Juliette Hogan: Sustainability and Secondhand

Designer Juliette Hogan talks sustainability and secondhand buying in this exclusive interview.

Fashion designer Juliette Hogan’s eponymous brand started in Auckland in 2004 and soon built a strong following with Juliette even going on to dress famous figures such as Taylor Swift and Jacinda Ardern. 

From the beginning, quality has been the forefront of the brand, producing timeless pieces that are built to last.  ‘Juliette Hogan' is one of the top-searched terms in the clothing and fashion category on Trade Me with  pre-loved pieces from her collections quickly snapped up by savvy members.

Trade Me is proud to partner with Juliette for the launch of our circular economy report and Secondhand Spin pop-up activation.  

Many of us are keen to shop secondhand, but what makes a quality piece and how do you pull off an effortless style? We caught up with Juliette to get the insights into what makes a great garment and what to look for when purchasing pre-loved clothing.

What are some of the key benefits, both environmentally and socially, of opting for second hand fashion?

It has been wonderful to see both the fashion industry and consumers embrace the repurposing of pre-loved garments. When we fall out of love with a specific piece, it doesn’t mean that the piece isn’t worth loving. It just may no longer suit your lifestyle, shape or style, but it still absolutely has the potential to be someone else’s treasure that they have been searching for. And most importantly, it stops it from ending up in landfill.

More people are beginning to shop second hand for this reason, but for individuals new to shopping second hand, what advice would you give them on where to start and what to look for in terms of quality and sustainability?

Look for trusted and good quality brands, good quality fabrications and construction that will stand the test of time. You will be able to find a better deal for quality brands second hand rather than buying fast fashion new. There can be satisfaction in that; knowing you’ve made a positive environmental choice and meaning you will have a more emotional connection to that piece and in turn giving it both more care and more wear.

Be patient. If there’s brands out there that you know and love, or a particular gap in your wardrobe that you need to fill, set it up as a favourite search and eventually the right piece will come along.

You are known for your timeless and elegant designs. Could you share some tips on effectively styling second hand clothing to create contemporary and fashionable looks?

There is this notion that second hand clothing will look ‘vintage’ and that’s not necessarily the case. At Juliette Hogan we are known for our timeless and classic design aesthetic. Nothing gives me more joy than our customers being able to style treasured JH pieces from collections past back with fresh seasonal injections. 

This approach really resonates with me and is applicable whether buying new or second hand. Classic, staple wardrobe pieces are the important building blocks of our wardrobe. Whether that’s a great pair of trousers, a tailored blazer, an amazing piece of merino knitwear, or the perfect pair of jeans. Having those good quality, and hardworking staples makes styling in with fresh and fun pieces so easy.

How do you recommend integrating second hand pieces into a modern wardrobe while still maintaining personal style?

You should look to purchase things that you know you’ll wear and suit your existing style, and you know will work in with your existing wardrobe and how you like to dress. The benefit of purchasing second hand often means that it will be something unique that not everyone has.

How can consumers identify high-quality second hand clothing items, especially when it comes to materials and construction?

When buying second-hand clothing, prioritise trusted brands, detailed images, and inquire about the garment's condition. For high-quality fabrics, look for natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, or silk, ensuring they show minimal wear and have been well-cared-for. Evaluate the weave, weight, and colour fastness, and check hardware for overall garment quality.

Asking questions about fabric care and inspecting details will help ensure your purchase meets both style and durability expectations.

Are there any particular colour palettes or combinations that work exceptionally well with second hand pieces, and why? 

As a brand we definitely have an enduring colour palette that has stood the test of time, meaning pieces from 10 years ago can be worn easily with pieces from today. We have, and always will, feature easy neutrals alongside seasonal highlight hues. Our signature prints generally feature these neutral base tones and give a fresh interest with cohesive colour combinations. For investment pieces  I will always look to more timeless neutrals (black, beige, grey marle, crisp white or denim). They are trusted, hardworking, timeless and easy to style.

What about accessories? How can people use accessories to elevate their second hand outfits?

With the way that I design and dress myself, less is always more. Accessories can be a useful tool to completely elevate an outfit, give it new life, or inject more of your own personal style. This could be as simple as a quality belt or a pair of sunglasses.

What are the essential pieces for a capsule wardrobe that go well with everything?

A quality and well tailored pair of black pants; the hardest working item in a wardrobe, and a crisp white t, a blazer, and quality knitwear.

Juliette Hogan's eponymous brand started in 2004

With the rise of fast fashion and its impact on the environment, how do you believe the second hand fashion industry can contribute to more sustainable consumption habits?

Embracing the secondhand market is a crucial step towards a more sustainable fashion choice in New Zealand. Opting for quality secondhand items over fast fashion contributes to extending the lifespan of clothing and reducing the environmental impact. It's important to recognize that this choice prevents clothes from ending up in landfills. 

While affordable secondhand options provide an alternative to fast fashion, this alone is not the ultimate solution. It’s also important to mention here that when shopping new, invest in quality new items to build a wardrobe with lasting value. 

An investment piece is a high-quality, timeless item that justifies paying extra due to its durability, versatility, and enduring style, offering long-term value and satisfaction. For me that is a Classic Trench, the perfect black pant, a tailored blazer, or that dress you just know will see you through key moments time and time again.

As a consumer, choosing secondhand over new items is your entry point to making a difference. I encourage you to make informed choices, embrace secondhand options, and play a part in fostering a more sustainable fashion future.

What are the most popular selling items at Juliette Hogan?

The most sought after pieces at Juliette Hogan are often our original and emotive print stories and the foundation from which our seasonal collections are built. We will also ensure that we only offer limited runs on some event wear pieces or winter coats so these are often snapped up quickly. While these unique or exciting pieces can sell quickly, our quiet and hardworking staples (tailored suiting, quality knitwear and simple luxe separates) essential for building a versatile wardrobe, are consistently among our most popular items, emphasising the enduring appeal of tried and true classics.

You established your brand in 2004 and being ethical and sustainable has always been a part of your business. Why is that important to you?

Our JH values have been there from the beginning: sustainable.  . Sustainable in business practice, relationships and making good choices. The world and our environment needs to be cared for and nurtured, not just for us but for our tamariki. 

“We all owe it to future generations to be making good choices now”.

As a brand, I believe that it is our responsibility to empower our customers to make conscious and educated purchasing decisions.

We have four key pillars that guide our sustainability objectives and goals: People, Product, Planet and Prosperity. Our garments are also created with longevity in mind and we strive to create products that minimise environmental harm. 

You can shop Juliette Hogan or other pre-loved clothing now on our site.


Sophie Graham
Sophie Graham
Meet Sophie Graham, a seasoned Digital Content Producer with over 7 years of experience in content production and marketing. Armed with a BA degree in TV and Radio, Sophie brings a unique blend of creativity and expertise to her work. Passionate about storytelling and leveraging digital platforms, she crafts engaging content that resonates with audiences. With a knack for staying ahead of trends and a commitment to quality, Sophie is dedicated to delivering impactful narratives that captivate and inspire.