Aside from being the home of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, New Zealand doesn't garner a terrible amount of attention from the outside world. Fashion wise, I would be hard pressed to name a single New Zealand designer off the top of my head, but it seems like their star is on the rise. Kowtow, a Wellington based environmentally conscious label, is one example of local design. The draping, oversized, and outlandishly printed attire demonstrate how far eco-fashion has come since its early days oriented towards yoga-inspired lifestyle attire. Nonetheless, the principles remain the same. The company uses 100% fairtrade organic cotton, which ensures that the cotton farmers receive a fair and living wage, and that fabrics are free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. In a time when companies like Walmart force down clothing prices at the expense of fair and safe labor practices, inadvertently causing tragedies like the factory fire in Bangladesh, it is more important than ever to conscientiously consume. Hopefully, one day all designers will move towards green and fairtrade practices, rather than having a select few wear the 'fairtrade organic' badge of distinction. In the meantime though, you can enjoy the reasonably priced building block basics from Kowtow, while seeing exactly where they came from.