Pure futures

Steinlager Pure is asking New Zealanders for their greatest ideas, inventions and visions for the future.

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Here are a few of our favourites—and Steinlager is looking for more, with up to $100,000 up for grabs.

You could win professional mentoring to turn your idea into reality. To share your idea or vote for your favourites, visit

Green label

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Huffer’s Dan Buckley (left) and Steve Dunstan are new mentors for aspiring designer Claire Shewan

Designer clothing, reckons Claire Shewan, doesn’t have to come at the expense of the planet Being green hasn’t always been easy for Claire Shewan. “There are lots of little things in the way all the time,” she says of the effort to become eco-friendly.

Shewan’s first collection, described as high casual, was made using organic merino from the Southern Alps and cotton spun in Lower Hutt. While it is proving tricky to source, she is upbeat

But she’s risen to the challenge—and more—with the creation of her own organic clothing label, Belle+Beau. Her interest in environmentally responsible fashion is a response to the amount of waste she saw in the mainstream fashion industry. All her pieces are made with certified organic textiles milled right here in New Zealand, and non-carcinogenic certified organic dyes.

Her first collection, described as high casual, was made using organic merino from the Southern Alps and cotton spun in Lower Hutt. While it is proving tricky to source these kinds of materials in the small quantities she needs, she is upbeat. “I want to be as authentic as possible … I wanted to make something I could feel good about.”

The range of wardrobe basics is designed for the New Zealand way of life, says Shewan. “You can dress it up or dress it down, wear it to work or on weekends and be quite comfortable but still look nice.”

Right now it’s the first and only Belle+Beau collection but Shewan is trying to grow the range and has plans to release more in the coming months. “I’d like to make sure [my designs] are not just seasonal items but that they’ll last for seasons to come.”

Posting her goals on the PureFutures site was a step in the right direction—the PureFutures team has hooked up some mentors for Shewan, in the form of Dan Buckley and Steve Dunstan, founders of homegrown label Huffer.

“I’m very excited that Steinlager Pure gave me the opportunity to meet and run my designs past Huffer,” says Shewan.

See Shewan’s Belle+Beau collection at www.thethreadloop. comor

Art on wheels

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Simon Courtney

Asking Simon Courtney to pick a favourite of the bicycles he has custom-built is like asking him to pick a favourite child. When pressed, the Christchurchbased graphic designer says it comes down to the satisfaction of the ride and from knowing how far he’s progressed in his craft.

Courtney builds his bikes with steel frames rather than carbon fibre or aluminium. “For me [the advantage of steel] is the artisan aspect, a strong reflection of what I’m into with design. Carbon fibre lacks the tactileness, it doesn’t feel quite as organic.”

Custom bicycles are a boutique industry in places like the US and Japan, but here in New Zealand Courtney says it’s almost a lost art despite a strong history of bikebuilding. Because of that, he’s had to rely on the online community for instruction and, as he puts it, “I’ve had to learn that making mistakes can be beautiful too.”

I am building handmade bicycles that are pure art, craft and performance.

The hobby is entirely funded out of Courtney’s own pocket, and so far none of the bikes have been economically viable to sell, although there have been enquiries. He’s hoping to acquire some new tools to streamline the build, and maybe then he can share the satisfaction of his art with someone else. As a helping hand, Steinlager Pure is aiming to hook up Courtney with a mentor, product designer Jamie McLellan.

Proof in the pudding

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Julia Crownshaw and Christie McCarthy

When friends Julia Crownshaw and Christie McCarthy went in search of a good pudding on the supermarket shelves, they weren’t happy with the frozen, additiveladen options they found. So they decided to create their own, and Dollop Puddings was born.

“The whole thing was to make puddings that are real,” says Crownshaw. “Traditional, old-school puddings with lots of butter and sugar and all those naughty things.”

Both have backgrounds in food— Crownshaw in product development, McCarthy in marketing—so they set to work modifying and testing recipes. The sticky date pudding (with 20 dates) is based on an old family recipe, the lemon tart (with the juice of six lemons) is an approximation of one in a favourite UK patisserie, and the chocolate was simply the most delicious they could find.

We are making handmade puddings for New Zealanders to enjoy with friends and family.

The recipes were market tested on willing guinea pigs among family and friends, and the puddings recently went on sale in Auckland and Wellington.

Crownshaw and McCarthy, who quit their jobs to dedicate themselves to the company, run Dollop from a rented bakery kitchen and bake treats such as vanilla bean custard and chocolate torte through the night. The pair is hoping to expand and are currently working on some products to release just in time for Christmas. Can’t wait.

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