MATTER reinterprets textile heritage into prints that tell stories of where and why they are made. Our mission is threefold — to foster designer-artisan collaborations, inspire customers to value provenance & process, and pioneer industry change & sustainability for rural textile communities.
The approach to make rural artisan production sustainable is twofold: to champion alternative production models for textile artisans to expand their economic opportunities, and enable the textile craft to flourish as a viable industry. The hope is to connect artisans with designers and customers to make their work accessible to the larger market.
With that, we’ve committed to a model of urban-rural production – taking careful consideration of the variables that affect artisan processes like the serendipities of weather, celebratory customs, and harvest cycles. Together with designers, we seek to inspire intention in their process – the notion that every print holds a story, and every craft is a piece of cultural heritage.
Our mission, beyond collaborations, is to inspire customers to value the importance of provenance. To ask where and why something is made, and by whom, and to expand a community that celebrates heritage
We see ourselves as a socially motivated brand, because we are motivated beyond profit, which has traditionally been the singular unit of measurement of a business’ success. Driven by purpose and provenance, we want MATTER to be a catalyst for change, to be the foremost artisan-based brand pioneering industry change and sustainability of rural craft livelihood in Asia.
By default, given the principles and seasonality of our artisan production, we cannot partake in the world of fast fashion. Our business model takes into account this inherent slowness, with seasonless styles and seasonal fabrics. Styles are tested by time, and are phased out or brought back accordingly.
We knew that we would never be a fashion label, nor had the desire to be, and so we focus on making the best product possible, not the most. We make small changes to each style in our stable of core products based on continual customer feedback from Pants Parties and our Fieldtesters.
The design to product cycle is 6 months in each of our products. The longer design process comes from our inherent design principle of provenance – all prints hail from an existing heritage motif tied to a place and time, with a cultural story of its own. Working collaboratively with artisans, this process incorporates the natural time cycles of printing and weaving of the artisans, meaning a longer buffer period that takes into account serendipities of weather, festivities, and harvest cycles.
MATTER is a social brand under the canopy of Banyan Tree Gallery, a 20 year old community retailer working globally with artisan craft in the areas of basketry, ceramics, lacquerware and other beautiful homeware.
“The Singapore-based clothing brand Matter made headlines this week for creating jumpsuits with button and tie closures that make the bottoms removable, making the act seem a bit less nightmarish.”
– August 2, 2017
“The next time you put on a pair of pants without thinking, consider this: Pants are a strong symbol of the individual freedom we are lucky enough to enjoy.”
– May 16, 2014
“One of MATTER’s strengths is its in-depth storytelling around every aspect of a garment, enhancing a greater understanding and connection between the wearer, the maker and the years of history that exist behind this product.”
– Dec 13, 2016
“MATTER combines the functionality of globetrotting trousers with transparent sourcing and ethical production. Founded on the freedom of travel and beautiful artisan designs, Matter emerges as a new alternative for the avid (or wannabe avid) traveler.”
– May 20, 2014
“Matter has stepped up to the plate and designed a few different versions of jumpsuits that don’t require you to get completely undressed every time you have to pee. The idea is simple — the jumpsuits have either a four-button closure or a tie at the waist that can be undone rather than taking the whole piece off from top to bottom.”
– Jul 31, 2017