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Designer Spotlight: Mata Traders

October 25, 2016

Designer Spotlight: Mata Traders

'Mata' means 'mother' in Hindi, and co-founders Maureen, Michelle and Jonit have made sure female empowerment is at the centre of their fair trade fashion and jewellery brand.

Mata Traders partners with several fair trade organisations in India and Nepal that train and employ hundreds of artisans in marginalised communities, with a focus on gender equity and empowering women.  The women earn a fair living wage (above the local minimum wage), and can access a range of benefits and services provided by the cooperative.

Benefits include health care, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions, daycare, literacy classes, computer training, and regular workshops on topics like hygiene, nutrition and parenting.

Beyond this, women gain leadership skills and have rare access to social mobility.  They can be promoted to head of their sewing group or other positions like trainer, quality checker, materials buyer or assistant production manager.

This newfound confidence and voice carries over in their own communities.  Choti, the head of her embroidery group, organised a protest with over 200 women to demand water for her village during a long drought - and it worked.

You can find our Mata Traders collection here, and we've included a few of our favourite pieces below.

This article originally appeared in The Dispatch, our free e-magazine featuring the latest in ethical style, design and travel.  
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