OUR INTERVIEW W/ THE LADIES OF MIMA-TE
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1) What was it like growing up in Mozambique?
We grew up next to the beach in Inhambane province. It is a beautiful place, locally known as the “ land of the good people“. But of course is a country with a lot of challenges, particularly poverty.
2) Can you describe the markets in Maputo?
The markets in Maputo are like most informal African markets: dusty, loud, full of people. But for us is a very special place because is where we get our clothes from which we redesign.
3) What made you decide to start reconstructing clothes and ultimately sell them?
We started reconstructing clothes since we were kids. A second hand market is where most Mozambicans buy their clothes.
We received much praise from the clothes we were wearing from the markets, people wanted to wear them too. In 2012 , we decided to create our brand Mima-te .
4) Having to work with to work with two people on one project, we’ve realized that we both contribute our special magic in order to make our blog… The Awkward Sauce. What are the aspects of each other that make your brand what it is? What magic do each of you bring to the table?
We have different ideas sometimes. But our differences complement our work positively .
5) As lovers of re-used clothing, we still get tempted to patronize mainstream companies like H&M, what are some ways that you keep your eyes focused on your cause? How do you keep from wandering into the darkness that is H&M?
With mimate our intention is to up cycle and renew textile, bringing those forgotten clothes back to life and turn them into fashionable, modern clothing.
Upcycling these clothes therefore becomes an innovative way of creating a new image of Mozambican clothing and at the same time serves to harness environmental awareness, both in Mozambique and in the origin countries of these clothes.
6) Since we are the Awkward Sauce, we must throw in something a little…awkward. What’s y’all astrological signs?
7) What are the popular fashions and styles in Mozambique?
Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony, we have a lot of influence from fashion from Portugal and Brazil. Mozambicans also love to wear clothes made out of traditional textile “capulanas“.
8) We, Lissa and Lia have very different styles. Whereas Lia would wear heels on occasion, Lissa avoids them like a plague. Haha Are there any differences in your styles?
We wear pretty similar styles. Although Nelly would always finish an outfit with a red lipstick.
9) Last, but never least. What is the utmost, pinnacle, almighty, hail zeus point within your business that you would like to reach? International recognition? Opening a shop? Etc.
Be an inspiration to young people. With the “do it yourself “ motto. We want young people to look at Mima-te business model and believe they can make it themselves. Transform news things out of what was discarded before and be good to the environment. If this aim comes with international recognition would be great.
10) What is your opinion on Western fashion?
We are inspired by some western fashion brand. Nevertheless, the fast fashion industry is worrying. I it is important for the consumers to be more conscious and aware of where and how the clothes were made.
11) What can we expect from Mima-te in the future
We will keep working hard. Bring Mima-te ideas out there with our new creations.
Thank you so much Mima-te for being our awkward interviewees! And please check them out and support these awesome women on their endeavors.
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