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.
Aligned with our commitment to sustainable production practices, we work with a minimal waste design approach. Here’s a little more about what that really means:
Every production factory uses a Marker, a guide in the cutting process to arrange the patterns. It is made digitally on a computer, printed out with a plotter, then laid on top of the fabric to cut out the pieces. Say a garment has 4 panels, the pattern will be laid out on the computer, then rearranged until the amount of fabric leftover is minimized.
Going against models traditionally used in fast fashion, we produce seasonless styles and seasonal fabrics in small quantities. The core of what we do, beyond profit and product, is driven by purpose – to consider how we can impact change beyond textiles. Imagine if everyone in the fashion industry designed their apparels knowing what they create and the philosophies they stand behind holds a direct impact to the environment. We’ve heard the saying every purchase you make is a vote for the kind of world you want, perhaps the same should be said for the products we design. To explain a little more, we asked two designers we’re currently working with, Lionel and Gui Ying, to share about the intention and values behind their design process.
Lionel is working with us to create more unisex pieces to our range, beginning with a style inspired by the traditional hakama pants. Whereas Gui Ying, who has a heart for zero-waste pattern making, is our collaborative designer on an upcoming work jumpsuit.
“Designing with Matter has created an impact in the way I draft, in the way I drape and in the way I use fabric. Ever since I started this journey, as much as possible I would reduce the wastage to a minimum and would try to change my design to suit, to be in a good flow on how I could save fabrics and be more responsible to the environment.”
“Being on this journey with Matter really changed how I think about the design process, from designing a fit to how it should be of zero waste. From how the patterns should meet up together to be a full fabric piece and how to save the fabric and construction of a fit.”
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.