CHANGE BEYOND TEXTILES

We love products with story and soul. Every textile craft holds the heritage of its traditions and we believe that the reinterpretation from print to product is a continuation of that existing narrative. Our purpose is to impact change beyond textiles — to make rural artisan production sustainable, shift designers’ approach to their process, and inspire customers to value provenance.

The approach to make rural artisan production sustainable is twofold: to champion alternative production models for textile artisans to expand their economic opportunities, and enable the textile craft to continue on as a viable industry. The hope is to connect artisans with designers and customers to make their work accessible to the larger market. With that, we’ve committed to a model of urban-rural production – taking careful consideration of the variables that affect artisan processes like the serendipities of weather, celebratory customs, and harvest cycles. Together with designers, we seek to inspire intention in their process – the notion that every print holds a story, and every craft is a piece of cultural heritage.

Our mission, beyond our collaborative efforts with artisans and designers, is to inspire customers to value the importance of provenance. To ask where and why something is made, and by whom, and to expand a community that celebrates heritage.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SLOW

Slow Style – Seasonless Classics

By default, given the principles and seasonality of our artisan production, we cannot partake in the world of fast fashion. We work our model around that, building a business that takes into account this inherent slowness, with seasonless styles and seasonal fabrics, adhering to timeless principles of style rather than runway trends. Styles are tested by time, and are phased out or brought back accordingly.

Slow Production – Quality over Quantity

We knew that we would never be a fashion label, nor had the desire to be, and so we focus on making the best product possible, not the most. We make small changes to each style in our stable of core products based on continual customer feedback – a top stitch here, a revision of an inch there, because we know we can always be better. Pants Parties and continual feedback from our Fieldtesters and passionate customers keep our ear on the ground for how to improve; we know we’ve got miles to go until we sleep.

Slow Design – Intentionality in Process

The design to product cycle is 6 months in each of our products. The longer design process comes from our inherent design principle of provenance – all prints hail from an existing heritage motif tied to a place and time, with a cultural story of its own. Our work is to retell and translate that story in a way that resonates still with a modern audience. Working collaboratively with artisans where the final print is a result from their feedback and design input also extends the sampling process. Incorporating natural time cycles of printing and weaving of the artisans means having a longer buffer period to take into account serendipities of weather, festivities, and harvest cycles.

THE DREAM: CONNECTING COMMUNITIES

We truly believe that for rural craft to thrive, we need to build a network that creates access to the market, providing products that, through good design, stand on their own two feet. Working with a hybrid supply chain model, our artisan members develop heritage-based fabrics that form the raw material for our products; the garments are produced by a fair factory that holds fast to international compliance standards. Our bigger dream is to mainstream textile artisanship, connecting artisans and designers to become a collective that showcases the results of those collaborations.

 

MAKE YOUR IMPACT MATTER

We see ourselves as a socially motivated brand, because we are motivated beyond profit which has traditionally been the singular unit of measurement of a business’ success. Driven by purpose and provenance, we want MATTER to be a catalyst for change, to be the foremost artisan-based brand pioneering industry change and sustainability of rural craft livelihood in Asia.

Currently, our focus is on producing seasonless styles, championing sustainable production practices, and preserving artisan crafts. Our business model goes against the models traditionally used in fast fashion as we don’t follow trend cycles or colour trends. Key styles that work stay and we produce them in small quantities, only replenishing them when needed – this model in itself limits waste. Aligned with our commitment to sustainable production practices, our garments are created with natural materials and azo free dyes. Working with a zero waste design approach, our method eliminates textile waste in the pattern cutting process. Offcut fabrics are then repurposed to create our #mattermini line and jute bags. We’ve also launched an organic cotton edition and are hoping to add more to the existing range in the near future.