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As I was browsing in Kapok at the National Museum recently, I instantly noticed the colourful printed collection of funky loose trousers by Matter. Although "printed loose trousers" might conjure up a hippie image, Matter is definitely not that.

Matter is about returning to the basics of what connects us: stories, craft, and values. The brainchild of world traveller Renyung Ho, Matter’s concept is simple: Making pants to see the world in, while helping small communities around Asia through the process of making them at the same time.

I always admire a brand that thinks around people and their cultures and lets that shape their products. (See my article on design innovation and social problem-solving in The Guardian here) Their mission is to inspire consumers to value provenance – to ask of the where and why something is made, and champion alternative production models for textile artisans to expand their economic freedom.

Renyung also invests a lot of time into learning the cultural histories and symbolic stories behind the prints. Her team then reinterprets motifs by playing with size, colour, outlines and white space to bring out the essence of its story. Their collection is a tightly curated selection of 5 styles; amalgamations of the various traditional loose trouser styles found in Asia and the rest of the world, tried and tested over generations.

Fab colour combinations in comfy fabrics, what's not to love?

 

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