HAPPY PEOPLE MAKING MIM-PI MAGIC
SUSTAINABLE AND GREEN? YES, PLEASE!
I want to make people aware of the fact that it is possible - producing sustainable clothing. MIM-PI is an honest brand. Deep down, everybody knows that a 15-euro dress can hardly be made in a sustainable way. For that price, the environment likely was compromised and people were exploited. By supporting brands such as MIM-PI, you make a statement: you don’t approve of these kinds of practices. The extra money you spend on a beautiful dress ensures that brands like us can continue our ecological and sustainable production process. And that feels great! I work with garment factories and clothing manufacturers that offer good working conditions. My logic is: what goes around comes around. I have worked with the same suppliers in India and Portugal for over twelve years. Factory workers receive a good wage. I put my trust in them, and vice versa. I visit the factories more than once a year to make sure the working conditions remain optimal and the people are happy. MIM-PI clothing doesn’t roll off a conveyor belt. It is handmade. Every item has handmade details and hand-knit designs, lovingly made by people with talent, not by machines.
A WORD FROM MIM-PI OWNER AND DESIGNER ELEONORA NIEUWHUIZEN
When I finished my administrative assistant degree, I decided to travel instead of putting on a business suit in a nine to five job. I craved something exotic and backpacked through Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia for three months. Not the type to lie on a beach, I explored the back roads and markets. I discovered gorgeous jewellery and fashion that did not cost much. I got inspired by the beautiful designs and colours, and my slumbering flair for business kicked into high gear. Back in The Netherlands I unwrapped the 6,000 pairs of earrings that I purchased in Bali. I was as stunned as anyone when I sold the bulk of them for a profit. My travel bug not yet fulfilled, I used the money to travel some more. This is what I call my first “business trip''. I went for the purpose of getting to know certain fabric outlets and small factories where beautiful embroideries were made. I came back with a lot of contacts and knowledge. From here, things developed really fast. Before I knew it I had three stores, selling women's fashion. The first time I started thinking about my own kids' line was when I had my daughter. The bulk of girls' fashion out there were mini-versions of what adults wear. A shame, because kids already grow up so fast! I want young girls to be able to wear funky, fun and whimsical clothes that they love.'
I have a gorgeous studio and I love the vibe.
I work at an extra-large table that gives me room to spread out mood boards, designs and fabrics.
I look out on the woods and sometimes I can even smell the ocean air.
My 'boardroom' is a little garden tea house where meetings can go long into the evening because there is a cozy fire place to keep the space warm.
'In my industry a lot of shady business goes on behind the scenes. I want no part in that. I want to run a clean business with well-made, honest clothes and I want to be a good employer. Not only to my team here, but also to my workers abroad. This is why I became a member of Made-By, an organisation that ensures good working conditions for workers abroad. I value my employees here as much as I value my employees in India. Since I spend so much time in India I feel connected to the people. Years ago I started giving away Barbie dolls to street kids. Now I always travel with an extra suitcase full of Barbie dolls and I find new owners for each Barbie doll in India.'
'I travel for work. To India. Twice a year. I love traveling, for work or for pleasure. We moved to a place that feeds my travel gene. We live in the middle of nature, surrounded by trees, close to the ocean. I don't have to try hard to imagine that I am in Australia or Canada. My backyard truly feels like a holiday destination.'
'I strive to make each collection better than the last. I strive to be original and inventive in each season. I like to become a brand with a credo, with clear principles and values. I also hope to grow bigger. I would like to sell Mim-pi in many more countries in the future.'
'I have two kids, a boy and a girl. Often people ask me if I will ever design a boy's line. And the answer is “probably not”. I tried it once, but it is not my thing. I learned that boys like 'plain' and 'subtle' and I seem incapable of that. I like to be loud and fun with lots of frills. A second question that people often ask me is what I would like my kids to be when they grow up. I want them to travel to off-the-beaten-track places, I want them to buy one of those retro Citroën vans and turn it into a food truck. I want them to explore the possibilities that life has to offer and figure out what their talent is. If I learned one thing, it's that my travels made me into a more open-minded person, but also more humble and less self-centered. I often remind myself: there is a big world out there.'
'It is important to take time out of my busy schedule as a juggling mom, designer and business woman to unwind and connect with who I am. This winter I am doing so by visiting my best friend in Australia. Just me and her, no kids, no husbands, no work.
I can't wait!'
For every season we make 2 wonderful movies!
HOLI — The festival of colors celebrated in India in the month of March. After the cold grey winter months this festival brings in the spring with all the bright colors. People throw colored powder in blue, pink, red, yellow and all the other colors of spring. There is festivity in the air and every street is filled with music and people dance on the streets. MIM-PI is inspired by the colors of HOLI.