Mata Traders is a wonderful Chicago-based line, featuring unique, handmade women’s apparel, accessories, and home decor, featuring indigenous crafting techniques, such as block printing and embroidery.
I first came across Mata Traders on Twitter, where I instantly fell in love. I was so excited to find out the boutique I used to work at now carries them, and I was more excited when the designer’s aunt saw that we carried them, which led to an amazing, enlightening conversation about the progress of fair trade fashion!
A little about Mata:
After spending 4 months traveling through India with her friends in 2003, Maureen Dunn decided to start a fair trade business, leading her to import all kinds of goods on yearly buying trips. Aware of the poverty in India, Maureen used her buying power as a leverage to make a difference, looking for artisan groups that gave back to the community through fair wages and fair trade. Not long after, her travel buddies and friends, Joni and Michelle, joined Mata Traders as partners.
Working with organizations that “educate, employ, and empower women” (source) is the company’s main mission.