As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Mata is happy to use Fair Trade Month as an excuse to introduce a new way of talking about what fair trade is and what it means for the people who are doing this work: 360° fair trade. Our commitment to social, economic, and environmental responsibilities goes beyond fair wages and safe conditions. Fair Trade Federation members are also committed to building long-term and holistic partnerships with small farmers and artisan producer groups. These meaningful relationships in turn empower small farmers and artisans to sustainably grow and develop their businesses and communities.

How does Mata embody 360° fair trade? Here are just a few ways:

  • The artisan sector is one that is known for being unregulated, and often artisans are not guaranteed pay unless the merchant sells their products, leaving artisans vulnerable to exploitation. One of Mata’s fair trade practices requires paying our producers for half the order up front and then paying the remaining amount when the products are shipped to us. This ensures that our artisans can afford the materials and will be paid their price no matter if we sell it for full price or on sale.
  • We are slow and deliberate to expand the number of artisan producer groups we work with because we believe in establishing a long-term commitment to artisan businesses. In fact, we still continue to work with the first artisan group we partnered with when Mata was founded almost 10 years ago! The relationships we have with our artisans are not only professional, but they also symbolize the deep commitment we have to the personal well-being of our artisans.
  • Rather than leave producers behind when products have problems, we work with our artisan groups to determine how we can improve the quality, fit, or materials of the products. At Mata, we believe that collaboration between our artisans and product development team is the key to the success of our business and artisan producers.

What does this mean to you as a Mata customer? It means that the product you purchase will be one of high quality and authenticity that has been ethically sourced and made with traditional skills. Each purchase also means that our artisans will continue their long-term partnerships with Mata Traders and impact their families and communities with positive changes.

As a Fair Trade Federation member, we’re proud to continue building healthy and long-term relationships with our artisans through 360° fair trade. We’re excited to be a part of this authentic approach to developing stronger commitments to social and environmental responsibility through our power as a business and as consumers.