Ethically made in New Zealand

FashioNZ Style File | Kate Mclauchlan of Somers Clothing

Kate Mclauchlan is the designer and founder of contemporary womenswear label Somers which she launched in March this year. Somers is a reflection of Kate’s ethical and sustainable values and is proudly manufactured in New Zealand. Her debut collection features neutral hues, relaxed shapes and natural or recycled fibres making it appealing to a range of women. Somers’ pieces are designed to be timeless and are created in limited runs to minimise waste.

We caught up with Kate to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
Collection 01 released earlier this year in March. This was our first collection and I am very proud to see this come to life. The garments are 100% New Zealand made using natural or recycled fibers.

They are available on our online store, or in store at The Collective, The Colombo Mall in Christchurch.

Somers is designed to offer women’s lifestyle fashion that layers into your wardrobe to enhance your staples. From here our next collections are in smaller volumes that allow us to ensure the boutique nature of our company is portrayed right through into our garments.

Linen, organic cotton, hemp fibres, merino, ZQ Merino and recycled polyester are used in Collection 01. The colours are natural, and without any patterns. Our thought behind this style is to ensure that each piece shows longevity and favourites in our consumers wardrobes. I am proud to share our designs from our Collection 01.

What made you become a designer?
I never found it interesting keeping up with the latest style, or the most current pieces for each season. I have always loved how garments are made, how they are constructed and what the fabrics are made from. This is why Somers does not focus on seasons. We love heavier weight fabrics and merinos that transfer between seasons without worry, especially in New Zealand’s climate.

My passion continues to grow when seeing a design that has been in my mind, go from a paper sketch to a sample garment is a wonderful feeling. It is exciting and rewarding.

I am interested in the whole story of each garment, or anything I buy in my every day. I believe everyone should know where their clothes are made, who made them, why they were made and how long they will last. Understanding and sharing this knowledge is certainly a true highlight of mine.

What inspires you?
The world around us. In terms of sustainable living and ethical fabrics. The world of fabric is almost unlimited at a glance. Although when you begin to ask further on where the fabric comes from, this is where is becomes interesting!

I am fond of sustainable living, keeping our world healthy and leaving our next generation in safe, happy environment.

Everyone should watch The True Cost documentary.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My personal style is straight lines, simple and practical. I like to be comfortable, yet have that little flair that makes you feel alive in your clothes. I am certainly a black on black type of girl with a coloured shoe!

What is your all-⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠time favourite purchase?
Any of my Rollie shoes, I love them. I believe everyone should own a pair.

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A wool overcoat. I picked up my Kilt woollen coat in 2015 and it is just like new each season.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Pattern on pattern is not for me. Other people look great, and everyone should have their own style. Although you will not find me wearing stripes on spots.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I am new to the industry over the last two years. Emerging yourself into a new industry comes with a lot of challenges and learnings. Talking to industry leaders, asking questions and taking every piece of advice positivity. A true highlight would be being a part of Mindful Fashion NZ. I feel as a small business being a part of something much larger is a great community minded approach to fight for change in the Industry.

I am grateful for this experience and opportunity!

What can’t you live without?
My daily coffee.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Activewear to a café or white pants!

Find published Style File here