Alumni Q&A: John Holt
25 May 2022
John is the Founder and Executive Chair of All Things Considered - a global platform for considerate consumers of fashion.
John Holt is the Founder and Executive Chair of All Things Considered - a global platform for considerate consumers of fashion. He realised that figuring out who is doing what in the fashion industry, when it comes to sustainability and ethics, is so much harder than it should be. So, just over a year ago, John created an easy to use online platform which brings sustainability & ethics information from company websites to one location, making it easy for consumers to understand, compare and consider before they purchase.
John believes that his purpose is to actively engage the world, learn and grow from that, and share with others. His current focus is on sustainable fashion, waste minimisation at scale and the growth of New Zealand's aviation, technology and innovation ecosystem.
He is committed to growing high impact, high growth ventures that will better New Zealand, people and the planet. Eternally curious and driven by purpose, personal growth and embracing the innovative and unconventional has seen his career evolve since graduating from UC. Below he talks about his journey.
Can you give us a brief description of what your role as Founder and Executive Chair at All Things Considered involves?
Our vision at All Things Considered is to help consumers of fashion understand more about the things their favourite brands are doing to improve society and the environment.
All of the roles I engage in help me achieve my on personal purpose statement to “actively engage the world, learn and grow from that and share with others”. People and their potential are always at the centre of these ventures in terms of our success and all have direct links to improving our lives as New Zealanders / global citizens which is very satisfying.
What other roles do you hold?
I’ve recently taken on a new role as the Chair of the Industry Advisory Group for the Future of Learning at UC. I’m also a Director of Airways New Zealand and Airways International, the Founder and Chair of Territory3 – Kiwi Landing Pad Reimagined, and the Chair and Trustee for the FreeForAll Charitable Trust.
Has your career evolved the way you expected?
I’m still surprised at the opportunities and learning I have been privileged to be involved with, which mostly lines up with the type of career I had envisaged. I’d like to think I still have time to reconnect with my original academic pursuits also around history and in particular the history of New Zealand and the First World War.
What goals do you hope to achieve with All Things Considered?
My co-founder Andrea van der Meel and I are really excited about achieving our overarching goal of curating the power of a global community, initially around fashion, to use their sentiment and spending power to influence more sustainable and ethical long-term practices across all aspects of the supply chain.
Fashion is a top 5 offender when it comes to environmental and social issues as well as employing around 1 in 9 humans on the planet so to clearly impact that through consolidating consumer voice to brands and seeing them change would be a wickedly cool result.
How did your BA (History) study prepare you for your career?
I loved my time at UC and then later extramurally at Massey. The discipline of self-driven research and education took me a few years to get my head around but it gave me many skills and insights that I still use regularly today, as well as a fantastic social network across the globe, many of whom are fellow UC alumni.
What motivates/inspires you?
Growth is my big thing – both personally and professionally. I don’t think we ever stop learning and I’m inspired by those that clearly have and execute on a similar view, especially around multiple career and global achievements.
What are your interests outside of work?
Trying to be a good example for my kids and help them build their own passions and growth stories.
When I was 17 I took my first flying lesson. I’m not 17 anymore but still don’t have a full pilot’s licence but I’m getting close! I love all things about aviation and where the future will take us both on earth and beyond.
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