mata traders

Mother's Day Gifts Made Easy

Purple present with tag, "To: Mom".

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 13th, and it's time to show our mother's how appreciative we are of all they do! Starting this Thursday, we will be extending our hours until 8PM on Thursdays for May and June, so take advantage of the free evening parking and come shop with us! If you're still looking for the perfect gift, we have a few ideas for you!

We carry a variety of unique jewelry handmade in India and Nepal by Mata Traders. Earrings, necklaces, cuffs, and rings, we have plenty of choice for those looking for the absolute perfect item! 

We also carry a few select pieces by local Toronto artist, rae Designs, for those looking for a beautiful, made in Canada treat!

prAna Marilyne Scarf in Sunbleached Blue.

We carry beautiful and colourful scarves from prAna, soft and stunning pashminas from Synergy, and cool and resourceful 6-way scarves from Fred & Bean!

Synergy Pashmina Scarf in Charcoal.

The Basha Boutique throw blankets are always a huge favourite! These gorgeous, one of a kind blankets are hand made from recycled and vintage saris by women who have escaped sex trafficking and abuse in Bangladesh. These women are taught the skills necessary to create these incredible blankets and pursue dignified work through Basha. This gift really helps make change in the world!

Basha Boutique Throw Blankets, handmade by women in Bangladesh from recycled and vintage saris.

Another gift that is always a hit are candles! We have soy wax candles from Farmer's Son Co. in several incredible scents. Plus, these candles are in reusable glass tumblers that you can continue to use long after the candle has burnt out!

Farmer's Son Co. Slow Sunday Soy Candle.
Farmer's Son Co. Morning Calm Soy Candle.

And, for the mom's who love to shop or are impossible to shop for, a gift certificate is always a welcome surprise!

Who Made My... Mata

Mata Traders’ items are recognizable by their bright prints and colours found on some of our dresses, skirts and shirts, and they are also the source of much of our jewelry.  Behind every lovely printed garment or glimmering piece of jewelry is the story of a women who was given the chance to empower herself and aid in the sustainability of her community. By purchasing something from Mata, you are connecting yourself to the positive change in many women’s lives who were involved in the process of creating that item, whether it’s a necklace to match your dress for a wedding or a skirt to wear whe n you travel for the summer.

"Our mission is to work with organizations that educate, employ, and empower women. Spending time with these groups has helped us realize that even the most traditional women, when given the opportunity, thrive in a sphere of meaningful work that is outside their homes and families. We have also learned that equality in the workplace is possible in a country as socially stratified as India."- Maureen Dunn, Founder of Mata Traders

Mata cares about delivering a final product that is not only stylish and modern but also brings in traditional methods, like block stamping and embroidery, into the production. By using these methods, Mata can encourage local artisans in India to continue their traditions while introducing them to the modern day market of retail fashion.

The vision for Mata Traders was created by Maureen Dunn after she traveled around India with 2 friends; Michelle and Joni, on a round the world trip. She began importing various products from suppliers in India to build a business based around the beauties of Indian fashion and art.This eventually led to Mata Traders only working with suppliers that practice the principles of fair trade such as; paying their workers fairly and having safe working conditions.

With the aid of the women’s co-operatives that Mata works with, they are able to give many working women the income they need to send their children to schools, and in a particular 17 year old named Harshali’s case, her siblings. Harshali started working at a co-operative partnered with Mata at the age of 17 in order to earn enough money to send her 3 younger siblings to school as well attend post-secondary herself. Both of her parents died earlier in her life, leaving Harshali’s grandmother to raise the 4 siblings. By moving to the city, her grandmother hoped to find work to take care of them all.

After Harshali finishes work at the co-operative every day, she returns home to aid her grandmother and sister in selling fish on the side of the road until around 9 pm. Through her hard work and dedication, Harshali was able to send her 3 siblings to school as well as begin a college economics course.

Mata Traders and the women’s co-operatives were able to make this happen by giving the support and work that many women, like Harshali, need to raise and take care of their families. However, none of it would be possible without the help of the customers who decide to shop fair trade.

Beth, owner of Grey Rock Clothing Co., visiting with two of Mata Trader's founders at their head office in Chicago. 

Beth, owner of Grey Rock Clothing Co., visiting with two of Mata Trader's founders at their head office in Chicago. 

Photos of their employees and processes have been provided by Mata Traders. If you would like more information on Mata, leave us a comment and we’d be happy to answer your questions or find out the answer for you!