Published on November 16th, 2016 | by Julie Finn1
Buying Clothes that MATTER
Today on Crafting a Green World, we’re taking a look at MATTER, a socially-motivated business focusing on affordable luxury, thoughtful design, and provenance to create travel wear with stories to tell.
Operating on the core values of pioneering engineering change and sustainability, MATTER operates from the belief that educating customers on provenance and the process of products will lead to better consumer choices in general, something that is fundamental to sustainable consumption and production.
To maintain sustainable production practices, MATTER consciously and carefully plans their designs so that they utilize the entire textile to eliminate wastage. There is no off cut fabric in the MATTER production process, no selvedge that has to be either repurposed or discarded. Zero-waste pattern cutting means zero wasted fabric.
Although MATTER started as an all-pants brand in order to focus on a single category around a seasonless model, an excess of off cut fabrics at the time led to the realization that the company could further align its sustainable production model and business practices by using its left over fabrics to launch the #MATTERmini series of dresses & pants.
The #MATTERmini collection is made from 100% off cut fabrics from their pants and stitched in Singapore by social enterprise, the Mother&Child Project, and The Upcycling Factory. In particular, Mother&Child Project products are made in Singapore by mothers (mostly single moms with children), retirees, and women recovering from psychiatric illnesses. The work creates an opportunity for them to become economically self-sufficient.
MATTER’s business model also reduces waste by trimming the design process; instead of creating many possible designs, producing only some and throwing away the rest, MATTER doesn’t follow trend cycles. Instead, it focuses on key styles that work, producing them in small quantities and replenishing them only when they’re sold out.
It turns out that timeless pieces like tops, jumpsuits, rompers, bags, and scarves don’t have to simply follow the trends, especially not if they’re created sustainably, built to last, and thoughtfully designed to remain a perennial part of a wardrobe.