behind the scenes: Mata Traders HQ

I met up with Hannah of Life Style Justice for the Justice Conference in Chicago last weekend. The weekend exceeded my expectations in every way and I found a dear friend in Hannah. I’ll talk more about the conference once I’ve taken the time to process it all.

On Thursday, Hannah and I met for the first time at the airport, then headed out for a day of exploring fair trade shops. We started, quite fittingly, at Mata Traders. Mata was the first fair trade clothing brand I ever heard of and I even interviewed for a position there a couple years ago! We were welcomed immediately by their staff and shown around by cofounder, Jonit.

First photo: the Fair Trade Federation Principles wall; Second photo: Hannah scoping out some jewelry

Mata headquarters is housed in an industrial building with beautiful art deco details and exposed brick walls throughout. The office has an open floor plan with stock, desks, and work areas arranged within the same room. All of the employees were wearing adorable dresses – most of them Mata – and the atmosphere was one of both collaboration and individual work ethic.

Hannah and I shop the Mata warehouse. Photo credit: Jonit

Cofounder Maureen and design staff asked us our opinion on some Spring ’16 prints (so exciting!), then Jonit let us loose to shop the stock. I’ve had difficulty in the past finding a good fit with Mata dresses because I’m small up top and a little hippier on the bottom. Jonit went to work helping me find dozens of dresses to try on. It was a fantastic opportunity to see what silhouettes work with my figure for future ordering and I was able to find a versatile skirt and dress that make me feel great.

I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to get an inside look at Mata Traders and I’m so thankful I got to meet everyone! Thanks for welcoming us, Mata team. You’re awesome.

I’ll be sharing the items I bought in outfits posts in the coming weeks!


You can shop Mata Traders online and at select boutiques.

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