Journal, Making

Slow Craft and Fast Cars

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The purpose behind MATTER was never to be a fashion brand, and so we never subscribed to its trends and seasonality of launches. Our focus was on textiles and craft and so we work our model around artisan production, building a business that takes into account this inherent slowness, with season-less styles and seasonal fabrics. The change we want to impact can be broken down into three points of focus: artisans, designers, and customers.

Change beyond textiles is our mission and commitment to make rural artisan production sustainable, shift designers’ approach to their process, and inspire customers to value provenance. This is bigger than what we want to do with MATTER, it extends to a conversation that we want to continue; on the value of cultural heritage in textiles, the importance of people and process, the understanding of clothing production chain and larger environmental and social effects. To get the ball rolling, we asked our community to join in and lead our conversation to #ChangeBeyondTextiles.

In the last 3 years, we worked with over 8 rural artisan communities in India with over 16 designer collaborations so far. Collaboration is the heart of what we do; every collaboration has been rooted in an appreciation for the value of craft and artisanship, connecting artisans with designers, bridging traditional craft with modern designs – and this unity is a value we have always stood behind.

This year, we were commissioned by Insert Coin to design 10 artwork panels for the prestigious Singapore Tourism Board Temasek Suite to celebrate the 10th year of the iconic F1 Singapore. We thought long and hard about this collaboration, what it would mean to juxtapose slow craft against the fastest car race in the world and we decided this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the craft we love and create conversations around the art that it is and the artisans behind it.

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The difficulty was in figuring out how to connect it all. How do we create 10 art panels that each told a separate element of the F1 race, but remained cohesive as one? To explain a little more, we asked Sheryl and Leeming to share about the intention and values behind the collaborative process.

Leeming, the Chief Project Strategist of Insert Coin, was the key coordinator of this collaboration. Whereas Sheryl, an intern at MATTER studying industrial design, was paramount to the digital translation and design of the 10 panels.

“Matter Prints has a very similar brand ethos with Insert Coin; that we really loved analog technology, analog craft and the fact that there is a role for this craft and technology in the fast world that we live in today is a reminder of what truly matters.

What Iʼve learned about sustainability is that why each apparel were so expensive because I could see how much work was put into every single piece and how fair wage is important to the craftsmen, like they are the people that actually help to make the thing happen and so even more, the more we should respect them and that I feel like craft is really being elevated when I was working in Matter.”

Listen in on the conversation to #ChangeBeyondTextiles and see what the rest of our community has to say about the journey. Read more on our journal here

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