Sweet Threads - impacting change beyond textiles with Matter
Welcome to a new series on my blog! Sweet Threads is all about ethical, sustainable, handmade, vintage and second hand fashion - sharing the clothes, brands and small business that I love and who I believe are doing things in a different and better way. They care about humans, animals and the planet and they are trying hard to do their bit to make the world better than when they found it. As well as sharing ethical fashion labels, I'll be incorporating some vintage and second hand items into the mix as well, because I do believe that ultimately that's the most waste-free and ethical way to shop. Plus, I love a good rummage around a charity shop or thrift store, and I'm constantly on Ebay, Depop and Oxfam online looking for bargains. I have a very specific idea of what I'm looking for, so I don't buy many clothes at all. I try to think hard about what I purchase and where I purchase it from, and ultimately ask myself if I even need it at all.
Now, I don't consider myself any kind of expert when it comes to fashion. I'm no fashion blogger and nor do I aspire to be (aside from loving a prance in a field), but what I am is someone who cares about what I wear and who I shop from. I don't love fashion, but I do love beautiful clothes. I love the colours, the patterns and the fabrics, and I love the curation of my wardrobe, just as I love the curation of everything else in my life. That's something that comes from being a visually creative person, I'm conscious of the colours and textures I wear and have in my home because they evoke a lot of moods and feelings for me. I like the things I own, wear and interact with every day to hold meaning, tell a story, make me feel something and come together to be an extension of who I am as a person.
So, this is why it feels right for me to share a little about the clothes I wear with you. It's a big part of who I am, and although I can't tell you about style, or tips and tricks for how to dress, I can tell you how to shop with heart, with a conscience, how to buy less but better (because it will change your life) and how to stay true to yourself and show a little of who you are through what you wear. I am learning all the time too, about clothes and fashion and the ethics behind it all. So let's hold hands and learn together. shall we? My aim is to inspire you to look a little deeper at who made your clothes, ask some more questions and think a little harder before you make a purchase. And perhaps be interested in putting the work in to research companies that align with your values and ultimately produce garments that fit you well and give you confidence when you wear them.
Matter are a company that have been on my radar for a while, their clothes jumped out at me right away as I loved the heritage yet contemporary feel of their prints and colours. I'd not seen anything so unique and interesting in a long time. Matter's philosophy is to "impact change beyond textiles", working with rural artisans to develop sustainable production, and making a connection between artisans, designers and customers to make their work accessible and also inspire customers to value a more timeless, sustainable and slower way of producing and consuming fashion. Quality, community and craftsmanship are at the heart of Matter's business model, with season-less styles made with seasonal fabrics (taking into account factors like the weather, harvest cycles etc that affect production) there is intention in every step of the process.
I am wearing the all-day romper in Falcon Olive, in a size 1, and it fits me really well because of the versatility in the design. You can wear the all-day romper in 3 different ways, with the leg cuffs rolled up or down and the back tied up to create a tighter waist line. I've tied mine up in these photos, just two knots at the back. There are also two different buttons at the waist, so you can wear the bottom half looser or tighter. If you're tall or short, or go up and down a little in body size (i know I do, for sure) then you can have faith that the romper will see you through it all. It's just so clever and well thought out, you can feel the love and respect they have for everyone involved in the process of creating this garment - even the customer. You feel a part of their mission, of the positive impact they want to have on the people they work with. It's slow, it's intentional, it's thoughtful and I think it's just wonderful.
It's the most comfortable piece of clothing I've ever worn, and by far the most beautiful. I love that it's so unique, both in the print and in the cut, I'm guaranteed to get questions and comments about it and I am always happy to share its story. I think clothes should do this for you. They should say something about who you are, about what you believe in as well as being comfortable, beautiful, practical and durable. Matter have all that down, and I can see me adding a few more of their pieces to my wardrobe in the near future.
We shot these images at the Hitchin Lavender fields, a farm just a few miles away from my new house. It's so beautiful there, and only flowers for just a few months of the year so it feels extra special to get some photos of it in bloom. I just knew the purple tones of the lavender would work perfectly with the olive of the jumpsuit, it's such a deliciously earthy combination. Unless you arrive at 10am, the farm is filled with other people taking photos too, it's such a well known spot. Quite a few local photographers run workshops and mini-sessions there too, and I am hoping to get in on the action. There's room for us all, right?
*this item was gifted to me by Matter in exchange for this post. Thank you for supporting the companies and causes that are close to my heart, and the collaborations that I love Bless the Weather to be part of.