Mina launched off the back of a rather life-changing six-week seed-to-garment trip to India. Having spent a lot of time in South Africa growing up, it wasn’t, as such, the ‘poverty’ of India that shocked me, it was the intrigue I realised I had for people, the nosiness I had for the artisan more than I did their craft. I wanted to get to know these people, where they’ve come from and what their story is.
I want the brand to share these values, compassion for people and create a real community with the people behind our brand. Respect between people is so vital for any successful business.
The name Mina comes from Wilhemina (my South African grandmother’s name). It doesn't pay tribute to her, as such, but more my time spent in South Africa as a child. Being witness to people living simpler lives but incredibly happy.
As a mother-daughter duo we manage to tackle almost everything. All patterns are made in house in our Auckland based studio. Here we do all our designing, fabric swatching, pattern making and most of our sampling. What used to be Mums 'craft room' and my 'playroom' is now a converted Mina production studio.
Since the day I went to fashion school I always believed that to buy a piece of clothing you must know the story behind it. Therefore Mina has become a proudly local brand supporting and highlighting our extremely talented group of hands we have here in New Zealand.
The Mina studio store is tucked away in the Grey Lynn shops in Auckland. From here we operate as a small team and every single person who purchases directly from Mina, I am part of that process. I am very aware this may not last forever so for right now I treasure this opportunity to connect with our customers.
When sourcing our fabrics, we use a few local fabric wholesalers here in Auckland where we ensure our fabrics are natural. Most of our fabrics are 'deadstock'. Deadstock meaning somewhere in the world an international fashion house produced a fabric in bulk and the leftover one hundred or so metres becomes 'deadstock'. As we are a young brand and our runs are small we are lucky to be able to use fabric that has already been produced. For you, it means you are one of a small number to wear that garment.
With only two sets of hands, we outsource many of our samples to our lovely friend Phylly in Dannemora, Auckland. Phylly has a world of knowledge of the fashion industry and has taught both myself and Mum so much in the 1 year of knowing her.
Having studied in Wellington I didn't have a lot of contacts starting the brand but we have been very lucky to have been passed on to great people in this industry, another one of them being our cutters in Otahuhu. Tony and his team lay our fabrics and patterns and cut all of our garment pieces ready for production.
The last part of our Mina family is our small team of sewers in Howick. We are very lucky to be working with Mark and his ladies as our production runs are small, so are often turned away by production factories. They are responsible for the long-lasting construction of every piece of clothing that we make.
The Mina ethos is constructed through considered design with an intimate notion of respect for our local makers and a commitment to natural fabrics. Through a community of relationships; authentic and unique, the Mina brand is shared and lived.
Who we are
Our design process starts with natural fabrics, each selected for feel and longevity. Mina designs considered collections not just for a season but for years to come. Instilling a model of limited capsules released throughout the year, we curate for a buy less buy well lifestyle.
We understand our origin, we are conscious of fabrics & environment, as we design intentionally with our customersin mind throughout the entire journey.
Mina was built on the notion of respect. We create our collections in partnership with our makers right here in Auckland. We consider everyone who is part of the Mina process as an important individual, with a unique background that adds to a sense of diversity. This is shared with our customers who have an appreciation for the story behind our garments.
We think of people as individuals,
we understand their backgrounds,
we celebrate and embrace diversity.
We choose ethical working environments.
At Mina, we believe it is the unique relationships and interactions between the people we meet on our journey that nurture and grow the Mina brand.
We think local and we value meaningful relationships when working with our community on distinct collaborations.
Our design process starts with natural fabrics, each selected for feel and longevity. All Mina pieces are designed, pattern made and created in Auckland, New Zealand.
Mina has a strong ethos around supporting the local industry in New Zealand as well as our environment. We strongly believe in using pure fabrics and ridding polyesters and other synthetic fibres from both our bodies and our planet. We strive to source fabrics that will give back to the earth as they biodegrade after the life of the garment.
We believe in fabrics that not only age beautifully with time but are built to last. Some winter fabrics such as wool require 5 -10% of nylon or spandex for durability and practicality of the fabric. We try to use as low percentages as possible. We ensure the craftsmanship of the garment is made with attention and deliberate finishings. We design each piece and silhouette not to last a season but to last a life time. We source fabrics that are built to last and endure the seasons.
It is then up to you to make sure the care and attention that has been given to make the garment is then given the same attention to the care of the garment during its life.