Creating a sensation with a vintage sweatshirt

It took a collaborative design approach to make over a thousand authentically retro sweatshirts from scratch for passionate Chlöe Swarbrick fans, creating a collectors item that even made the news.

Auckland Central Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick often wears a 1990’s sweatshirt, inherited from a veteran candidate. As her youthful supporter base exploded in the 2020 election campaign, so did their requests for a reproduction of her ‘sick’ sweater seen online and on the campaign trail.

The Green Party tasked Seabreeze with creating a replica sweatshirt, for what turned out to be over 1000 eager supporters.

We sourced a rare vintage-style fabric that would be the closest shade of green to the original, and have the look, feel and fit of Chlöe’s 90s sweatshirt. A prototype was test-fitted and the sizing parameters tweaked so the production run would be ‘suitably baggy’. The logo print was painstakingly matched to the tricky yellowish tone of the original to make sure it was as close of a replica as possible. After the Greens’ first pre-sale run exploded with an unexpected 800 orders overnight, our custom manufacturing department worked to fulfill the orders in batches.

The story of the sweatshirts even hit the media and fashion press, inspiring the Labour party to quickly copy the idea with their own retro sweatshirts. While the election is long gone, the garments have become a treasured collectors item by Green supporters that you can spot being proudly worn on the streets of Wellington, on all but the hottest summer day.

Malcolm and Seabreeze have been an important part of our merchandise clothing for the Green Party and we've worked with Seabreeze for more than eight years. Our biggest and best seller was the Vintage Sweatshirt - they went above and beyond to source the best materials, and then to produce these sweatshirts right here in Aotearoa - in response to a much larger than expected demand. Thank you Malcolm and Seabreeze.

Sonja Deely
Funding Development Manager, Green Party

This project was a great example of the Seabreeze manufacturing capability, with everyone from our fabric sourcing to our pattern makers to our printers, all working together to create a truly original and well-loved garment.

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