There on the sign were six words I won't forget. 'Don't Touch The Water - Dangerously Contaminated'. Just two years earlier I'd stood in the very same spot, admiring a pristine lake. Now, what lay in front of me resembled a swamp, laden with litter and sludge. I travelled a lot for work back in the nineties and had noticed this worrying trend. I drove down highways so smothered in smog I couldn't tell if there were hills or high rises beside me. It was clear the environment was burdened by overconsumption, but the business world didn't seem bothered. Amongst all the talk about better performance and bigger profits, there was no mention of the toll this growth would take on the planet.
“I wanted to promote a cleaner, greener way of living, that respected people and the planet, so our collections were designed to balance sustainability with comfort, quality and style.”
I knew the fashion industry was a big part of the problem, leeching toxins and malignant microfibres, and I thought of home, and the pure New Zealand environment, the streams and rivers that I drank from growing up. The idea of these 'untouched' spots becoming untouchable wasn't something I could stand by and watch. And so the idea for Untouched World was born; to use fashion as a vehicle for change.
I wanted to promote a cleaner, greener way of living, that respected people and the planet, so our collections were designed to balance sustainability with comfort, quality and style. We set about to fill the void of what I wanted to wear but couldn't find anywhere. Clothes that could comfortably fly long-haul, hold their own in the boardroom, head outdoors and still dress up for dinner. They had to look great, feel good, and be easy care, comfortable and kind on the planet; time-saving pieces for the active globetrotter and those just juggling a busy life.
To this day, our design philosophy remains the same; to create timeless, versatile pieces that let you do more with less. An wardrobe that will nurture both you and the earth, and stand the all important test of time.
In 2021, it was a proud moment for us to see Peri honoured as the only female of nine Laureates to be inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. Peri was celebrated alongside eight other amazing New Zealanders; Tracy Thomas Gough, Brendan Lindsay, Paul Te Poa Karoro Morgan, Sir Robert Anderson, James Henry Whittaker, Sir Ken Stevens, John Ryder and Kevin Hickman for their outstanding contribution to the community and the New Zealand economy.
This comes just three years after Peri's induction into the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs, instigated by Co.Of Women to 'honour those whose success has paved the way, whose brilliance has changed the way things are done and whose generosity has impacted the world for the better'.