In the last few months I’ve found myself desiring to make some ideological changes to my wardrobe, moving toward a more ethical way of shopping and dressing. Those who have known me for a long time know that I used to be quite a hippie in my college years, and those ideas are still a part of me. It’s hard for me to turn a blind eye to the enormous problems in the clothing industry, from child labor and sweat shops to ecological issues to the global and individual problems caused by overconsumption. I’d like to expand on these ideas more in a post solely dedicated to this issue soon, but for now, lets talk about a fantastic retailer I found as part of this wardrobe sea-change.
Mata Traders is a Chicago-based fair trade retailer that produces gorgeous dresses, skirts, tops, accessories, and jewelry in India and Nepal. As soon as I perused their collection I fell in love with their block prints, screen prints, and embroidery. Their jewelry is handmade as well, and right up my alley. Have a look for yourself and you’ll see what I’m on about. The best part? As a fair trade retailer they don’t employ any child labor and they provide a stable income for everyone who works on their garments.
I particularly like the transparency in the entire production process that you find with fair trade retailers like Mata Traders. You can easily read about how they were founded, how their prints are made, the benefits they provide to their artisans, and who works on their team right on their website.
If you’re interested in shopping at Mata, many fair trade boutiques carry their garments and they also deliver–which is how I ordered this dress. It arrived quickly and the returns were no trouble. I ordered a few dresses and this was my favorite. I’m particularly in love with these earrings and will be turning to Mata for future jewelry purchases.
I’d love to hear what you think about this new focus and if it speaks to you in the comments!