Melanie Child is a high-end, upcycled clothing label based in Dunedin, New Zealand. This is the designer’s debut appearance at FASHFEST. For Melanie, ‘upcycle’ means to reuse one item to create another of higher quality or value than the original.
Melanie does not use anything new where possible, always reminding herself that this is a world saturated with mass production and its byproducts. There is, therefore, little point in adding to the problem. Melanie’s research and experience in different parts of the fashion industry has made her aware of how much pre and post-consumer waste is created in the industry—approximately 4 per cent of total annual waste into landfill in New Zealand is textile waste.
Melanie Child focuses exclusively on using post-consumer waste, or pre-loved garments, as raw materials for her collections, including the collection to be launched at FASHFEST 2015.
This label’s aesthetic is thought provoking and sculptural, with a dark edge. Melanie designs for the ‘hunter and collector’. Her clients range from 16 to 60 years of age and they all have a common thread—the desire to collect unique pieces that will last in their wardrobes for many seasons, much like a collector of art or sculpture.
The Melanie Child customer has an eclectic style and has op-shop and designer pieces side-by-side in their clothing collection. Melanie Child women don’t follow trends, they set them.
After graduating from Otago Polytechnics School of Fashion in 2009, Melanie was selected as a finalist in the iD International Emerging Designer Awards in 2010 for her graduate collection. She received an Enterprise Allowance Grant in late 2011 which provided her with a small start up to launch her label.
In 2015, one of Melanie Child’s garments won the Supreme Award at The Oversew Fashion Awards—an upcycling fashion competition—in Wairarapa, and Melanie recently showcased a 10-piece collection at NZ Eco Fashion Week in Wellington. Most recently Melanie Child was selected to show an 8-piece collection at Undress Brisbane, Australia’s largest sustainable fashion show.
All Melanie Child clothing is 100 per cent designed and made from a studio in New Zealand.