From a visit to the studio of our local machinist

From a visit to the studio of our local machinist

by Emma Moore

The sewing machine and organized mess involved in sewing swimsuits for a job 
Long gone are the days of clothing tags often seen with the words “Made in New Zealand.” What once was a self-sustaining country equipped with everything needed to manufacture swimsuits, lingerie, and other clothing items, has mostly given way to globalization and mass-production. With manufacturing moving mainly overseas, many skilled Kiwi artisans turned to other lines of work, leaving a small few passionate makers who held onto their craft. 

From a visit to one of Fondu's local machinists

Celebrating this kind of old-found creativity lies at the heart of Fondu, with sustainability and ethics at the forefront of all we produce. We are proudly committed to building relationships and working closely with New Zealand based makers to manufacture parts of our collection. 

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of visiting our local machinist at her home studio in the rural West Coast of New Zealand's North Island. With over 30 years of experience working within the NZ swimsuit industry, she now lives a slow and peaceful life on an idyllic farm overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

The rural farm overlooking the Pacific Ocean where Fondu swimsuits are made
We were delighted to be taken on a tour of her farm and to meet her horses and her dog, Buddy. 

Buddy the dog 
When she’s not out riding horses, caring for her animals, or looking after her elderly neighbours, you'll find her in her sewing shed, crafting swimsuits and lingerie for high-profile brands and designers. 

The humble sewing shed where our swimsuits are made

Portraits of Marilyn Monroe, leather cowgirl boots and suede fringe jackets adorn her creative space, an organized mess. A woman after our own heart for nostalgia, she joyfully showed us her beloved vintage red Chevrolet truck and her collection of colourful vintage clothing amongst conversations about life and interests. 

Our local machinist in her NZ sewing studio overlooked the ocean 
When our visit was over, we hugged and she sent me on my way with a home grown pumpkin and some homemade treats in hand. Every visit with our makers is a special encounter and celebration of the individuals who practice the art of creating sustainably  and locally.

Sustainable swimwear thread and sewing materials
A sewing machine used by our local machinist to create our swimwear 
We are proud to support these amazing local artisans within our community of Aotearoa, and to build interpersonal relationships with the people whose hands and hearts collectively make Fondu. 

Words by Emma Moore