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Meridian Energy Takes Unique Approach To Celebrate 75th Anniversary Of Waitaki Dam

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Meridian Energy Takes Unique Approach To Celebrate 75th Anniversary Of Waitaki Dam

Meridian Energy has commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Waitaki Dam this week with New Zealand's first 'sustainable' fashion shoot, to celebrate the role the Dam plays in providing renewable energy for New Zealanders.

Meridian joined forces with Wellington clothing label Starfish to hold the official photo shoot for the Starfish Winter 2010 range at the Waitaki Dam.

All of the garments in Starfish's Brave New World collection are made in New Zealand, and more than half feature either New Zealand-made or 'low-impact' fabrics, such as organic cottons, silk hemps, bamboo silks, New Zealand wools and a breakthrough recycled fabric, Koplon. Special care was taken to ensure all aspects of the photo shoot were as eco-friendly as possible. This included using Fair Trade footwear and Living Nature make-up (free of chemicals or parabens), ensuring that catering used low-impact, minimal packaging, and carbon-offsetting all transport and flights. Meridian spokesperson Alan Seay says, "Some people may ask why a fashion label would partner with an energy company, but to us it makes perfect sense. Sustainability is at the core of both our businesses - Meridian generates electricity using only renewable energy sources and Starfish is well known as a Kiwi pioneer in the field of sustainable fashion and the use of eco-friendly fabrics.

"Inviting Starfish to shoot its Winter 2010 collection at the Waitaki Dam seemed like the most fitting way to showcase our joint efforts and pay a modern tribute to a icon of sustainability on its 75th anniversary."

Starfish founder Laurie Foon says, "As well as being an breath-taking backdrop for our garments, we thought the fact the Waitaki Dam was hand-made (literally by pick and shovel method) by Kiwis back in the days of the Great Depression was quite symbolic, as Starfish is 100% designed and manufactured in New Zealand. This is extremely important to us - keeping the label Kiwi-made ensures premium quality and helps keep our local industries alive.

She adds, "I know, both as a woman running a business and a mum running a household, that pursuing a sustainable lifestyle can be challenging and intimidating. Through this shoot, we wanted to be able to send a message to Kiwis that while it's not easy being green, every little bit counts.

"In the case of Starfish, rather than try to do everything all at once, we're learning to identify opportunities where we can make a difference - seeing what we can do within our means to make our range more sustainable rather than aiming for absolutes and biting off more than we can chew.

"And if nothing else, we hope this shoot will show that you don't have to dress down to care for the environment - eco-friendly fashion can be fabulous."

The Waitaki Dam is famous for playing an important role in New Zealand's social development. Nowadays, as part of the Waitaki chain of eight renewable power stations operated by Meridian, it helps to provide some 25% of the country's power.

In addition to the sustainable Starfish shoot, Meridian celebrated the 75th anniversary with the community with an Open Day at the Waitaki Dam and a series of community events in Kurow on Sunday 25 October.

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