BEHIND THE SCENES AT MATA TRADERS

Mata Traders behind the scenes 3

Since becoming curious about where my clothes have come from, one of my favourite things to do while travelling is to visit the headquarters of my favourite ethical brands, and discover new local ethical brands.

I’ve been meaning (for ages!) to share a little snapshot of one such visit, to the Mata Traders HQ in Chicago, from when I visited way back in October 2015.

My ethical fashion blogging friend Hannah and I were welcomed in by the team for a tour, which kicked off in the best way: with a Fair Trade cocktail-making challenge!

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After Hannah and I had created a couple of signature cocktails (one drinkable, one… not-so-much), we were shown around the warehouse by the lovely Jonit. Whilst we were wandering the aisles of stock – and checking out the new season stock – Jonit explained to us some of the story behind Mata.

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It turns out I’m not the only one that likes combining travel and ethical fashion! Mata developed from a trip to India that Jonit and her two best friends took in 2003. The friends fell in love with the colourful textiles of India, and with the people who make them and their stories.  On returning to the US, Maureen, Michelle and Jonit partnered to create Mata Traders to bring the quality handiwork of Indian artisans to American women while also providing a stable source of income for families in some of the world’s poorest communities. Based squarely on the principles of fair trade,  Mata Traders helps to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies and consumers to change the fashion industry.

Mata Traders behind the scenes 2Before my visit to Mata HQ, I had browsed Mata Trader’s website but had never pulled the trigger on a purchase because, being from Australia, returns to the US can be tricky. Thankfully, I had the chance to try on my favourite styles and I walked away with a beautiful wine coloured lace dress and a white and blue cotton sundress. Since returning to Australia, I’ve had so many comments on both.

A big thank you to Mata for having us, and for the American and Indian ladies behind the scenes at Mata who work to create a fashion brand that so beautifully combines fair trade principles, gorgeous textiles and friends!

Yours Fairly,

Ashlee

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