Nisa is an underwear label and social enterprise founded by Elisha Watson in 2017, employing women from refugee backgrounds in their Wellington studio. For the Nisa team, a job is about so much more than a pay cheque - it's about making friends, practicing English, and feeling like a valued member of a team. Elisha was working as a lawyer and volunteering with the Red Cross' refugee resettlement program. She shared a love of sewing with many of the women in the former refugee community, and the idea of setting up a sewing workshop to provide employment opportunities took form. Elisha quit her job, set up a crowdfunding campaign, and then went about the process of hiring her first employees, buying machines and looking for a sunny space to base the workshop.
Nisa’s dream is to build an alumni of 100 former employees who go on to inspire their own communities. For them, success is not just providing a first job in New Zealand, but in providing a first step in a long career.
The most eco-friendly garment in the world however isn't much good if it doesn't look good and last the distance. Nisa puts months of effort into designing, sourcing, and then making every new product they launch, with rigorous testing for both style and comfort. This means, by the time a Nisa garment lands in your drawer, it'll be ready to be worn and loved for a long time.