Maureen Dunn founded Mata Traders after travelling around India with her two best friends, Jonit and Michelle, who eventually became her business partners.
After making yearly buying trios to India and understanding the complexity of poverty, Maureen realised her buying power could make a difference. She began seeking out producer groups that pay their workers fairly and practice the principles of fair trade.
The result is a design-driven, fair trade brand helping to end global poverty and inspire businesses and consumers to change the fashion industry.
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.
All of the artisans earn a fair wage that exceeds the local minimum wage. On top of this, the cooperative are similar to social service agencies in the support they provide to end the cycle of poverty for members and their families. Health care, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions and daycare are all part of the package.
In India, child labour is rampant in costume jewellery production. Every year thousands of children migrate to the megacities to find work and send money back to their families. By partnering with fair trade organisations, Mata Traders ensures there is no child labour used in the production of their jewellery.
Providing a stable income to women experiencing poverty combats the problem of child labour at its roots. Their children are able to go to school, access health services and have the opportunity to thrive. You can find our Mata Traders collection here.
All images courtesy of Mata Traders