Friday, August 26, 2011

Maori branding no guarantee...

And lest we forget the tough world of global trade, Maori labelling is no guarantee of economic sustainability. After something like 16 years in the game, Upper Hutt company, Kia Kaha clothing, is folding into the great laundry basket of global capitalism.

Michael Campbell's much trumpeted (trumpeted here in Aotearoa/NZ) clothing label switch from Nike to Kia Kaha, and the appearance of future king William, in the threads must've given some global exposure......and it's intentions were certainly honorable:"Kia Kaha Clothing is a 100% Maori-owned company, specialising in providing high quality New Zealand- made apparel with authentic and distinctive Maori designs.

From a concept conceived in 1985, our kaupapa (concepts/ beliefs/aims) have remained the same.

Our kaupapa is simply to provide a quality-clothing brand that all New Zealanders will feel proud to wear. Proud because of the quality of product this country can produce and proud because of our unique and proud heritage as a nation.

We, the team at Kia Kaha feel very strongly about keeping New Zealand growing and believe that being New Zealand- made assists in the country's growth and development.

Our point of distinction is that we are 100% focused on the local market and what the people of Aotearoa want. Although we are pleased that overseas visitors like our clothing, designs are not altered to suit their preferences. In fact we find that they often prefer to have something to remember Aotearoa by which is made in New Zealand and which the locals wear, rather than a "touristy tee" made overseas."

But in a world awash with logo's, and some drawing on 'indigeneity', scale still secures more than niche many marketeers can bare.

Kia Kaha Clothing had a minor spat with T-shirt manufacturers over the use of Kia kaha' for a Christchurch earthquake fundraiser. Not an issue we lose sleep over in chch to be honest...
But a great shame, especially for those staff who will lose their jobs. In these times, this is a serious test to individual, whanau, and community resilience.

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