Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Designer Spotlight: Mata Traders


Mata Traders products are original designs handmade in India and Nepal by women’s cooperatives and artisan groups that practice fair trade principles. This means that their producers are paid a livable wage in safe and fair conditions, and do their work at home and in small workshops rather than factories. Services like on-site day-care, medical check-ups, and over-time pay are offered.


Every year thousands of children migrate to the megacities of India to find work and send money back to their families. Providing income to women at poverty level is a way to combat the problem of child labor at its roots. The change can be seen not only in the life of the woman employed by the co-op, but especially in the next generation, and the children the woman can afford to educate.


Their fabrics contain a history and preserve an art. Most are hand block printed with eco-friendly vegetable dyes, supporting an artisan based textile tradition existing in India for centuries.


They also use fair trade certified cottons, which means they support small family farms that are paid a fair price for their cotton and follow environmental standards that restrict the use of agrochemicals and encourage sustainability.


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