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He Pānui

Some musings on the ideals vs. realities in creating a kaupapa driven business

Some musings on the ideals vs. realities in creating a kaupapa driven business
If I were to attempt to describe Aho, I think I'd classify it more as an idealists' project than a business. Somewhere along the way we've become a 'business', but our foundations started in dreams for our Tamāhine, and as a bit of a reaction against a current that felt at odds with our values and our desire to enact a life built on kaupapa Māori values.
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On Blood Quantum and Belonging.

On Blood Quantum and Belonging.
The journey of becoming tau and settled in your own skin is a part of the human experience, But the journey of discovering, immersing and learning a culture that you've not been raised in,  sitting in discomfort and insecurity as you learn, and the gradual sense of belonging and calm that inches gradually closer is an experience all to familiar to many of us.

That question of self that resides deep within your pito. 
Who am I? How do I belong? Ko wai au? Nō hea au?
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The whakapapa of our cotton: From Field to Fibre. Chapter 4

The whakapapa of our cotton: From Field to Fibre. Chapter 4

From the Fields, we followed the cotton to the next stage of the process. Cotton Ginning is the process of separating the cotton fibers from the cotton seeds that they protect.
The 'Gin' is a massive complex where the the freshly picked cotton is taken by the sack for processing. As we approached the Gin, trucks and ox carts lined the road. Bulging and overflowing with cotton. 

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The pursuit of whakapapa - Chapter 1.

The pursuit of whakapapa - Chapter 1.

This is the first in our series about the whakapapa of our products. From whakapapa to concept. Concept to seed. Seed to fabric. Fabric to product. Product to home.

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Boxing Day Sales- and why we're opting out.

Boxing Day Sales- and why we're opting out.

It's Boxing day!  And we're not having a sale. But you'd probably already guessed that. So we thought we'd explain why.
See this hapu, they're the collective who provide our cotton. It's hard physical work. Growing a crop, harvesting it, fertilising it with homemade compost and depending on the seasonal rains to water it. There's no pesticide, irrigation or machinery here.

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Kirihimete- and why we're looking for ways to do things differently.

Kirihimete- and why we're looking for ways to do things differently.
As a whānau with young tamariki we've been discussing what we want Christmas to look like in our Kāinga.
Our kids don't yet have any expectations or exposure to what's 'normal' in our culture (aka pine trees, mountains of gifts, santa etc) , and so we're trying to be deliberate, to learn about where traditions have come from, and to decide if we want to participate in them. Continue reading

Whakapapa and Cotton. Where the threads intertwine.

Whakapapa and Cotton. Where the threads intertwine.
We talk about whakapapa often as it relates to us as people, but all things have whakapapa.
This is cotton, ready to harvest. Like us, it too is defined by the whenua on which it stands, by which it is nourished. It is intertwined in the lives and whānau of the community who sow, grow, harvest and depend on it for their whanau's livelihood. Continue reading
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