While I was in Chicago last month with my amazing ethical blogger friend Ashlee (of One Fair Day), we were lucky enough to be able to visit Mata Traders' headquarters! Mata Traders is one of my most beloved fair trade companies- a Mata dress was one of my first ethical fashion purchases- and I absolutely love the women who work behind the scenes to bring Mata to conscious consumers everywhere.
Ashlee and I were given the grand tour by Jonit, one of the founders of Mata Traders (it was my second grand tour since I've visited Mata before), and we even got to participate in a cocktail-making contest with Fair Spirits and Chigago Fair Trade (our cocktail won honorable mention and was served at Globalfest Asia)!
Of course, visiting Mata Traders meant that not only did we get a glimpse of next season's line, but Ashlee and I had the chance to browse shelf after shelf of colorful fair trade beauty and try on dresses to our hearts content. Ashlee ended up leaving with the amazing lace dress in berry and I nabbed the hello dolly dress in a gorgeous dark floral print (it's on sale on the Mata website right now!).
I probably wouldn't have picked the hello dolly dress while shopping online (I usually don't go for florals), but I fell in love with it in person and I've been wearing it often with a pair of fair trade PACT tights and boots.
Lest you think that I normally wear a blazer to the apple orchard- I can assure you that I don't... Ashlee and I were trying to fit as much as possible in to her last morning in Minnesota before flying back to Australia, so we went straight from the morning business class that I had to teach to the apple orchard! I can definitely say that we were the most fancily dressed apple-pickers at the orchard- and I suppose we can say that our Mata dresses went effortlessly from business meeting to produce-gathering.
Many thanks to the ladies at Mata Traders for graciously allowing Ashlee and I to spend time at HQ, and to Mata Traders itself for being such a wonderful and passionate addition to the ranks of ethical fashion movers-and-shakers that make it possible for conscious consumers to dress in stylish and sustainable clothing!