The end of an era as Nisa closes its doors


After dispatching more than 25,000 orders, underwear and activewear brand
Nisa is sadly closing its doors

After five years making clothing and careers, the Nisa workshop is closing its doors next month.

The underwear, activewear, and swimwear label was founded in 2017 to provide women from refugee and migrant backgrounds in Wellington with their first job in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Founder and CEO Elisha Watson put Nisa on the market at the start of the year, but negotiations fell through. In the meantime, Nisa’s financial forecasts have fallen as inflation and the cost of living remains stubbornly high.

“We have tried every trick in the book to keep our social enterprise going, but we’ve got to the point where we’re not in a financial position to continue operating without a buyer to inject capital,” Watson says.

Garments will remain available to purchase at nisa.co.nz until the online store closes on 16 July.

“We have so many loyal customers that only wear Nisa, we wanted to give them a chance to stock up before we say goodbye.”

Watson said she was incredibly proud of everything Nisa had achieved over the last five years, dispatching more than 25,000 orders, collecting more than 2500 five-star reviews, paying more than $1.5 million in wages, and providing 29 women from refugee and migrant backgrounds with valuable work experience and a place to belong.

Nisa’s goal was never to provide a job for life but rather be a launchpad for careers in New Zealand, Watson said.

“I know that with the skills and confidence they’ve developed at Nisa, every member of the team would be an absolute asset to any employer.”

Watson has brought on a career coach to work one-on-one with each employee to help them plan their next steps.

Reflecting on her time at Nisa, Watson said, “We’ve made garments people cherish and changed lives in the process. Even though we’re closing, that impact will endure.”

Nisa’s garments will remain available for purchase at nisa.co.nz while the team sews pre-cut fabrics and clears existing stock.

Images supplied