Goodlids is an Auckland based company that focuses on the environmental benefits using hemp fibers within the fashion industry, specifically hats. Goodlids focuses on the power of hemp, in the hopes of educating the New Zealand public around the possibilities that it can hold within our communities and the benefits that come along with it. By focusing on making their products durable, reliable, and sustainably made Goodlids aim to address goal number 12 and 13 of the UN Sustainable Development Goal, Responsible Consumption & Production and Climate Change.
University of Otago
The specific innovative solution that Dane Watson, Founder of Goodlids, is trying to address is the reliability, benefits, and long-term effects of using hemp fibers, instead of alternative fibers, for fashion.
Traditional fibers and fashion production processes that are used today have been proven to have consequential effects on the environment. Throughout fashion production processes environmental impacts that affect overall climate change can include but are not limited to, carbon footprint, water usage, waste practices, and resource demands. In addition to these impacts, include the reliability of currently used fibers, which adversely affects consumption. If a certain clothing item is made with cheaper, less sustainable fibers, then the lifespan of that clothing item is reduced significantly. Meaning that an individual will need to buy that clothing item again in a shorter timespan than purchasing an item with more reliable material that would last a longer time. Thus, contributing to a dangerous production and consumption cycle within the fashion industry that impacts overall climate change.
Understanding the non-sustainable demands of current fashion fibers and trends and the reliability of clothing in fashion today, Dane discovered and is utilizing a unique fiber that can address all these issues, hemp. Although being a young company, having started at the end of 2020, Goodlids has already seen significant demand of their products, increased interest in the benefits of hemp fibers, and the possibilities outside of the fashion industry that hemp can provided. Having such an early foot within the door of the hemp industry allows for continued growth and impact on climate change and production and consumption habits of consumers across New Zealand and hopefully the globe.
Dane started Goodlids because of two simple reasons, he loved the outdoors and he loved hats, especially wearing them. After reading “Let My People Go Surfing”, Yvon Chouinard’s (founder of Patagonia Inc) autobiography, Dane was inspired to model his business after Patagonia, utilizing Yvon’s views on a different capitalism, specifically looking at different approaches to production and consumption of products.
“I wanted to start a business that would solve a global issue, specifically the defining global issue of our generation, climate change. I want to help or contribute to a solution” explained Dane.
Dane knew if he wanted to model his business after Patagonia, he had to focus on three main areas. The first was developing, designing, and making a product that people will like and connect with. For Dane and Goodlids, that did not take long, “For us, we had an early market validation, people were liking the hats and wanting to buy them.” The second was making a durable long-lasting product that would last 10-15 years. “I wanted to make a hat that could be a part of your adventures and outings, a hat you know you could rely on and wear wherever you go” said Dane. The third was finding a sustainably beneficial fiber that could provide him with his durability demands. Curious if other companies were making hats in this manner, Dane went out and did some market research and found the unique opportunity to use hemp fibers.
As Dane began selling hats to the New Zealand market, he quickly realized the potential for hemp and the impact that it can have not only on the fashion industry, but other industries as well. Goodlids has partnered with another hemp focused organization here in New Zealand called, Plant Based NZ. Plant Based NZ focuses on other resource alternatives that are used in consumption and production of products within the New Zealand market. Plant Based NZ has put a spotlight on the possibilities and importance of hemp. Dane explained the importance of their partnership with Plant Based NZ and emphasized that even as competitors both organizations understand the importance and impact that hemp can have on the environment. “We want to work together, because if hemp makes it mainstream, then we all winning. We both understand the impact that hemp can have. Working together is important” explained Dane.
However, the possibilities of hemp do not stop at the fashion industry. Through Dane’s research and conversations with Plant Based NZ, Dane discovered that hemp has the possibilities to replace material and resources used in medicine, building material, insulation, agriculture food, paper, and much more. Having been one of the first clothing companies in New Zealand to use hemp fibers, Dane is proud to be at the beginning of the hemp movement and excited to see how hemp is utilized around the country in the future. “It’s only a matter of time. This (hemp) is something that can really change the world” Said Dane.
Using hemp fibers to produce the hats for Goodlids has provided Dane with the necessary fibers to create the durable long-lasting product he was looking for. He also feels satisfied that the fiber used is environmentally friendly, contributing to his goal, “of being part of the solution.” Hemp has provided Dane with the opportunity to bring unique, fashionable, durable, and sustainable hats to the New Zealand market. Goodlids has seen fast success in a short amount of time, even through COVID-19 lockdowns and fears. With such early success, Dane sees increased opportunity for long-term success within the fashion industry, especially with Plant Based NZ by its side.
Dane explained the benefits of working with an organization such as Plant Based NZ, “Although we are just doing hats at the moment, we are also looking into other clothing items such as, shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories.” This will create further awareness around hemp and the importance that it can have within fashion production, especially on the overall positive effects on the environment.
Hemp has the possibility to replace a lot of resources within diverse industries and influence the environment in positive manners. Specifically looking within the fashion industry, hemp fibers can develop a massive shock wave across the industry, relieving current constraints on the environment. Reduced carbon footprints, use of less pesticides, use of less water, and use of less land are all benefits that hemp brings to the environment. In addition to these benefits is the impact on the use of alternative resources and the impact on the environment those alternatives have. Dane explains the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hemp's potential
“Trees take 20 years to grow to harvest. With hemp, in a 12-month period, you can go through two cycles from grow to harvest and get the same yield.”
In addition to positive impacts that hemp has on the environment, hemp fibers also are a more compostable material and allows waste that is produced from production to be disposed of in a sustainable manner.
But all these impacts are reinforced due to the durability and reliability of hemp fibers within the clothing items themselves. Having a sustainable material that can be used to produce long-lasting, comfortable, and reliable clothing allows companies like Goodlids to flourish within this space.
As the hemp community continues to grow in New Zealand, Goodlids is poised to make a large splash and provided guidance, education, and a path forward for other companies alike.
Dane Watson, Founder - CEO
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Business Website: https://goodlids.co.nz/
Year Founded: 2019
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Goodlids is a label that prides itself on the design of headgear that is groovy, sustainable and serves its purpose to accompany you on your adventures in the great outdoors. Headwear that is nice for your head and good for the planet. We've worked hard to bring you a brand that you can wear, with the knowledge that by doing so, you are doing right by the planet and all that inhabit it.