Painted Bird Vintage loves to spread the word when it comes to sustainable fashion and our customers who are also, doing 'good'.
Amanda Butterworth is just that.
Originally from Wellington, and now based in central Auckland, Amanda is a passionate sustainability advocate. She is driven to build a better future through more responsible, sustainable and innovative business models and technology. After studying law and politics she went on to have a successful career in procurement.
However, Amanda says, "Her heart has always been drawn to fashion."
We met Amanda some time ago, when she previously co-founded a clothing rental platform and five years later we have seen her contributions in the sustainable fashion arena grow from strength to strength.
Currently volunteering her time to manage the New Zealand branch of non-profit Fashion Revolution as well as working for impact consultancy the Ākina Foundation as Director of Social Procurement - Amanda is a busy lady!
She was kind enough to take a bit of time to answer some of our questions so you can get to know her a little too ...
You have been an integral part of the Fashion Revolution movement here in NZ please tell us more about this global movement and how others can take part?
Fashion Revolution is the biggest sustainable and ethical fashion movement in the world. We campaign for a clean, safe, fair, transparent and accountable fashion industry. Our goal is a global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit. This year is Fashion Revolution’s 10 year anniversary and the 10 year anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy – the event that sparked the revolution.
Anyone can become part of the Fashion Revolution. We share information on our social media about ways people can get involved and we host events to bring fashion revolutionaries together.
What is your favourite Painted Bird Vintage piece?
It would have to be the pink and purple silk Versace-style shirt I bought from you in 2019. This piece is a showstopper and I get complemented on it whenever I wear it. It’s light weight and comfortable and adds flair to any outfit!
Your current style obsession or icon (person or piece) and why?
I recently purchased 2 vintage handbags – one pearl and one Lucite. I’ve been creating my outfits around these pieces, really centring the bags and it’s made getting dressed really fun!
What is your favourite vintage or retro item in your wardrobe (1940-1980)?
I have a light blue maxi dress that was my Nana’s and I have honestly worn this dress too many times to remember. Again, it’s a really comfortable piece and it fits me perfectly. I think it’s the perfect dress. I’ve worn it to weddings, hen’s parties, baby showers, vineyards and just out and about in summer. I love how happy it makes my Nana when she sees me in it.
Your top tip on incorporating or wearing vintage in your wardrobe in everyday life?
Don’t be afraid to not be “in fashion”. I feel like we put so much emphasis on being fashionable these days, but in my opinion style is so much more important. Develop your own style first and foremost. This doesn’t mean you can never incorporate “fashion” pieces, but it really makes getting dressed so much easier. I enjoy putting a modern twist on a vintage piece - like pairing my nana’s blue dress with Dr Martens and a blazer.
Above Amanda wears: Painted Bird Versace-like blouse (left) Nana's Maxi (centre) and Painted Bird Leopard Blouse (left)
Your favourite fashion era and why?
Probably the 80s! You wouldn’t be able to tell from most of my photos on Instagram, but I have really big wild curly hair – I feel I would have been in my element in the 80s. Plus shoulder pads and a bit of peplum are such a vibe.
For people who have never shopped vintage or retro (1940-1980) before, what advice would you give them?
Accessories can be a fun way to start adding in vintage and experimenting with your style. Some of my first vintage pieces were silk scarves. If you are afraid to commit to a full look like a dress, then a jacket or shirt can be a good way to start. I love wearing a vintage shirt open over a tank top with a pair of jeans.
What advice would you offer to a someone looking to lessen their fashion footprint?
Shop your own wardrobe! Pull it all out, put it back in a different order; ask a friend to come look at it and help give you fresh perspective. The most sustainable thing you can do is wear, care for and repair what you own. Sharing and swapping with friends is another great option. And of course, if you need a new addition to your wardrobe then vintage is a great choice! Sometimes adding in even just one vintage piece can give you so many new outfit options.
What was your first piece of vintage (1940-1980) clothing? Do you still have it and wear it?
A black, high-waisted pleated skirt that was my mum’s from the 80s. I got my hands on this as a teenager and I still have it in my wardrobe now. It’s had many trips to the office, a few nights out and I even wore it for university graduation.
Favourite style advice given to you (by whom or where you saw it) that you could pass on?
I don’t know where this advice came from, but recently I started “dressing for my inner 8 year old” and I have been having so much fun! The idea is to let go of inhibitions or worrying about looking a certain way to please others and really just dressing for yourself and for enjoyment. Some of my favourite outfits ever have come out of embracing this advice.
What item in your wardrobe would you consider to be timeless and why?
I must give special mention to a beautiful blazer that I inherited from my mum (also from the 80s) that my sister and I have literally fought over. I had to wear it recently so she didn’t sneak it back to Australia with her! The blazer is tan and black plaid with a subtle red running through it. I consider it timeless because it is just as fabulous now as it was then. My sister and I also have quite different body shapes and it looks great on both of us.
And lastly, since it is Fashion Revolution Week ...
What does slow fashion / sustainable fashion / circular fashion mean to you?
It means being thoughtful. Giving careful consideration to each purchase – asking do you really need it. Examining your wardrobe and thinking about new ways to wear the things you already own. Or thinking carefully about what item you need that will help elevate your wardrobe rather than buying another item that doesn’t go with anything or a near replica of something you already own. Think about your personal style. Be thoughtful in the way you care for your clothes to help them last. And most importantly, be thoughtful about where they end up.
Thanks Amanda for being an inspiration and an advocate for Painted Bird Vintage. A true blue changemaker - love your work!