Why We Knit For Life

Photography: Tarynn Walker Photography

By Alexis Brajtman Aruch

For many of us women, becoming a mother is the defining moment in our lives. Motherhood puts the whole world and all that came before sharply into perspective. It is love in its purest, most selfless and unconditional form that inspires in us a loyalty and determination primal in its force and power. Mothering changes us, challenges us physically and emotionally. Our bodies change. Our schedules change. We change. Everything changes because that love we feel for our child, that love that reaches to the depths of our very soul, now guides everything we do and every decision we make. That power of motherlove is a bond that unites women and binds us across race, colour, religion and nationality. Motherlove, determination, a belief in the power of good and the generosity of humankind are just some of the forces that drive the work we do at Knit For Life, and the ethos from which Knit For Life was borne. We Knit For Life because we are mothers and because our knitters are mothers, mothers who like us, wish only for health, happiness and a brighter future for their children.

Knit For Life is a project of empowerment, a small Australian registered charity created from a desire to provide a community of women like you and me with the dignity of sustainable, paid work and the opportunity to support their children with pride, using their talents and skills. Whilst all mothers and children deserve the opportunities that we in the Western world are privy to, you’ll agree that our world can be a callous and unfair one. Our knitters in rural Zimbabwe face challenges we will never know in their efforts to feed, clothe, educate their children, find them water – any water to drink, to bathe. But kindness is magic as the saying goes, and it is our belief that when women unite, we can inspire and create change, despite the obstacles that are inevitably placed in our path.

Knit For Life is a project of empowerment, a small Australian registered charity created from a desire to provide a community of women like you and me with the dignity of sustainable, paid work and the opportunity to support their children with pride, using their talents and skills.

Photography: Tarynn Walker Photography

Knit For Life‘s range of naturally grown cotton knitwear for babies and children, our toys and accessories, are designed by our team of volunteers in Australia to suit the Australian, New Zealand, European and wider international market aesthetic. We take pride in offering a product range that is classic, practical, bespoke design, quality and long lasting. Our range is designed for minimal fuss, versatility and simplicity, a call back to the days where children played outside, communed with nature, carefree, joyful and playful, appealing to a conscious consumer who values natural fibres and cares about the source of their purchases. Each time we receive a new shipment from our knitters in Zimbabwe, we marvel at the quality, the skill of their work, the attention to detail and their pride in what they create. One of our favourite things to do as we unpack is to touch and smell the products. We love the texture, the softness of the yarn, the detail in the knitting. Our products invoke a smell and spirit of nature, of the African bush, of soft sunlight and the hint of a wood fire. They are beautiful.

Zimbabweans suffer from a chronic lack of sustainable and viable employment opportunities and their country remains one of Africa’s poorest nations. Our knitters rely on their knitting income to pay for their children’s schooling and to access the minimal health care and medicines available.

It is widely recognised that when women are lifted from poverty, the whole community benefits. Zimbabweans suffer from a chronic lack of sustainable and viable employment opportunities and their country remains one of Africa’s poorest nations. Our knitters rely on their knitting income to pay for their children’s schooling and to access the minimal health care and medicines available. Many in the Knit For Life community are HIV positive, some have disabilities. Many of our knitters have taken on caring for elderly parents, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and other children in the community. Currently, depending on the level of orders and sales, we are able to provide an income stream for up to 100 knitters, but our dream is to do so much more. Our Zimbabwean Manager, Stella Nyathi tells us she has over 200 women waiting to knit with us. If we grow, we can create so many more opportunities.

So, this is where you, mothers with big hearts and creative souls become woven into our Knit For Life tapestry. This is a big, loud, heartfelt call out to join our Knit For Life family, to help us, help them, together.

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