The first maker we're excited to introduce you to is Janine, our Sampling Manager. Janine has over 35 years in the knitwear industry, so knows her way around a jumper!
We asked her a few questions about her time in the industry.
How long have you called New Zealand home?
I’ve grown up in New Zealand. I live in Central Auckland with my husband and our two boys.
What made you want to get into the industry and how did you start?
I’ve always been creative and have grown up in a family of artistic people. My mother taught me to knit when I was 5 years old, and I was given my first sewing machine on my 8th birthday. My Grandma and I always made things together. She was a very talented seamstress. In fact, she took me to my first job interview at Earlybird Knitwear! and this is where I learnt my trade. I started as a junior machinist, then soon after, moved into cutting and pattern making. Being young and eager to learn, certainly opened a lot of doors and I continued to gain experience in all the unique aspects of knitwear manufacturing, from garment construction to design.
How do you think the New Zealand fashion industry has changed over the years?
Gosh, I could write a book on that! In the 1980’s there were lots of wonderfully talented NZ designers and plenty of fabulous boutiques, all with their own individual style. New Zealand was certainly influenced by overseas trends, but we also had our own Kiwi take on fashion. If you bought a garment in NZ, it was most likely made in NZ. If you bought a woollen jumper, the yarn would have been grown and spun in New Zealand. The biggest change came to manufacturing when import tariffs were lifted and cheap clothes began to pour into NZ. Many companies just couldn’t compete and had to close. However, there are still a number of manufacturers who have found their niche in today’s market, and Standard Issue is one of them!