When Alice Barrett couldn’t find environmentally friendly activewear that was made in New Zealand, the answer seemed simple. She would create it herself.
Armed with an idea and a can-do attitude, the 24-year-old from Tauranga got busy creating a business plan for Alivate Activewear – her own range of activewear, made in New Zealand from recycled and regenerated material.
Having studied business at the University of Waikato, Alice was quietly confident in her business plan but knew she needed some extra guidance to turn her idea into a viable business. Arriving at Hamilton-based business ecosystem Soda, she was faced with a wealth of knowledge and industry experts, which ultimately made her re-think her business plans and alter her business model for the better.
“When I first started working with Soda, Alivate Activewear was just an idea. I needed more information and guidance about how to set up my own business and going through Soda’s CO.STARTERS programme gave me both,” says Alice.
“The support, resources and experts I was given access to during my time with Soda was invaluable.”
“I really enjoyed the networking opportunities with other participants on the course and learning alongside a group of like-minded business owners that I could bounce ideas off. Having the opportunity to engage with industry experts on a personal level and ask questions specific to my business was a huge benefit.”
Since graduating from Soda’s CO.STARTERS programme at the end of 2020, Alice has been busy developing and launching Alivate Activewear. Her first collection is now available for sale online and at boutique markets throughout the North Island, with a second collection coming soon.
“I set out to create movement pieces with minimalistic flare that complement the female figure and can be worn across all my customers’ active needs. Everything is made from regenerated and recycled material and manufactured right here in New Zealand.”
Alivate’s first activewear collection is made from rescued nylon such as fishing nets, carpet fluff, old fabric scraps and industrial plastics. These materials are ground up and turned into material before being transformed into activewear at an Auckland manufacturer.
This is just the beginning for this exciting new business start-up with Alice saying: “Alivate’s future plans involve moving into product wholesale, operating pop up stores, diving into our community movement club - an initiative for active communities, and one day having our very own store.”
If you need support to grow your business or business idea, check out Soda’s CO.STARTERS programme. Over 10 weeks, you’ll learn everything you need to know about starting or growing a business. Each workshop is three-hours a week and you can attend in person in Hamilton or virtually.