Knits from the Karen Walker x Dove Hospice pop-up shop. Images supplied.
It was such a success last winter that the Karen Walker x Dove Hospice pop-up is returning to Playpark by Karen Walker again this week. From Wednesday 29th – Friday 31st May (or until sold out) Karen Walker’s Newmarket store will be offering an edit of one-of-a-kind vintage hand knits with all the proceeds going to Dove Hospice.
Karen has a personal connection to Dove Hospice, who fulfil a unique role, offering free holistic care and support for people with life-threatening or terminal illness from the moment of diagnosis. The designer took her mother’s clothes there after her death in 2016 and was touched by the care and gratitude taken with her mother’s precious pieces. “The staff were great, and there was such respect for the process of giving up these clothes and for the life stories that my mother’s wardrobe held,” says Karen. Her experience led the designer to help raise awareness of the charity and its shops so the first pop-up was created in 2018.
This year’s pop-up will offer some incredible pre-loved gems that can be found in the six Dove Hospice shops as well as their TradeMe store. Karen and the team have combed through the many generous donations to the charity curating an eclectic array of quality hand knitted wool sweaters, cardigans, vests and accessories. Each pre-loved knit will retail for $80 (adults), $35 (children) and $20 (accessories). Regal Drycleaners, who are neighbours of the Playpark store, have again kindly donated their services and freshly dry-cleaned all the knits so they’re ready for wear.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Karen Walker and her team for the second year of this fantastic eco-fashion initiative,” says Julie Sexton, the Executive Director of Dove Hospice. “The donated hand knits symbolise the warmth, love and care that we aim to provide to patients and their families in their times of need.”
“As well as raising funds for Dove Hospice, this partnership brings awareness to the special services we provide which differ in some respects from traditional hospice care: not only do we support patients and families at the end of their life – we provide support from the moment of diagnosis of any life-threatening illness, with many of our patients returning to wellness. This free-of-charge service receives no direct government funding, and is only possible because of the goodwill of our compassionate community.”
Karen loves that Dove Hospice offer quality recycled fashion and it works beautifully with her own brand’s “less but better” approach to fashion. Rather than filling wardrobes and the planet’s landfills with more “stuff”, Karen Walker is committed to creating unique, well designed and well-made pieces with small runs that average of 50 units per item. Meaning customers get unique items that will be cherished and handed down.
“With our own designs our aim is to produce beautifully crafted items that will be wellworn and enjoyed for decades, special pieces that are circulated through many wardrobes before they’re repurposed for another use,” adds Karen Walker.
“My team and I, and many of our customers, are big fans of second-hand and vintage shopping. There’s nothing quite like discovering pre-loved gems to give new lease of life to whilst refreshing your wardrobe in the most sustainable way.”
Last year’s Dove Hospice x Karen Walker pop-up sold out in record time so we suggest you get in quickly if you’d like to get your hands on one of these great knits.