co-act 3 is open now!

Fashun darling. Fashun.

Paige Jansen, Grace Mirams and Lillian Cotter are three, fashion school graduates that founded co-act, a Dunedin based collective of artists and designers. 

co-act has been running for a couple of years now, having set up pop-up shops in vacant center city retail spaces. The focus of the pop-up shops are the garments created by the three designers. Built upon ethos of handmade, sustainable and local, co-act is a welcome response to fast fashion and the world's gross use-and-abuse consumer culture. 

We're stoked that the group is back, bringing to Dunedin their third pop-up store. Cam got in touch with Grace to find out what's in store for their hotly anticipated pop-up opening today at 241 George Street. 


Hello hello, how is the co-act crew today? Everyone well?

Yeeah good, had a few hiccups today. So we’re currently taking ten with a plunger, sun is streaming into home studio. You?

Oh shit, the pressure kicking in is it? Ahhh, just enjoying this lovely Dunedin day. Anyway, how's it all looking in the home studio? Got a few garments ready for the third installment of co-act pop up shop?

Yes pressure has the home studio in full flight here in Mosgiel. All good though, its healthy stress ya know? Regular tennis breaks have been necessary. We finally do have one or two things on our rack we’re looking forward to everyone seeing. It has all started to pull together in the last 24 really.

Nothing like a few rallies to get the inspiration going! So are you all planning to hide away inside over the next few days, maybe change up to ping pong? Shut off the outside world?

You could say that Mr. Hay! Haha, yeah the SIRUBA motors are absolutely humming. Work flow is sick though, we are all doing little things to help out each other and it's the first year we aren't juggling the store with uni. So being full time employed at the co-act HQ is the buzz!


So now you’re directing all the attention at co-act what can everyone expect? What's in store this time? Same team? New designers? Hand cream?

We reckon third time's a charm.. having more time has allowed us to do things we've always wanted to do in the past, so that's alg. As for crew, same crew (Lil, G, P) cause it's that good, in addition Dylan, Pheobe and Eden are adding to the clothing selection (also fushion grads). We've also got our hands on some unreal local art that will be for sale, possibly a free coff if you get in early enough. Going for all natural candles over the hand cream this year and some trendy linen bags to put all your goodies in!

Sounds lovely, Dunedin is in for an absolute treat. So how did it all this come to be? What is co-act about? Was there anything similar in Dunedin that you knew of?

The idea blossomed around a couple years ago now, chilling at Lillian's little spot in Purakaunui.. we wanted to collaborate with each other, fund raise for Lillian to get to Milan when she got accepted to fashion school over there and bring some attention to local Dunedin creatives. We literally threw the first shop together in 5 days during a 2nd year O-week and it was crack up. There are pop up shops here and there I think, but nothing with the home jobs like ours. We like to utilize the dead retail spaces that seem to be a common sight on George St, bring some life to the place!


That rad! It's definitely an awesome idea, bringing a little creative vibe to the CBD. What ice-cream flavor best describes co-act’s style this time around??

Easily gold rush- I just indulged in a single scoop en route home. It was a good color, smooth as hell and filled with pleasant surprises.

Gold rush is that good. I was going to say I got a bit of the goodie goodie gum drop vibe the last one. Like imagine the shop itself as the bubble gum flavored ice cream. Once you open it up for the first time, it's nice, not bad. But when you discover one of those gumdrop lollies (which are your clothes), you don’t want a piece of that bubble gum. Eventually, by day 3 of being open all is left is the ice-cream, not a sight of gumdrop lollies. Basically what I'm saying is you all did incredibly well last time, all that was left was the shop most of everyone was sold right? No gum drop lollies left!

I could continue this trail of ice cream analogies all night with you Mr Hay but the fact of the matter is we open in 3 days and hell it's business time here at the HQ. We cannot wait to lift the lid on Friday and see the crew get some gum drops, see you there?


See you there! What you are all doing is incredibly unique and exciting, but it's not easy I bet! Time, effort and expenses is often forgotten about these days. It’s rad to see a bit of handmade local. So kudos with what you all are doing with co-act.

Huge kudos to you too maaart! Thank you for backing it - was great to sit down and reflect. There are some big nights ahead of us before opening those doors but when they do - shit it will all be worth it!

Woo! So before you go, give us the dets. Where, when, how long?

We are talking 241 George street- bam in the middle, between the goldy centre and wall st. This Friday (16th) till Sunday (18th) so only 3 days from 10am onwards and upwards! We have had some sell outs in the past, so it's best to get in quick to see it all.

Perfect, will see you there. Love your work Grace, Lillian and Paige and hope to see more of it. Thanks for the chat, I know you three are working hard to get those clothes ready.

Sick, look forward to it cam the man. We'll be waiting for the arrival of your consistently good yarns in the flesh!


Interview - Cam Hay

Will Meehan