What MATTERS?!

In the process of becoming a business owner I’ve simultaneously become a thoughtful and conscious consumer. Unfortunately If I told you I have always been a conscious consumer I would be lying. For many years, more than I care to admit, I purchased clothing to quell a need, a hunger, a desire. I think it’s possible I was shopping altogether to fill a void that had nothing to do with covering my bum in public. After the past year or so of becoming engulfed in the world of ethical and sustainable clothing I realized a lot of things. Number one being that I was an offender of unthoughtful, over consumption, and I didn't like it. 

 The Bhalka nomadic blockprint is w orn by nomadic tribes and skilled artisans of iron, this bold repeat pattern derives from a large spear or arrow head motifs.  The Bhalka is traditional for the Gadia Lohar, iron workers historically renowned for the fierce defense of their identity and skilled artisans of the bhala spear. Also called the Banjari print, it is still worn today by the nomadic Banjara community in Gujarat. 

The Bhalka nomadic blockprint is worn by nomadic tribes and skilled artisans of iron, this bold repeat pattern derives from a large spear or arrow head motifs. The Bhalka is traditional for the Gadia Lohar, iron workers historically renowned for the fierce defense of their identity and skilled artisans of the bhala spear. Also called the Banjari print, it is still worn today by the nomadic Banjara community in Gujarat. 

Because the concept for Flora Lou came from learning more about the evils of the fashion industry I have naturally become hyper aware of what I'm buying and where, how, and by whom it was made. My clothing has become so much more than just an outfit, it has become a soap box, albeit a cute one. That is why I find it so exciting to share news of amazing new products from really cool companies like MATTER! Flora Lou recently received it's first scarf order from MATTER. Each scarf has an amazing story behind the unique block print (check out the blurbs under the pictures). And their commitment to supporting small community based artisans is truly admirable! 

"Blockprinting was invented for storytelling, created as a medium to record history and legacy. Beginning in China around 220, it started as blocks cut from wood used to print textiles and then used to reproduce short Buddhist religious texts that were carried as charms by believers. The technique is found through Japan, India, East and Central Asia, Egypt, and Europe. Matter searched through heritage blocks, textile museums and books to find those with enduring cultural stories and history. Visiting over ten printing workshops in Rajasthan, India, we found one man who still knew the meanings behind the prints. Working together with the block carvers, we created modernized versions that still contained the essential stories and spirit." -http://matterprints.com/pages/block-print 

   Playful and freewheeling, the Chakri print is reminiscent of the merry-go-round or carousel’s spontaneous, free spirited spirit.    It is a heritage print inspired by the wheels familiar to all children’s playgrounds. Spontaneously arranged in a diamond shaped pattern designed for movement, this symbol is a nostalgic interpretation of the freedom of childhood with a nod to the future in our past.

Playful and freewheeling, the Chakri print is reminiscent of the merry-go-round or carousel’s spontaneous, free spirited spirit. 
It is a heritage print inspired by the wheels familiar to all children’s playgrounds. Spontaneously arranged in a diamond shaped pattern designed for movement, this symbol is a nostalgic interpretation of the freedom of childhood with a nod to the future in our past.

When I opened the shipment of scarves from Matter I instantly fell in love with the product. Then I started reading about the historical aspect of the block printing and how each scarf has a unique story and I felt as though the scarf was so much more than a piece of dreamy silk/cotton blend; but it was also a piece of beautiful, wearable history. It is so special to be able to support the continuation of a traditional craft that otherwise might be lost in time. 

 The India print is designed by Nitya Amarnath from Botto as part of the Then&Thereedition, whose story for this print is on its vast differences of textile visual language in print and woven fabric from all corners. The floral visual from the west, geometric motifs from the north, hand painted motifs from the south, woven motifs from the east, all come together to form a kaleidoscopic motif which represents the diversity of the subcontinent.

The India print is designed by Nitya Amarnath from Botto as part of the Then&Thereedition, whose story for this print is on its vast differences of textile visual language in print and woven fabric from all corners. The floral visual from the west, geometric motifs from the north, hand painted motifs from the south, woven motifs from the east, all come together to form a kaleidoscopic motif which represents the diversity of the subcontinent.

 Triangles usually denote rice sheaves or man made daggers and sharp teeth, protecting the person with this cloth. The spectacularly bold motif is designed by Anya Lim from Anthill Fabric Gallery as part of the Then&There edition. Its geometrical, angular rhythm is inspired by the Philippines' namesake as the Sunshine Nation, the rays on the sun in the national flag and carvings on a local gong called Kulintang.

Triangles usually denote rice sheaves or man made daggers and sharp teeth, protecting the person with this cloth. The spectacularly bold motif is designed by Anya Lim from Anthill Fabric Gallery as part of the Then&There edition. Its geometrical, angular rhythm is inspired by the Philippines' namesake as the Sunshine Nation, the rays on the sun in the national flag and carvings on a local gong called Kulintang.

So many of the brands Flora Lou carries have stories similar to this one. Matter is just one heart-warming and unique company that Flora Lou is proud to carry. Matter's mission of connecting with artisan partners whose craft has typically been past down by their forefathers is imperative in creating a social change that supports small family businesses whose identities and culture revolve around a particular techinique and process of a skill. So next time you get dressed think about the story behind your clothing, and if you would be proud to tell it!