Where Your Clothes Come From MATTERs
Anyone who has read up on sweatshop labor and the impacts of creating and dyeing fabric already knows that sourcing matters from both ethical and environmental standpoints. Once you’re ready to kick fast fashion to the curb, though, finding companies that align with your fashion ethics can be tough. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to our sponsors at MATTER.
Slow Fashion Matters
MATTER is a small clothing company that puts people and the planet first. Part of their mission is to “focus on making the best product possible, not the most.” They’re a stark contrast to the fast fashion model that dominates pop culture.
Instead of sourcing the cheapest materials and labor and focusing on fast turnaround, MATTER is committed to empowering workers and creating heirloom garments. That means that a pair of their pants is going to cost more than garments from Forever 21 or H&M. But it also means that you’ll have those pants for many, many years. Because they’re not designed to go out of style or simply fall apart after a few washes.
MATTER creates unisex clothing for adults and has a small kids line of clothes called the#mattermini collection. #Mattermini is especially cool, because those clothes are made from off-cut fabrics left over from pants production. This zero waste fashion technique keeps fabric out of the landfills.
A Little Cost Perspective
I know, I just said that their clothes cost more than department store clothes, but when you consider what goes into each of their garments, the cost is still very affordable. Let’s quickly look at the math.
Spending around $100 for a pair of pants might seem like a lot on its face. That’s about three pairs of cheap jeans from a department store. But what if those pricier garments lasted more than three times as long? Those $30 jeans are meant for one season, maybe two. MATTER’s garments are meant to last years.
Our out-of-pocket spending is also only one cost of a garment. There are hidden costs to clothing production that we pass on. Child labor along with water pollution from conventional fabric dye processes and dirty cotton farming are just a few of the hidden costs of cheap clothes. MATTER is committed to ethical sourcing and social responsibility, meaning that the environmental and human costs of their clothes are far lower than those $30 sweatshop jeans.
The company got its start when founders Ren and Yvonne were both working in Mexico a few years ago. They fell in love with the prints and colors and it inspired them to base their clothing line around the things they love about travel. Each of their garments tells the story of where it’s made. Their handmade garments’ fabrics and prints are more than just beautiful design. They represent the makers’ cultural heritage.
Instead of exploiting garment workers in sweatshops and sourcing the cheapest fabrics they can find, the folks at MATTER work directly with artisans to create their fabrics and their clothes. They collaborate with textile workers all over the world and offer education to potential workers in rural textile communities.
Rather than measuring their success in dollars, they base their impact on how many days their artisans work. They’re constantly re-evaluating their daily operations to see how they can create the best-quality clothes while doing right by their workers.
MATTER is proving that we can create affordable, beautiful clothes without exploiting the workers or our precious natural resources.
This article was sponsored by MATTER. All opinions are my own.
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