Dear MATTER family,
As I sit here writing this, a flood of memories come back to me in this journey of a dream to bring craft into the light. I have written and rewritten this letter several times, each time unearthing a new reckoning of what really matters, and why. But first, a story. Six years ago, on one of the many sourcing and production trips to India, we were documenting the people behind the beautiful fabric shaping our products. The intention was to honour every pair of hands that contributed to the journey of these #pantstoseetheworldin. As we took their portraits and recorded their names, the initially shy group became ever more enthusiastic, and their smiles reached into their eyes and beyond. As we were packing to leave as the sky darkened, one man came up to me and asked to look at my notebook of names. As he scanned the list with his finger on each line, I realised I’d inadvertently missed out his name in the session. He gestured, and I handed over my pen and notebook to him. In the waning light, he wrote down his name; slowly, and with care. Looking up, he held my gaze and said, ‘please remember’.
Why this story? There are so many in my travel pack of memories in the journey that brings MATTER to today. The first Pants Party, the first customer in every new country we shipped to that felt like a fresh flag of new beginnings, the first everything. There is such richness in the tapestry of our making that my heart brims full with the soul that has been poured into this brand that we have all shaped, together. When we started, artisan craft and generational heritage, together with rural economies of making, were not at the forefront of fashion, or online commerce. Today, that has changed. We are proud to have been a cornerstone in this movement for #changebeyondtextiles, telling the stories and sparking the conversations that remind us of our founding ethos: that where something is made, and why, matters.
And so we arrive here, in a 2020 that no one expected. After several months of uncertainty, we’ve reached a decision that this chapter of our story, is ending. It was not an easy one to make, and its not an easy one to share with you. Yes, I am deeply sad, and we feel the loss greatly. And yes, we have explored many pathways of possibility. However, given the future ahead, pressing pause for now is the responsible action to take. Our core team will say goodbye to each other in the next few months, and while we are making sure that we honour all outstanding products-in-making with our artisan producers this year, we will no longer be making any new orders. I have shared with the team that this decision by no means comes from a lack of effort, passion, or imagination. This is a time for us to reflect on what we created that we will take away with us, and what will be remembered.
Currently, we still have a large amount of our lovingly crafted items available online, and new items will continue to arrive as committed in the next few weeks, as many of them are still in production or on their way to us. We’ve committed to the orders that we have already placed with our partners, and will explore with them individually on how else we may lend our support during this time.
While the sale continues, we do not intend to slash to rock bottom prices to clear stock because we, have and always will, value the work and time that is required to make our products. We want you to choose what you love, and what you will keep, treasure, and pass on to future generations. Each item is sustainably sourced, thoughtfully designed, and carefully crafted to bring to you a story of immense importance. During this time of unwinding, we’ve set up this live page for all your ongoing questions on customer service, stockists, products, and our operational status.
One of the first pieces of advice I received when starting was, ‘Celebrate the good’. And here, the good to celebrate is People. When we first sounded out our core partners around the path to choose given the uncertainty ahead, and discussed closing or pressing pause (whatever pause might mean), what we heard back was that of everything that MATTER is in its universe, the biggest most precious part is in the community we’ve built. Our founding family and core team are incredible people, and through the sweat and tears we have created much joy and beauty together. You know who you are. Here are the beautiful people who’ve carved this path together, if you’d like to speak to them to bring them into your universe, please reach out.
In this last leg of this particular path, our one ask is that if and when you choose to bring home a piece of MATTER with you, or even if not, please do share your favourite memory with us, with the hashtag #matteron. We want to know what you will remember, and we hope that our message will continue to live on, through you, even as we have to come to the end of this chapter of our story.
This is not goodbye forever. This is goodbye, for now.