilities to serve this community.

GOOD currently produces a website, videos, live events, and a print magazine. Launched in September 2006, the company has garnered praise for its unique editorial perspective and fresh visual aesthetic and is quickly positioning itself as a significant new voice in our culture.
...brimming with fascinating stuff & nice clean design, it's hard to keep away.

New Zealand is now lucky enough to have its very own Good! Different publication altogether, but similar theme of talking about all things good.

I haven't had the time to read the print magazine yet (free time? what free time?! hehe), but a quick browse on its website found some useful things like which insulation is best for your home (efficiency ratings & such) and other more random things you didn't need to know but might have wondered about: is it better air drying or using paper towels at the public loo?

Anyone read the whole magazine? Thoughts? According to their website, issue 2 is on it's way : )

How to wear thehinitiative t-shirts in winter?

thehinitiative does t-shirts. Short sleeved ones. But, yes, it's WINTER (in the Southern Hemisphere anyway, and I feel like hibernating). So, how are you going to make our t-shirts work for you??

I've been wanting to write up a style thing for t-shirts in winter, and have just been re-motivated to do so after now-not-so-recent girly 2+ hours spent viewing some gorgeous (and some not so) clothes and styling on big screen. And just because it's really nice to see people look great in what they wear : )

So, here are some ideas - pretty straightforward for the guys (unless you're into wearing dresses, leggings or skirts), and some for the girls.

T-shirt styling ideas for the GUYS: (mostly about keeping warm!)

i) Wear a really warm polyprop or merino layer hidden under your t-shirt, and a smart blazer on top of it (and don't take off the blazer if it's freezing!), as seen on Brad pictured above left.

ii) Wear a long-sleeve button-down shirt underneath your t-shirt, and roll up the sleeves for an added laid-back effect. (Source: 6 ways to wear a t-shirt)

iii) Wear a long-sleeve button-down shirt over the top of your t-shirt, as seen on Jack pictured above right.

iv) Wear a zip-up hoodie or men's cardigan as a coat, or fairly tight, over the t-shirt.

(Photo credits: Asylum and Getty Images)

T-shirt styling ideas for the GIRLS:
Key thing to remember: Make sure that whatever layer you wear under the t-shirt is fitted / figure hugging, otherwise you could end up looking rather bulky in the torso (been there, done that!).

i) My fave (and easiest thing to do!): Wear a tight fitting, long sleeve, light-weight merino top under your t-shirt (mine's black most of the time). Keeps it real simple, feels a whole lot warmer, and t-shirt can be seen in full view.

ii) If you're not into the skinny jean look, some other things you can team with our t-shirts: Maxi-skirts. Capri pants. Jeans (bootcut or flared). Tartan skirts. High-waisted skirts. Cardigans. Leggings. Shorts. Dresses (worn underneath). (Thanks to Gala for these!)

iii) Wear your t-shirt under a pinafore dress, with opaque (or woollen) stockings/tights or knee socks, with mary janes, ballet flats, or boots. Or skip the stockings/tights altogether and put on a pair of fitting jeans. Add a long scarf to keep your neck warm!

iv) Wear your t-shirt over a few layers of multicolored tank tops or t-shirts in different lengths and pair with your favorite jeans.

v) Accessorise with shrugs, arm warmers (I've found some NZ made ones that look awesome!), and gloves (with fingers or without, or maybe you'd like to get a bit adventurous?).

Sorry I haven't got pictures up for the girls! Can't really find much - but hopefully you get the idea from the text : )

To also naughtily sneak in something non-t-shirt related: check out this short list for more about layering in general, and this NZ Herald article for hotting up your winter wardrobe.

Feel free to comment / provide your own style ideas for t-shirt winter wearing!! :)

How have you all been??? We have been sooooo busy and my oh my, time has just flown - can't believe it's the start of July now!

Currently working on getting our next range for the Mental Health Foundation sorted out (it'll be on sale in time for Mental Health Awareness Week which starts 6 October), trying to sort out PR stuff, working on a whole new spiffy website (big task but looking good so far!), getting things sorted for the design brief for the next World Vision CIC t-shirt range, and then there's the mundane stuff of GST, admin paperwork and such that we still need to do.

So, how's about a sneak peek at one of the new tees for the Mental Health Foundation you ask?
Check it out: we'd like to intro you to Mister Stacked Chairs Tee. Just the guys one in yellow text is shown below (there's a neat blue text one too). The womens version has got pink text, and is on a cream tee. We love the tees!! By the way, this design was submitted to us by Joel Cocks - so credit for its coolness & great design goes to him : )

Watch our blog for more updates about thehinitiative's Mental Health Foundation tee collection : ) Can't promise too much but you'll never know...

Fashionable do-gooder

Hooray! We got into the NZ Herald : ) ..heh, so, maybe the late nights are paying off.. thehinitiative's World Vision tees were featured in the Wednesday 11 June NZ Herald's Viva magazine. We're trying to get our hands onto a copy of it - will post it up when we do. In the meantime, there's always the online snippet at the Herald's website : )

Do you have an old, unused mobile phone?

I just found out about Enable Community, a New Zealand not for profit organization, working to provide access to affordable communications to those that would otherwise be unable to afford it.

The cool thing is: they partner with Vodafone New Zealand to collect and re-use old mobile phones, and the phones are then given to provide entrepreneurs in developing countries through micro-credit programs, helping to provide one of the basic tools that we take for granted when trying to run our own businesses.

Have a mobile phone you'd like to get rid of? Just take your mobile phones and accessories like batteries and chargers to any Vodafone, Bond and Bond or Noel Leeming store!

Or freepost it to Vodafone at:
Vodafone Handset Recycling Programme
Private Bag 92222

If you want to take it a step further, you can even run a mobile recycling drive at your office or any other group/club. For more info, click here...

This is a great mix of doing good and recycling at the same time - and it's so easy to do too!!! Plus someone else out there gets a snazzy cool phone : )

Pictured: Rapture Ruckus and Jane Yee in Freedom Dove and Peace Inside t-shirts

New Zealand label thehinitiative has launched a street wear T-shirt range together with World Vision New Zealand, in support of the Children in Crisis program.

Li Ling Ng, director of thehinitiative (pronounced “The H Initiative”), says the T-shirts are to help raise awareness about global child poverty and for fashion consumers to buy great T-shirts while contributing towards a life-changing cause for children.

“You can Look Great in a T-shirt and, at the same time, Do Good by making a real difference in a child’s life”, says Li Ling. “For example, buying one of these T shirts could contribute towards a 2,000 litre water tank that provides water storage and access to safe drinking water for school children in Africa”.

The T-shirt range consists of the designs in men’s and women’s styles, with organic and fair trade cotton t-shirts offered as part of the range. Designs are based off the top three entries of the 2007 World Vision Art 4 Aid t-shirt design competition.

Art 4 Aid is a World Vision initiative raising awareness of global child poverty through art. Entrants were given themes to work from, designed to bring to mind images of poverty, war and peace, and children living in crisis situations in developing countries, such as those orphaned by HIV and AIDS.

The top design, Freedom Dove, was designed by Laura Cibilich, a 26-year-old graphic designer based in Auckland. Laura’s entry was chosen as the winning T-shirt design for its simplicity of design and message: “This design symbolises peace using a well-known symbol: the dove. It flies upward towards its freedom, leaving the pieces of war behind it. White ink printed on a black T-shirt symbolises the dove breaking out of the darkness of war.” The runners up designs were Jamie Wong’s My Heart and Olivier Perkins’ Peace Inside.

All three designs are available for purchase online via the website thehinitiative.co.nz, with nationwide and worldwide delivery. 25% of all online sales are given to World Vision.

T-shirts are also being stocked at fashion retail shops Rex Royale (Wellington) and Starfish (Wellington). Starfish was the Emerging Sustainable Business Leaders (SME) category winner of the 2007 NZI National Sustainable Business Awards.



Li Ling Ng
Director, thehinitiative
021 313 880
liling at thehinitiative.co.nz
(High res celeb images available from Li Ling on request)

Catherine Healy
Press Officer, World Vision New Zealand
09 580 7747 / 021 545 638
catherine.healy at worldvision.org.nz

Out today: KR #50: Winners, Nostalgia and thehinitiative

Woohoo! We've been featured on Kevin Robert's blog : )

thehinitiative is a fashion house that produces cool t-shirts in New Zealand; nothing startling about that. After all, New Zealand is now recognized as a distinctive influence in fashion. But thehinitiative has combined their passion for clothes with a passion for making the world a better place....
And the parts we really, really like : )
....This is totally in tune with where Saatchi & Saatchi are going with Saatchi S. We have to start grounding sustainability deep into the lives of people. To help them bring sustainability into their world rather than have the immense problems of the planet hung over their heads. We call this moving from Green thinking to Blue action – and you’re going to be hearing a lot more about it. thehinitiative is True Blue....

....Note: The secret behind their rather mysterious name is revealed on their blog. What’s the extra “H” stand for in thehiniative? Hope. I love it.
And Blue's already one of our favourite colours! But it's so true that we're more about Blue Action rather than just Green thinking...

BIG thanks to Kevin : ) We didn't ask to be featured, so this is great 3rd party endorsement! ; )

Spotted: thehintiative tees at a gig!

World Vision tees seen on Sarah Hughes (and supporting guitarist Ben) at her first official gig in March '08 : )

Yay! We've got our World Vision Children in Crisis tees stocked at Starfish in Wellington : ) We've also made a drop to Rex Royale today, so they'll be available soon there too.

Oh yep, those are the tees in the Starfish store window
(Thanks for the PXT, Miranda!)

Designer interview: Olivier Perkins, Spore* Design

Thought it's fine time to profile all the awesome designers who have contributed to our ranges...so, here's the first one : )

We'd like to introduce Olivier Perkins of Spore* Design who has had three of his designs come to life as thehinitiative's t-shirts!

What have you been up to recently?

Fairly busy! Currently finishing my final year of a BVA graphic design degree whilst also running my freelance studio and doing a few design projects for various clients. One current client in particular is rather interesting- We're creating a new fashion range.....but for those of the 4 legged kind. Should be releasing this year, so looking forward to that!

How did you first get started in design?

Originally came from a background far removed from design as I trained and worked as a water sports instructor! In my travels though I found myself doing a few design jobs here and there for friends and employers, which brought me to the realisation that design was where my passion really lay. So I gave up the day job went back to study and focused on creating creations...and lived happily ever after!

How would you describe your style?

Eclectic, fun, with a twist of crazy?! I really enjoy the variety that design and illustration can offer, working on different projects for different clients allows you to explore new and alternative methods to realise the end result. I'm a great believer in trying to find the right look for the project at hand.

What inspires your work?

Anything and everything! Inspiration can really come from anywhere, from the project itself, from some random object found on the beach, from some rough doodles on a scrap of paper...you get the idea! Just always trying to keep your eyes, ears and mind open to what's around you.

Why get involved with thehinitiative?

It's great to be part of the initiative. It's so nice to be able to give something back in a way that everyone can enjoy and allows everyone to feel good about what they're doing, wearing, buying. So if you're reading this do your bit today, grab a T for yourself and someone else, you know you want to!

How did it feel to have your designs made into tees?

Having something in your hands that you've been a part of creating is a great feeling. Seeing the final end result of your design is always so much better than when it's on your doodle pad or computer screen. And its always good to add to the Tshirt collection of course!

Complete this sentence: And my favourite ice cream flavour ever is…

Mint, choc chip is grand! (but cookies n cream has to do when I can't find the minty goodness!)

Thanks Olivier! : )

New online outlet store for thehinitiative

We've just set up thehinitiative's online outlet store! Check it out for sale items of our earlier t-shirt ranges, t-shirt samples and seconds - we'll be adding things in bit by bit (there's only our two Braille tees there at the moment). Note that everything is in New Zealand dollars at the moment (we're thinking about changing to US dollars in the future), and only credit card payments are accepted at the outlet store and these are securely processed via Paypal.

To make life simpler, we've changed our delivery rates to flat rates rather than according to the number of items and so forth. The delivery FAQ now reads....

We deliver within New Zealand and internationally. Please note that we will only deliver to physical addresses (office or home). We are not able to deliver to Post Office (P.O.) boxes, vacant premises, care of (c/-) addresses, hotels or motels (if temporarily residing there).

New Zealand: All orders are charged a flat delivery rate of $5. All orders are delivered via courier and deliveries are covered by insurance. We will notify you via email once your order has been processed and dispatched. Please allow about 2 to 3 working days for the processing and delivery of your order. Note that all deliveries can be tracked and traced by the courier service.

International: All international orders are charged a flat rate and delivered via International Air mail. Delivery charges include handling, standard packaging, courier delivery and insurance.

Australia & South Pacific: $15 per order. Please allow 5 to 10 working days for the processing and delivery of your order.

East Asia, North America, UK & Europe: $30 per order. Please allow 10 to 14 working days for the processing and delivery of your order.


Ok ok, I admit it - we sent them to him : )

The first time I was in contact with Kevin Roberts was way back in January 2002, when I'd just completed a Bachelor's in Information Systems, Commericial Law, and my favourite (yeah right!) Accounting and was looking at my career options: Advertising, Investment Banking, or working in the FMCG industry (in marketing or something). Yes, I know, all pretty UNrelated to my degree (is it obvious I was trying to avoid accounting like the plague?) but areas that really caught my interest as they were all go-go-go, exciting, interesting and challenging.

I discovered and was encouraged into the idea of informational interviewing after reading A Foot in the Door - it got me keen in cold-calling people in the different areas about the careers, etc. Kevin was on my list of interviewees about the Advertising industry.

One Lovemarks book/three finance jobs/a new business/6 years later and I thought I'd touch base with him about what I'm doing with thehinitiative. Might as well spread the word : )

thehinitiative on the Travel Channel?

Jennifer Santiago, an Emmy Award winning reporter and special projects producer for Miami's HDNews, randomly found thehinitiative via Google and was keen to help promote us (and New Zealand)! You wouldn't believe how stoked we were...and still are : )

She's hosting a new show for the Travel Channel and will be trying to get our Mental Health Foundation Speech Bubbles tees on screen. Filming's happening now for the new travel show...and we'll post photos up of her in them as soon as it's finished.

By now, everyone's probably heard about the crisis in Myanmar, especially with the noise about their government seemingly comfortable turning a blind eye to everything and not allowing a lot of foreign aid through.

But, we found out during a meeting with World Vision last Friday that World Vision has been able to get through! Phew!

According to World Vision, the agency's history of aid and development in the country means it is one of three international humanitarian organisations (including Unicef and JICA) invited by the government of Myanmar to respond.

"This means our staff have already been involved in getting clean water to those affected by Cyclone Nargis, and our international relief staff are working to get more aid distributed." says Lisa Cescon, World Vision CEO. (Source: World Vision website)

World Vision New Zealand is currently appealing for $1 million - click here to donate to World Vision or for updates on aid to Myanmar.

A home for used plastic courier bags

Finally! Somewhere for your used plastic CourierPost bags to go to rather than the rubbish bin (which then leads to the landfill) - CourierPost are recycling their courier bags : )

As part of our commitment to the environment, CourierPost is helping to minimise the impact of waste products. That’s why our Trackpak range is fully recyclable.

We encourage all of our customers, both big and small, to recycle your Trackpaks rather than throw them away.

BackTrack Your Trackpaks
1. If you’re a frequent user of our plastic Trackpaks, just ask your local CourierPost courier to provide you with one of our large (reusable) drawstring bags to store all your used Trackpaks. Your courier will collect them when calling into your premises.

2. Or you can drop your used Trackpaks into one of our specially marked recycling bags at any CourierPost branch.

What we do with the used packaging
CourierPost has partnered with leading New Zealand plastics recycling company, Astron Plastics, to recycle on our behalf.

Used Trackpaks are collected from all CourierPost branches nationwide and delivered to Astron Plastics recycling plants in Auckland and Christchurch.
Not only that, but the proceeds from the recycled plastic goes to CourierPost's sponsorship of Diabetes New Zealand. How nice is that!

(Source: http://www.courierpost.co.nz/recycle.htm)

So...we hope this means you can drop off your used bags at NZ Post offices nationwide since they are part of the CourierPost network : )

Mental Health Foundation 08/09 range

Sorry it’s been quiet on the blogging front! On top of everything else that’s going on, am Super Super Busy with finalising the design of our Summer 08/09 t-shirt range for the Mental Health Foundation. In addition to unisex designs, we’re also going to be doing separate men’s and women’s designs ….plus, hopefully baby gear! : ) Ok, gotta dash….more details to come…

thehinitiative on TV...and web as well now : )

YAY! thehinitiative Asia DownUnder episode is finally up on TVNZ On Demand : ) Check it out if you didn't manage to see it "live" last Sunday morning.

Nominate thehinitiative as a small business "hero"!

The David Awards recognise heroes in small business. If you think thehinitiative deserves recognition in one or more of the categories listed below, please nominate us! : )

Best start-up business - A business which is under two years’ young, smart, quirky, or just very professionally set up. (Yep, that's us, we're still under two years old!)

Most innovative business/quirkiest business - Not necessarily the same thing, this is a business which either demonstrates a new or clever way of going about things, or is quirky from the ground up while incorporating great business principles.

Most socially responsible business - A business which gives back to its community - e.g. local, regional or industry sector – in ways, shapes or forms which benefit the community significantly.

But wait, there's more! There are other categories as well - these can be found on the nomination form.

Please download and fill in this nomination form, then return it by one of the following methods.
Email: nominations at thedavidawards.co.nz
Fax: 09 445 9679
Snail Mail:
The David Awards: Heroes in Small Business
PO Box 32 610, Devonport
Auckland, New Zealand

Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on 30 May 2008.

If you've bought one of thehinitiative's Wellington City Mission tees, you've helped raise $555.95 in the past year (Feb'07 to Feb'08)! It may not seem much for the year (most of the sales were wholesale to stores, hence prices/sales/giving were a lot less), but it has definitely helped out in one of these ways:

Thanks to everyone for helping to turn lives around - let's keep at it! And if you're able to, please help the Wellington City Mission by volunteering or donating.

Credit: thanks to the Mission for the info : )

We're happy to say that in the first three months (Dec'07 - Feb'08) of thehinitiative's new World Vision Children in Crisis range, we were able to give just over $200 to them! ($207.34 to be exact) This is the equivalent of providing:

A 2,000 litre water tank that provides water storage and access to safe drinking water for a school. It will also help with hygiene, and provide water for school vegetable gardens. AND 12 chicks, that when grown will produce eggs that provide protein and ongoing income (a few chickens are enough to support a whole family).


10 insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Mozzie bites in parts of Africa can be fatal. Did you know that 2 million people, mostly children under five, die from malaria each year? Insecticide-treated mosquito nets will keep malaria-carrying mosquitoes away from children and others as they sleep.


A new loo! More than 2.5 billion people in the world live without adequate sanitation. A Ventilated Improved Pit latrine is both cost effective and user-friendly, limiting smell and fly problems and making it more hygienic - and much appreciated by its users!

Thanks to everyone who has bought one of the t-shirts from the range! It's going to make a positive difference in a community abroad : )

Credit: thanks to World Vision for providing the info.

We had a competition a wee while back asking people to guess what the "h" in thehinitiative stood for. We had answers like Hood and Honour, but surprise surprise, the "h" actually stands for Hope. Maybe it sounds overly warm & fuzzy? But we genuinely are taking the initiative to somehow provide that little wee bit more hope, opportunity or second chance to others via our partner charities.

We have to admit: Bono and U2 has/is/will always be an inspiration for thehinitiative. Both the person, band and the music. And the things that Bono is involved in, we aspire to. Just as one example:

(RED) : "(RED) was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver, Chairman of DATA to raise awareness and money for The Global Fund by teaming up with the world's most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT)RED branded products. A percentage of each (PRODUCT)RED product sold is given to The Global Fund. The money helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa."

(RED) has got huge brands on board, like GAP, American Express, Converse, iPod, Dell, Hallmark, Motorola, and Emporio Armani!
Anyway, after having the unforgettable opportunity to watch them live on 24 November '06 (and only 1.5m away from the stage), we sent them a letter along with a few of our "I heart NZ" tees and some good old Wellington chocolate (Whittakers to be exact).

We received this thank you email back from Celia Coffey at U2 headquarters:
From: cecilia coffey [mailto:cecilia@numb.ie]
Sent: 2 May 2007 2:20 a.m.
Subject: Thank you

Dear Li Ling,

Sorry for the delay in replying. Just to say thank you for your letter and to let you know that your t-shirts and chocolate have been passed on to the band.

Best wishes,
Ok, so it was late (a May reply to a December parcel send off). And it's (really) short & sweet. But at least they acknowledged it and we know they got them in the end! Plus, it's our first (and so far, only) "degree of separation" communication from U2 : )

We know this is a pretty random piece of information but thought we'd share it as it was exciting & encouraging at that point in time!

Some TV airtime for thehinitiative

thehinitiative is going to be on TV in April!

Back in February, we were filmed by TV One's Asia Downunder. It was a full day's work for everyone, and I figured out I personally am not cut out for TV/film work - you really need the patience as you have to pose and repose and pose again in a different camera angle, and then again, and then slow motion. Anyhow, great & interesting experience! You can see some behind the scenes photos at our Facebook photo album.

We have absolutely no idea how the end product is going to turn out. After a whole day's filming work, it could just be a 10 minute item in the end?? (after all, the entire show is only 30 minutes I think) Also, others were interviewed about thehinitiative, but we have no idea what questions were asked. So, crossing our fingers that good things were said : )

We have just found out from the reporter/director Pushpa Jabin that the episode will be screening in April. YAY!!!

So....You can either watch it on Sunday April 13 on TV One at 8.30am, or wait until the week after to watch it online at Asia Downunder on TVNZ Ondemand.

A thank you note

One MASSIVE thank you to everyone who helped out with our focus group testing! Customers, charities, designers, mailing list : )

It's been absolutely great getting that insight into what you think. Had a meeting with Moxie today to review feedback and I'm sure there will be plenty of useful things coming out of it all.

Feel free to drop us feedback or suggestions anytime at info at thehinitiative.co.nz : ) It really is appreciated!

What do you do with our t-shirt bag? Keep it / re-use it? Throw it away in the rubbish?

The plastic bag packaging has been on our mind for a wee while.

On one hand, we want to protect your t-shirt from the elements and have it get to you in pristine condition. It's also easier to get packaged tees into the courier bag as we can "vacuum pack" the t-shirts by just letting the air out of the bag prior sealing.

On the other hand, it's yet another plastic bag!

Knowing & reading items like KR Connect: I Am Not A Plastic Bag just convinces us more that we should be doing something about it.

We would like to use paper bags / packaging but don't want more trees cut down even if paper can be recycled! Does anyone know of a New Zealand business that sells affordable recycled paper bags / packaging??? It's the tough bit trying to find them in NZ - or maybe we're not looking high & low enough?

Or how about you, our customer, returning the plastic bag to us to be re-used? It would save us from having to buy more new bags too. Would you need an incentive to return the bag to us? Freepost envelope? Then again, it might end up cheaper buying new plastic bags than paying for post & an envelope?

A very nice customer sent me this link http://www.stuff.co.nz/4450432a6479.html on Tuesday. It’s an article about suicide prevention in NZ and a cool new depression website www.thelowdown.co.nz. And yes, she’s wearing one of thehinitiative’s Mental Health Foundation t-shirts! Unfortunately, the photo was cut short in the paper version of The Dominion Post. Oh well, close enough : )

New blog : )

Weyhey! A blog for thehinitiative! We can write whatever we want (dangerous), and if you’re curious about behind-the-scene stuff & you like reading, you can check this out whenever : ) It’s also way more personal and much more convenient than emailing news updates to everyone. You probably don’t want unnecessary emails clogging up your inbox.

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