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Our Story

Signature, one-of-a-kind, recycled jackets and lifestyle items.

We promise to be transparent and honest which allows our customers to make a conscious and informed decision to purchase our products. 

We are values led focusing on kindness, sustainability, innovation, genuineness, confidence and intelligence.

Inspired in every decision we make. 

New Zealand owned and operated.

Our recycled one-of-a-kind clothing and lifestyle items are made in Pushkar, India, and our earrings are made in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

We have a beautiful and personal relationship with our business partners who we’ve spent time with in their home countries and who we cherish as friends.

The following is a transparent story about how Modern Societies came to be...

Written by Nicola Biss, Founder

April, 2019

It’s a rainy week, daylight hours are getting shorter and the next solstice isn’t far away.

Another winter. Another year. Another 9 – 5, another Monday to Friday, another 365 days until I’m

Working in a corporate role that isn’t bringing out the best in me, come Saturday that week in April I’m wanting more out of life and myself.

I have a choice. Be back on this couch in a years’ time thinking the exact same thing, or realise I’m the only person responsible for my life and where it’s going.  

I get off the couch, grab my laptop and start creating Modern Societies.

The Modern Societies brand is created in April 2019 as a vehicle for growth, to spread love, encourage creativity and promote positive social change. 

Still April, 2019

The next day I make the first Modern Societies products - recycled bead earrings.

I buy $100 of pre-loved earring making kit, watch hours of tutorials, enrol in a wire class and spend hundreds of hours creating my own designs.

Mostly selling through word of mouth and then at my first market in July 2019, along with pre-loved clothing.

Earrings take me between 30 minutes and 8 hours to make one pair.

I love to make them but it’s not a sustainable business model if I’m to keep up with demand and earn a living!

In August 2019 I quit my corporate job and leave NZ to find global collaborators who share similar values and who are doing it mostly for the love not the money.

August, 2019

For three months I travel through Bali, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.

I learn about different cultures, businesses and materials; such as clay, gemstones, gold and silver and textiles.

I make a promise to see the entire production process of potential business partners, to make sure it’s ethical, otherwise I move on.

I find just two fully transparent business partners to work with who are using sustainable materials and methods.

December, 2019

I invite friends to be a part of the Modern Societies launch photoshoot.

This is the start of promoting an inclusive and diverse range for everyone to feel confident in no matter what your body shape or size!

February, 2020

Modern Societies launches online and at Splore, an annual boutique music and arts festival held at Tapapakanga Regional Park, New Zealand.

The festival is a huge success measured by good vibes and sales which sets the foundation for a long-term, sustainable business model.

Covid-19 aside, Modern Societies establishes itself primarily as an online business and secondary as a market shop where we collaborate with selected festivals.

I’m grateful for the support and love from customers who help keep Modern Societies alive - especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We now have loyal customers living in New Zealand, Australia, France and England.