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New Earth Colours Cotton Collection

Posted on June 14, 2018 by Janine Young

 

Looking for garments with a touch of nature this spring and summer?

 

We’ve recently added a new Earth Colours line to our cotton collection. You’ll now find favourites like the Caterpillar shorts, Leaf cardigan, Papillon romper, and Wisteria dress in these stunning new colours. The Earth Colours line includes Blue Grey, Dark Grey, Green, Cream and Rust.

 

You’ll find the Earth Colours lend an extra richness and depth to our cotton. They remind us of deep ocean, thunderclouds, moss, river stones and fallen leaves. These gorgeous tones will bring out the natural beauty in your little one’s complexion. 

 

As always, our dyes are certified eco-friendly and our cotton is 100% GOTS certified organic, so you can feel great about your purchase.

 

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Alpaca Knitwear: for Rest and to Cherish

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Janine Young

 

At Miou, we love to hear about how our garments enhance the well-being of our customers and their families.

One of the things we hear from parents is how comforting our alpaca line is for little ones in times of rest. Garments like the seashell bunting bag, long booties, and alpaca blankets are designed with sleep in mind. The soft, draping quality of alpaca can be a reassuring comfort for babies and children. Some parents even notice their little ones rest longer and deeper in our knitwear! 

In the right climate, wool can be an ideal material for sleepwear. Unlike synthetic materials, wool helps regulate body temperature, it whisks moisture from the skin, and it’s breathable. Because we use baby alpaca, our garments are also considered hypoallergenic for those with sensitivities. Our dedication to producing eco-friendly, handmade garments means you can feel confident that the material against your child’s skin is safe. 

At Miou, we know that sometimes special articles integrate themselves into the rhythm of our days: an alpaca blanket becomes a cherished item of comfort, or a bunting bag begins as a newborn’s sleeper and evolves into a toddler’s sweater. Because of the outstanding quality of our knitwear, its durability allows it to withstand the ongoing connection and love of our little ones.

Does your child cherish a Miou product? Tell us about it! We’d love to hear from you.

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Women's Knits for Winter!

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Rebecca Hendry

Miou isn't just for kids anymore! We have been adding new items to our hand-knitted alpaca women’s line, and we can’t wait for you to come check out our collection of unique yet classic styles. We have everything you need to keep you warm while looking your beautiful best this season.

Keep the chill away with one of our cozy capes or cardigans or head out for a night on the town wearing one of our stunning new stretchy lace-patterned dresses. Our selection of accessories has grown too, and we have fresh styles and colours for our silky soft scarves, fingerless gloves and hats to mix and match with any outfit.

All our women's clothing has been hand-knitted in Peru by our team of exceptionally skilled knitters and dyed with plants using ancient techniques, and we pay all our knitters a fair wage for their work.

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The timeless art of Peruvian plant-dyeing

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Rebecca Hendry

Hand-dyed wool hanging to dry.

 

The art of plant-based dyeing in Peru was almost completely lost with the invention of synthetic dyes, but thankfully there has been a resurgence of interest in this Indigenous tradition. Now, at the hands of some skilled artisans, this ancient technique is making a comeback.
 
At Miou, we are very excited with our switch to small-batch, plant-based dyes, and feel it fits perfectly with our mission to create eco-friendly, hand-made clothing. 
 
On a recent trip to Peru, Miou founder Christine Dubin had the opportunity to observe the process while Mario, a local weaver and expert in plant-based dyes, created some of the vivid colours for Miou’s alpaca clothing line.

 

 

The process of plant-dyeing involves boiling down the chosen leaves or bark and mixing it with a fixative, such as salt, copper or iron. Here some of the common colours we use at Miou and how they are produced:
 
Green
To make a wide range of green shades, the leaves of the chilca plant, a shrub that grows in the streams of the Sierra, are added to a pot, mixed with minerals and boiled for an hour before the yarn is added.

 

Blue
For our blue and grey shades, Mario uses tara, a tree or shrub that produces bean-like pods, combined with blue collpa, a form of copper sulphate found in the jungle. The yarn is boiled with the tara pods and the collpa is added later as a fixative.

 

Red
Red, which is historically one of the most important colours of the Andes, is actually not created by a plant at all, but by the cochinilla, an insect found on the prickly pear cactus, which is common to the Sacred Valley. The insects are dried in the sun, ground to a powder and then added to water and boiled with a fixative. Cochinilla creates anything from brilliant reds to soft pinks and purples.

 

A Peruvian pepper tree called molle is used to create rich yellows. This tree can grow up to five metres high, and the leaves and bark are used for dying. The ashes of the tree can be used to wash and fix the dye as well.

Miou's light and dark brown shades are created from nogal seeds and leaves. This endangered tree, similar to a North America black walnut tree, is found in Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. The unripe husks produce a yellow colour, the ripe fruit produces a reddish-brown colour and, when boiled, nogal creates a deep black hue.  

We are so grateful to have the opportunity to use these precious and ancient techniques in our clothing, and we are grateful to Mario for his skill, knowledge and passion!

 

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Miou's New Women's Knitted Collection

Posted on January 31, 2017 by Rebecca Hendry

 

The wait is over! Miou’s line for women has arrived.
 
Wrap yourself in the timeless beauty and elegance of Miou's new knitwear collection for women. Fair-trade and eco-friendly, this line features the same exceptional quality of hand-knitted, luxurious alpaca wool and classic European style as our popular children’s clothing.

Browse our selection of cozy and versatile knits, sweaters, elegant and cozy capes and accessories like velvety soft hats, gloves, scarves and leg warmers that will add a feminine flair to any outfit.

Miou's clothing with a conscience: made by hand, with love, just for you.
 

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A New Home for Lola!

Posted on January 16, 2017 by Rebecca Hendry

Last year, Mioukids launched a new initiative to help our valued knitters overcome some day-to-day challenges. Our knitters live in a poor region of Peru, and while their wages allow them to support their families, some of them face other issues as well. We decided partial proceeds from a particular knitter’s work would go toward overcoming those challenges, and we started with Lola (see more about Lola's story here).

Lola is a single mother who had been living in a makeshift home with two of her three daughters, Flores and Milagros. Her eldest daughter is away at school. Part of the house was only protected from the elements by a tarp, so the wind and rain could easily get through and make living conditions far from optimal for the three of them.

 

With help from the Miou initiative, and your purchases of the items Lola knits for us, this lovely family now has a safe and structurally sound new home!

Here is the house under construction...with a tiny helper:)

 

The finished home!

 

We are so thrilled for Lola, and so are her fellow knitters, who came by for a housewarming get-together:

 

Congratulations, Lola, Flores and Milagros! May you have many happy years there together.

Thank you, dear customers, for your continued support, and for helping improve the lives of our knitters with every purchase from Miou.

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New Alpaca Knits Designs for Fall

Posted on November 03, 2016 by Rebecca Hendry

Bundle your child in the warmth of lovingly handmade, one-of-a-kind clothing with a conscience from Miou this fall! The leaves are changing, Halloween treats are in the stores and there's a chill in the air; it's time to put away the summer dresses and sandals until next year. But the silver lining is that it's the perfect weather for Miou's deliciously soft, fresh new hand-knitted fall line for children.

From our unique take on overalls a staple wardrobe item for babies and toddlers that never goes out of style, to fun yet practical rompers that are perfect for playtime, to an exciting new collection for newborn featuring classic neutral colours, we have your kids covered this season!

Always fair-trade, always eco-friendly: when you buy from Miou, you are supporting a better life for our knitters in Peru and a better planet for the generations to come.

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How Giving Kids More Freedom Can Boost Their Confidence!

Posted on June 20, 2016 by Rebecca Hendry

 

As a parent, you might think it’s not possible to "over" parent. When our precious, miraculous first child is born we often feel like it is our duty and privilege to do everything in our power to make that child happy and healthy.

 

Fast forward a few years and some of us are running around in a frenzy, driving kids to countless playdates and ballet lessons and sporting events-- and maybe even driving them to the schoolbus stop instead of letting them walk the two blocks. It likely wouldn't occur to us that we were doing too much for them; in fact, many parents feel they aren’t ever doing enough.

 

We want to keep our kids close, because we love them and we’re afraid of anything bad happening to them. It’s only natural. Signing them up in countless after-school activities and planned playdates might keep them "safe," but giving them lots of time to roam and explore outdoors and have unstructured playtime can do wonders for building self-esteem and helping them learn to be independent. 

 

The older generation often laments “the good only days” when kids as young as seven or eight roamed free in their neighbourhoods, going out to play in the morning and not coming back until dark. They climbed trees, built rafts and floated on the river, skated on frozen ponds, rode their bikes down hills at breakneck speeds. Some of these activities would give a modern-day parent cause for concern. Yet somehow, miraculously, the vast majority of these wild and free children survived. There were accidents, of course, as there are today as well. But not so many to validate our fear of our kids “free ranging” away from the house.

 

Today’s parents are also afraid of crime, worrying their child might be kidnapped or hurt by strangers, but actually we can rest easy, because statistics say the danger of these types of crimes is lower than it used to be. For example, according to Statistics Canada, violent crime in Canada in 2013 was lower than it had been in 1969.

 

It’s true that very young children, like infants and toddlers, of course need our constant care and supervision. They don’t have the ability to make rational decisions or protect themselves from danger, because their brains haven’t developed yet. They are at our mercy and depend on us to make all their decisions for them.

 

But for older children, there is strong evidence to suggest that giving them some freedom, rather than  “helicopter parenting” (hovering too close), could really benefit them in the long run.  

 

So what’s the answer? If you are an anxious parent, you won't feel comfortable letting your nine-year-old go off to play outside for six hours alone. In all likelihood, your child might be fine, but you might be a nervous wreck. Baby steps might be the way to go. Perhaps you could let your daughter ride her bike all the way around the block instead or just to the end of the street.

 

By allowing your children to explore and learn on their own in these gentle ways, slowly but surely you will gain confidence in their ability to survive in the world without you. In turn, you will be giving your kids the gift of learning from their mistakes and feeling the joy that comes from making good decisions.  

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New Spring Organic Cotton Knits!

Posted on May 18, 2016 by Rebecca Hendry

It's springtime once again, and we're surrounded by beauty. Flowers sweetly blooming, new leaves on trees and longer, brighter days mean it's time for picnics in the garden, strolls along the beach and playtime in the park. Whatever your activity, Miou has everything you need for your child’s warm-weather wardrobe. Our new line features delicate and lightweight hand-knitted 100% GOTS certified cotton bunting bags, beautiful vintage lacy bonnets, classically stylish lacy dresses and long booties.

From gorgeous and feminine to practical and comfortable, Miou has your child covered!

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Introducing a very special new initiative from Miou

Posted on March 08, 2016 by Christine Dubin

Lola’s Story

 

 

When Christine Dubin first dreamed up the concept of designing and selling hand-knit clothing for children, she knew she wanted to fulfill her passion for clothing design while somehow benefiting the larger world. Employing women who were struggling to make ends meet in an impoverished part of the world seemed like a natural fit.

 

When she discovered the incredible talents of the Peruvian women who would become Miou’s knitters, she knew she had found the connection and collaboration she was looking for.

 

Christine believes part of the responsibility that comes with operating a fair-trade business is making sure, firsthand, that her employees are being treated well and are receiving the benefits of working with her company. During her trips to Peru, Christine has had the opportunity to meet her knitters in person and see the supportive community they have created for each other.

 

But lately Christine has been trying to find a way to broaden Miou’s involvement in these women’s lives. She knows that many of Miou’s knitters are single mothers who have been abandoned by their husbands (a common occurrence in that part of the country) and left alone to raise their children in poverty. Working for Miou helps them feed, clothe and educate their children, but sometimes they are facing extra challenges like poor housing and expensive dental work.

 

On Christine’s most recent trip to Peru she stayed several weeks, bringing two of her five children along for the journey. She was invited into the knitter’s homes and told stories about their lives and their families. She was struck and saddened by some of the hardships they were enduring, and she came up with a new plan.

 

Miou will now be featuring individual knitters on www.mioukids.com and telling their stories.  For a period of time, 100% of profits from the clothing that particular knitter creates will be used to help the knitter and her family accomplish a goal she would otherwise not be able to accomplish.

 

With that, let us introduce you to Lola, the first of the Miou knitters to receive the benefits of this exciting new program.

 

 

 

 

LOLA QUISPE is a 38 year old woman who was born in the district of Plateria – Puno in Peru. She now lives near Arequipa, where she is raising her daughters alone. 

 

When Christine visited  Lola in her small wooden hut she was immediately taken by her grace and hospitality. Lola didn’t have much to offer, but she fed Christine and her children and gave them tea.  The one-room shack has flimsy walls protected with a tarp, and a dirt floor that creates dust everywhere. She lives with her two younger daughters, Milagros and Flores, while her eldest daughter is away trying to raise money to study.  Lola’s biggest dream is to have a proper house with more space and protection from the elements.

 

 

Lola told Christine she learned how to knit when she was twenty years old and hopes to teach her daughters so they can make a living one day as well. She loves getting together with the other Miou knitters to talk and laugh; she says it helps her forget her problems.

 

It was clear to Christine right away that Lola needs a better home so her children can have a safe and clean place to live. There are inexpensive (by North American standards) options for housing in her region, so Miou’s new initiative has a very real chance of making a significant difference in Lola’s life.

 

Now, more than ever, when you buy clothing from Miou, you are contributing to helping women like Lola  rise above the challenges life has thrown at her. Thank you for your continued support.

 

 

 

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