Journal, Making

The Beauty Of Offcuts

The purpose behind MATTER was never to be a fashion brand, and so we never subscribed to its trends and seasonality of launches. Our focus was on textiles and craft and so we work our model around artisan production, building a business that takes into account this inherent slowness, with season-less styles and seasonal fabrics. The change we want to impact can be broken down into three points of focus: artisans, designers, and customers.

Change beyond textiles is our mission and commitment to make rural artisan production sustainable, shift designers’ approach to their process, and inspire customers to value provenance. This is bigger than what we want to do with MATTER, it extends to a conversation that we want to continue; on the value of cultural heritage in textiles, the importance of people and process, the understanding of clothing production chain and larger environmental and social effects. To get the ball rolling, we asked our community to join in and lead our conversation to #ChangeBeyondTextiles.

In collaboration with Agy: Textile Artist, we hosted an offcut sewing workshop at Trehaus. Using a method that reduces textile waste in the design to pattern cutting process, our production partners collect the leftover fabrics from every order. Offcut fabrics are then repurposed to create our #mattermini line lovingly stitched in Singapore by social enterprise Mother&Child project, a limited range of necklaces crafted by sustainable jewellery atelier Amado Gudek, and jute bags hand-stitched by the sewing unit of Khushiram, our fifth generation blockprinting artisan in Jaipur. We’ve also used them in our collaboration with Books Actually to create limited edition book wraps.

The idea, beyond minimizing waste, is to give new life to typically rejected fabrics and use them as a basis of collaboration with likeminded brands and designers who want to spread the importance of reducing waste. To explain a little more, we asked Agy to share about the intention and values behind this collaboration.

“Upcycling and repair for me is actually a way of continuing the narrative of the clothing. I’ve come to realize that the stories of our clothes start much earlier, even earlier than when the clothing actually reaches the store. And so by taking good care of our clothes, making them last longer, giving them a new lease of life, we’re actually respecting the people who make our clothes. Be it the farmer on the cotton field, the block printer, or even the weaver, and once we start respecting those people we are actually continuing their stories of making the clothes into our story and merging them together.”

Listen in on the conversation to #ChangeBeyondTextiles and see what the rest of our community has to say about the journey. Read more on our journal here