When we first began, we knew that we wanted to celebrate people and provenance. That meant having products that were not only bold and filled with stories, but they also had to be unisex, and inclusive to fit multiple sizes. Two years into the journey, we realized that our dreams were bigger than our business and it was not operationally possible for us to continue to offer a multitude of sizes in all of the styles. Now that we’ve grown, we’re doing what we wanted to years ago – committing to a range that celebrates multiple sizes in our community. It took us a while to get here, but we added some of our signature prints and styles to our Petite and Size 3 range. To celebrate these new sizes, it seemed befitting to ask our #mattertribe to join the photoshoot and be a part of this feat.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A fun-loving optimist who likes to look at the bright side of things. Married to my wonderful husband Gabriel, I’m currently 9 months pregnant and about to enter one of my biggest adventure in life yet… motherhood!
What is the relationship you have with your clothes?
In the past, I didn’t think twice about what I wore and its implications until University, where I took a module on the Sociology of Fashion which explored the relationship between consumption and production of clothes, and its impact. It opened my eyes to the fact that so many individuals and elements come together in order to produce a single piece of clothing… and more often than not, in our world today, it comes at a huge cost to the environment and its people. Since then, I’ve tried to put in effort to be more conscious about what I put on, such as knowing each label’s philosophy before I make a purchase.
What does the way you dress say about who you are?
I think the way we dress can say more than are… it tells people what we believe in – it reveals something deeper: our beliefs and our values.
What item of clothing makes you feel most like yourself?
I’m someone who values function over form, since I am always on the go, you’ll often find me in activewear, or jeans and sneakers!
What does sustainability mean to you?
I believe there are two fronts to sustainability: production and consumption. Specifically, with regards to “fashion”, I think we need to change not only the way in which we produce our garments (both from the environmental and socio-economical perspective), but there needs to be more awareness about how we should consume them. A lack of knowledge on both fronts can have a irreversible impact on the environment, people and culture.
As a consumer, it can seem quite intimidating at first, to start on this “sustainability” journey, but we are all works in progress, and tiny steps are better than no steps at all! For example, for me, beyond focusing on what I wear, I try to reuse/recycle/remake most of my clothes, such as turning old t-shirts into cleaning rags (something my mama taught me!)
Buying less, buying better, choosing quality over quantity, to safeguard our earth for our children. I think more so that now I’m becoming a mother, I’m more cognizant about how the fate of our children depends, to a great extent, on the decisions that the current generation make today. I want my children to be able to have the chance to appreciate Earth in all its beauty.
What is one thing you stand for and believe in, and why?
“The best things in life aren’t things”- Art Buchwald. As a Christian, I am reminded that it is relationships, rather than material possessions, that give purpose to life. Knowing we can love, are loved, and have something to hope for, that is a life worth living.
How would you like to be remembered?
Someone who lived simply, but loved fiercely.
We are proud to have Qian Ling as a Fieldtester, a group of inspiring individuals that test MATTER products in their everyday journeys of passion, to help us improve durability and design. Qian Ling is 166cm and at 8.5 months pregnant she usually wears US 6-8, for MATTER items she’s a size 1 for pants and wears a size 2 for the Classic Jumpsuit. She is wearing our matching set of The Boxy Crop and Lounge Lunghi + Vahi Reblu in Size 1, and Classic Jumpsuit + Avani in Size 2.