Photographed by Adam Bryce
Styling by Sara Black
Hair & Makeup by Yin Shi
Model is Amber from 62 Management
Shot on location at 62 Management
Tell us about why you started Marle?
I’ve always been a creative and had an affinity with clothing. I knew, from a young age, that it would be my path. I studied fashion design, majoring in knitwear for my final year at AUT. After graduating, I worked in different facets of the fashion industry — from PR roles to fashion buying — while always knowing that starting my own brand was the end goal.
Marle came about when I recognised a gap in the market for a more modern take on knitwear. I also wanted to put into practice my adoration for knitwear and the technical aspect it brings. I left my corporate role to have my little girl, Vita, and the timing was right to start working on Marle alongside my husband, Justin. From an initial collection of just 10 sweaters and cardigans, the brand has now evolved to include all items of a wardrobe.
Tell us about Marle — the concept behind the brand, aesthetic and sustainable ethos?
Our vision for Marle has always been to create considered, luxurious pieces that will stand the test of time, by maintaining a simple yet contemporary feel. The Marle design aesthetic is largely inspired by the texture that can be created through the natural fibres we use which carry each piece. This, along with subtle historic references, builds our collections. Our coastal surroundings and the lifestyle living in Mount Maunganui offers also brings our concepts to life.
We work exclusively with natural fibres and yarn — a decision I chose for a myriad of reasons. Primarily for the level of texture and benefits to the skin when worn and the low-impact to the environment they offer. Natural fibres have many attributes, such as being breathable and antimicrobial. It’s important to me that, what we put out into the world won’t take years to break down and contribute to the degradation of our environment and ecosystem.
Our knitwear factory is World Responsible Accredited Production gold-certified and we use OEKO-TEX®-certified yarn and fabric, along with some recycled natural fibres. I have personally visited and hand-picked our factories because of their commitment and alignment with sustainable and ethical practices. A large focus for me has been eliminating single- and multiple-use plastic from all areas of production, with the use of our TÜV-certified compostable packaging which breaks down within a matter of weeks.
We understand that, with any clothing or product, manufacturing carries an impact. Sustainability, for us, is such an important area of the business, however we’re realistic that it isn’t a destination. It’s a journey that we are constantly developing and evolving with as new research and advancements are made.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I thoroughly enjoy seeing collections come together. From the initial conceptual meetings to the final garment hanging in store months later and then, in turn, seeing how our pieces are worn and loved by all of the women who have invested in their piece.
What are your future goals for the brand and how do you see these being accomplished?
We work with sustainable fashion consultant Celeste Tesoriero who has helped to strengthen Marle’s mindful operation and implementing new ways to produce our pieces, while leaving a lighter footprint.
I’m lucky to work with the most lovely and driven team of women each day in the office and our extended group of creatives and advisors. They constantly help me to revise and sharpen our vision to evolve as a brand and make sure we continue to offer special pieces that are timeless and loved by our women.
I would like to explore and introduce new sustainable natural fibres to our collections such as banana fabric, pineapple silk and coconut fabric.
Talk us through the new collection that releases next week.
Pre-Spring, is a feminine collection of thoughtful pieces that can be worn all year round, a more trans-seasonal collection to pare back with your winter wardrobe. Our previous drop focused on winter knitwear in elevated yet simple silhouettes — letting the texture, yarn and subtle details speak to our customers.
Arriving in July, is a collection with subtle details in a soft, calming palette that exemplify my philosophy. I’m continuously inspired by texture and ways to create it, not only through the fabric and yarn but through historical details such as tucks, gathering, pleats and ties. And our new collection features these references throughout.