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Live With Meaning: A Love Letter from the Wilds

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A lot of people ask why we’re called MATTER, and I answer simply that it’s about going back to the basics that connect us.

Matter is the stuff that pulls us together, and that was the vision we had right at the beginning when Yvonne and I dreamed this up in Mexico. We wanted to build a business inspired by the type of travel we loved: Story driven, community based, built on direct relationships and a commitment to respecting provenance.

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Fast forward 5 years, some sourcing trips and other ventures later, and we’ve finally started this baby. It’s been 5 months now and I am still continually amazed at how easy it is to forget the big picture when you are inundated in production madness, and how hard it is to remember that feeling of magic, of peace, when you know you’re in the right place.

Today I had one of those moments, when I received a letter from someone who reminded me why we do this. Why we believe in creating a brand and community based on appreciation for the universal craft of fabric and motif, based on individualism, and yet, diversity. Reminding me that our love is for connection - for past and present, maker and consumer, artisan and wanderer.

Thank you for this:

“…I thought I might share where my pair of widelegs in bhalka have travelled in the short month that I’ve had them. I hope it will be an encouragement to you at Matter that to some of us, they are more than just a pair of pants. 

I’ve spent the past few weeks preparing for and serving at the 42nd International Forestry Students Symposium which brought together 100+ forestry students from 33 countries. I had packed two days’ worth of clothes and decided at the last minute to tour with the symposium for the entire two weeks through the wilds of British Columbia. Living off a tiny day-backpack was made so much more comfortable and meaningful with my bhalka’s (and I’m not saying this to flatter). Every time I received a compliment, I had the joy of sharing where they were from and what they were made of. They were perfect for the weather, versatile with everything else I had packed and easily washed and dried to survive the entire journey clean. 

At Cowichan Lake, they witnessed the dances of the First Nations people whose lands we were on. At Cathedral Grove, they climbed on ancient giant cedars that have stood for hundreds of years. Along the Vancouver city coastline, they soaked in the golden sunshine and sounds of the Pacific. At Wells Grey, they stood in awe of Helmcken Falls, carving its way through lava rocks. They kept me warm as I rang in my 23rd year watching the sun set over the Cariboo mountains. The pockets held gifts from my new friends from Ukraine, Switzerland, Austria and Guy (from the Beaver clan at John Prince Research Forest). They sat in our general assembly where I joined a team of individuals from all around the world as executive members. Beyond practicality and aesthetics, I love that my bhalka has come from meaning and that they will continue to live with meaning.”

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Last 2 images are credited to our customer who sent them in together with this letter.

Post Author: Ren