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Locally designed positivi-tees funding trees

Visual designer Hannah Colenbrander picked Trees That Count to receive the profits from sales of her winning entry in Wellington streetwear store Good as Gold’s t-shirt design competition.

“Nature has always provided me with meditative moments  — and I think I appreciate nature now more than ever!” Like many others, Hannah has introduced nature walks near to her home as a daily ritual during lockdown. However, nature has also played a part in her previous work.

“My final university project explores aesthetic elements of nature–oriented Japanese philosophy wabi sabi. Wabi sabi celebrates the impermanent, the imperfect, the organic and the simple. Reflecting on the intention of the project, it’s clear to me that I often use design as a way to research ways of being in the world that don't contrast nature’s innate rules.”

The opportunity for Hannah to both focus on nature as content and support nature via funds raised in the Good as Gold competition was ideal. “I was always drawn to the idea that if I could use design to benefit the environment then I would be doing something particularly meaningful with what I had learned.”

The design competition was themed around ‘positivity’ — as Hannah puts it, the store “wanted to bring a little joy to their community during this tough time.” Hannah’s design was inspired by Heliotropic flowers; when the blossom of a flower turns to face the sun. 

“I liked the idea of someone wearing the words ‘sun-facing’, it feels like a positive and hopeful way to brand yourself,” she explains. “To me it implies that if you’re wearing it, like a heliotropic flower, you’re looking forwards towards the sun, toward the light.”

As one of the four chosen designs, all profits from the sale of Hannah’s ‘Sun-Facing’ shirts will go to Trees That Count. “I have bought and received native tree gifts through Trees That Count. I love what you guys are doing here and am eager to support the mission! 

Given the content of the shirt is inspired by nature, being able to see the proceeds from the t-shirt sales be put back into nature is a really nice full circle moment for me. It seemed like a perfect fit.”

Hannah’s winning design is now available for pre-order from Good as Gold’s webstore, with all profits donated to Trees That Count to help get more native trees in the ground in Aotearoa.

See more of Hannah’s work at