Upholding similar values to SPI, Mata Traders is an organisation dedicated to fair trade and social and economic development that has recently made a generous donation to our People Not Stones 2013 crowd funding campaign. We at SPI have also been honoured to be named Mata Trader’s ‘Charity of the Month’ in January 2013
Mata Trader’s goal is to make fair trade prominent in the fashion industry. This innovative organisation sells cool clothes and accessories providing more opportunities for women in developing countries to empower themselves and their communities. In their own words;
‘‘Fashion to us is about self-expression and being able to be yourself. That’s true for how clothing and jewellery look and feel, of course, but also for how they should be able to reflect your beliefs and ethics through your purchase of fashion. We want to give women that option. Our philosophy is that women shouldn’t have to make trade-offs between style and ethics.’’
The origins of this innovative organisation are found among three best friends who after a round-the-world trip which included four months in India, fell in love with the colors and textiles there. One of the three eventually returned; Maureen. After realising the onus on fair trade, she sought out fair trade producers to make some clothing, a women’s cooperative that Mata Traders still works with to this day.
Mata Traders work with four fair trade cooperatives in India and Nepal, which employ hundreds of artisans having being initially found through research and word-of-mouth.
‘’The cooperatives that make our products work in rural and slum communities with women who have little or no education, many can’t read or write. Because of their work, they can afford to send their children to school and pay for necessities that they couldn’t before.’’
SPI has also been supported more recently by Mata Traders in our current crowd funding campaign. For more information on this fantastic organisation take a look at their website. If you would like to follow in their footsteps and join in their work to empower communities, please contribute to our People Not Stones 2013 crowd funding campaign as we join Mata Traders in alleviating poverty and transforming lives.