Liminal Apparel was founded with the purpose of creating employment for people in need and prioritising the garment’s producers in a world where this often doesn’t happen. Ten years ago, the brand’s founders took a trip to visit Freeset, a fair-trade business offering employment to women trapped in Kolkata's sex trade. After partnering with Freeset to produce their clothing, Liminal Apparel was born. The word Liminal means to occupy a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold and this is symbolic of the space where the brand wants to sit their relationship with their producers.
Jared Gardiner is in charge of the brand’s sales operations in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. “We work with manufacturers and contracted designers, so my role is to get these amazing products to the market,” he said. Born and bred in Christchurch, Gardiner loves being part of a city that's always changing and says that having a young family is the most rewarding part of his life and keeps him motivated. His first memory of fashion was hunting through op shops for the perfect pair of baggy jeans back in the 90’s and it was his interest in fashion and desire to be part of something that made the world a better place, that drew him to Liminal Apparel.
Gardiner explains that Liminal Apparel does not employ people to have a business, but it is instead the other way around and they have a business so that they can hire people. “People need jobs. Jobs that not only feed and clothe them, but jobs that encourage them, develop them and help them reach their potential and dreams.” Gardiner said that the company gives jobs to those who have been through a hard time and want to come out of the other side. “We employ the battlers of this world. Those that life hasn’t always been kind to, yet they continue to fight for the common good of their family and their community.”
Gardiner believes that it’s important to be completely transparent with consumers and hopes that Liminal Apparel will become the market leader for ethical basics. Gardiner says that selling online works best for them and that the brand has plans to launch a new website. Liminal Apparel continually strives to deliver great products, with their most recent being a newly launched social enterprise called Common Good, which ethically produces custom made wristbands.