We’ve been in business for a long time. But that doesn’t mean we’ve stood still. Seabreeze is entering an exciting phase of evolution as we adapt to meet the demands of the modern apparel business.
Tue March 8th 2022
At a glance, we might seem like a pretty traditional business. We’ve got long term, loyal staff, many of them at the mature end of their working lives. And they’ll stick with us until retirement. But look a bit deeper and you’ll see change happening. Those skilled and experienced workers are training up a younger generation and instilling the same pride and attention to detail that sets our work apart.
Something else that sets Seabreeze apart is how deep our local connections run. We have strong relationships with small and mid-sized customers all over New Zealand, especially in the coastal, regional areas that aren’t always well serviced by mainstream retail. We also work with a number of fashion labels who place a lot of value on having their garments made in New Zealand.
Again, that might seem pretty traditional. But it actually places us at the forefront of changes in the clothing and textiles industry. Alongside some of our fashion clients, we’re a member of Mindful Fashion NZ. It’s a great group of people with a strong sustainability and environmental skew, trying to address some of the big issues in the industry. They champion New Zealand production, help bring young people into the industry and address the issues around carbon footprints and sustainability. And we’re fully on board.
There are good reasons to be involved. It’s essential that we keep evolving. As a business operating in New Zealand, we know we can’t compete on price alone because we’re operating on an uneven playing field. Most of the clothing in New Zealand is imported, made in countries where workers make $3 or $4 a day and where governments incentivise the export of finished garments over bulk fabrics. But what Seabreeze can offer that overseas competitors can’t is a level of quality assurance and handmade care. That’s our true point of difference.
With the supply chain issues that continue to trouble the world since the arrival of COVID-19, our customers also know that they can rely on us. They can get New Zealand made product that’s well made and expertly printed, completed on time and delivered to their door. It meets all their criteria and that surety we offer means we have some very loyal, long standing customers.
As we move into the future, a big focus in our business is how to keep pushing those quality standards as far as we can, both through upskilling our people and investing in new technology that supports their work. We’re aiming for a more sophisticated approach, where simple tasks can be more automated and our people can put their energy, skills and experience into the things that set us apart — creative problem solving, attention to detail and care for our customers.