The principles behind Kokua are based on benefitting others. This is the heart of this blog because life is exceedingly better and more fulfilling when we make choices based on sharing what we have and spreading the joy, rather than on self and personal gain. When we find companies that share this belief and have put it into practice in their business model, we are excited to support them and share the great find with you! Mata Traders is an awesome addition to this list and has a unique perspective on how fair trade really demonstrates kokua.
Mata Traders aims to “fashion a better world” and they’ve realized something: buying fair trade clothing doesn’t just help impoverished communities half way around the world. It also helps you, us, the people around us, who are making these conscious choices to spend our dollars with purpose. By providing avenues to spend money on items that have given a family freedom from poverty, a child the ability to go to school, or a woman the empowerment to fight gender equality, companies like Mata Traders are also empowering us to bring about change. We now have the opportunity to make an impact even in shopping and sporting our unique style. Mata Traders is truly aiming to impact women around the world from Asia to right here in North America.
Mata Trader’s clothing is based on the ornate and colorful designs that the company’s founders discovered when traveling in India. Their love for the beauty of India and passion to fight global poverty led to the creation of Mata Traders. They desire to “celebrate a woman’s originality” with their “uncommonly vibrant style”, and each resulting piece is truly a work of art. By working with artisans in India and Nepal, they have been able to encourage the preservation of ancient Indian art forms and craft traditions which modern factory production has largely replaced. Clothing and jewelry are hand made using techniques such as block printing, hand embroidery, and casted brass. When done by hand, every piece with its occasional small imperfections is a one-of-a-kind purchase.
Support for Artisans
Artisans, the hands of whom create each item purchased from Mata Traders, come from rural areas, urban slums, and tribal villages around India and Nepal. With participation in artisan cooperatives supported by Mata Traders, women are opened to a world of opportunity including education, health care, pension for retirement, daycare, and help with domestic violence. Women are provided opportunities to work from home and care for their children instead of having to leave their village behind to find work and support the family, or worse giving up their children to child labor. By providing fair wages and thus a stable income to hundreds of impoverished families, children are able to go to school which then fights child labor, an all too common practice in Indian jewelry-making, at its roots.
At Mata Traders you can find beautiful modern looks from the block print infinity scarf paired with upcycled bone cut-out earrings or a Boho back wrap dress made with organic cotton complete with an Indian-inspired, yet chic pattern. There is a fun find for every woman that she can feel great in, along with a chance to show the world that we can make an impact with every choice we make. Check out their wide selection and learn more about the war they are waging on global poverty at matatraders.com. And be sure to check out Kokua's exclusive Mata Trader's necklace HERE