In Conversation with Mia Henderson

In Conversation with Mia Henderson

We sat down with Mia - circular enthusiast, collaborator and friend of the brand.

Joining forces with Mia on the namesake knit was a symbiotic relationship based on kin. Clarissa, the collection inspired by my late Nana and Mia’s deep-rooted connection with knitting emerged from her Granny. Skills passed down to Mia, now intricately woven into her present artistic practice. It seemed only natural to weave our creative practices together and collaborate on the knitwear.


Mia Knit

R. What initially inspired you to take up knitting? Was there a particular moment or person that sparked your interest?

M. I grew up with two creative grandmothers - one a dressmaker, the other a knitter. My dad grew up on a farm, which mainly produced lamb and wool. He and my uncle grew up with a freshly knitted winter set made from wool spun from what was shorn from their sheep; each receiving a beanie, set of socks, vest and sweater. After selling the family farm, my grandparents remained working in the wool industry. Wool is ingrained into our DNA. I grew up visiting Granny most school holidays sitting next to her making these winter sets for Dad every year. She’d be busy multi-tasking, not looking at her hands as they’d be whipping through making a pair of cabled socks using four needles. This sense of nostalgia and craft are a key reason why I like to make clothing, especially knitting. It connects me to my Granny and those school holidays - especially now that she is no longer here; It provides me a sense of connection to her.

R. How has knitting influenced your life and personal style? Can you share any specific examples of how it has shaped your wardrobe or design choices?

M. Learning to knit and spin yarn as a kid made me understand how precious each piece of clothing is. The hours of designing, crafting and caring for a garment - it truly is a labour of love. Knitting is a slow method, and looking at my wardrobe - my clothes reflect the same quality and care that I instil in the garments I make. I want my clothes to last as long as I do. 

 R. What is your philosophy or ethos when it comes to clothing and design? How does knitting align with your values and beliefs?

M. I am a huge advocate for designing for a future that holds less value in capitalist modes of operation and contributes towards a circular economy. I like to make items from wasted or natural materials, paired with a focus on designing for longevity both for wear and redesign. 

R. In your opinion, what role does handmade clothing play in today's fashion industry?

M. I think the widespread adoption of slow handmade methods like knitting, through the COVID pandemic has created a shift for consumers to understand the many hours involved in making a garment. Through this, I’m starting to see a bigger uptake in buying quality clothing, rejecting fast fashion and the impact it creates.

 R. What do you think knitting brings to your life that other hobbies or activities may not? How does it provide you with fulfilment and joy?

M. It connects me to my granny, the skills, tools and time she has shared with me over the years - especially now that she is gone. These are memories I hold dear; it makes me want to continue to refine my skills and teach my friends and Whānau too. It’s a communal practice that brings people together and that makes me happy - nothing else in my creative practice is as collaborative.

 Shop the Mia Knit here

Back to blog