Sunday, May 11, 2014
May 10th was designated as World Fair Trade Day, and therefore a perfect time to wear the Mata Traders dress that I was so excited about. Spoiler alert: I'm still a fan!
The idea of "fair trade" is an equal exchange of value between the people who make a product, the people who sell it, and the people who buy it. Mata Traders is dedicated to cultivating that chain of mutually respectful relationships. The company treats laborers as partners rather than exploitable subordinates: "[O]ur producers are paid a livable wage in safe and fair conditions, and do their work at home and in small workshops rather than factories. Services like on-site day-care, medical check-ups, and over-time pay are offered."
My dress is definitely not a mass-market item. Handstitched details and charming flubs in the woven cotton fabric emphasize that this is a crafted piece more than a manufactured one. The billowy silhouette doesn't stress one's figure (to coin a euphemism). Interlocking windowpanes in off-white and black, accented by blocks of brick red, bring to mind Celt-esque "tribal" motifs and Keith Haring.
Tonight I'm going to wear this dress to Freight & Salvage, a Berkeley venue that dates back to the '60s. I think it would be equally suited to browsing at City Lights. I'm no beatnik but I do like Joni Mitchell... Wait, am I mixing decades?
Perhaps you can tell that this is a random spot in my backyard.
The dress has POCKETS! I never run out of enthusiasm for pockets.