Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading systems (Fair Trade Federation).
Mata Traders was founded by Maureen Dunn, who was a frequent traveller to India. Usually buying items to import for her business, she realized she could help the impoverished communities with her buying power. Her two best friends Michelle and Joni later joined Maureen on this mission. This was the beginning of Mata Traders.
By helping these women, it changes the vicious cycle of child labor in these countries. Rather than children leaving their parents and siblings to work for pennies which they’ll send back to their families, these women are able to educate their children. They receive a living wage, benefits (like childcare and medical), giving them a sustainable way to provide for their family.
Mata Traders is produced in India and Nepal by women in cooperatives, employing over 600 artisans. All designs are original and handmade by these groups while staying committed to fair trade principles. Most of their luxurious fabrics are made using a traditional method of block printing, with eco-friendly dyes.
“We have also learned that equality in the workplace IS possible in a country as socially stratified as India. Whether a beginner sewer or the marketing director, all the women that make our clothing and accessories have a voice. We are so proud to be a part of that voice by bringing you their quality handiwork in a high fashion, fairly traded product line” (Mata Traders).
We’re smitten with the designs these women from India make, and of course their smiling faces! Learn more about Mata Traders and the women behind the fashion on their website www.matatraders.com. With Mata Traders, you can be sure that was your buying is both fair trade and beautiful!