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Education New Zealand - Te Kākahu Hou

Te Kākahu Hou - a new graduation gown, was designed to reflect the connection to New Zealand’s indigenous culture,  respect for nature, and the sustainable and innovative ways of thinking that define the New Zealand education experience.


Blending innovation with tradition, Te Kākahu Hou features a hand embroidered Poutama pattern to symbolise the steps students take on their learning journey. The colour of this pattern can be customised to represent the recipient’s identity.

A hand-woven scarf element represents the weaving together of cultures, identities, and different ways of thinking that make up our education community.


Unlike its predecessors, Te Kākahu Hou can come in many different colourways and be produced in a variety of sustainable textiles. For the initial creations, this included repurposed and naturally dyed commercial linen, circular milled biodegradable wool, and deadstock fabrics.


To introduce Te Kākahu Hou to the world, eight were produced by Whitecliffe School of Fashion & Sustainability students and gifted to eight international students from China, Colombia, Germany, India, Japan, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam. The design process and the stories of these international students’ experience of study and life in New Zealand featured as part of a global content campaign – spanning across digital and social channels, PR and events.

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