Posted on August 17 2017
Hi Ren, tell us more about Matter and what you do!
Firstly, I am a storyteller – I've always loved connecting the dots of ideas and concepts, to create platforms of opportunity. Fun fact: I have a three-legged dog named Hobo.
I operate in the area between social business, community, storytelling and artisanship. My work has always been about using business as a vehicle for social good, and right now cultural heritage and practices are my focus in my work with MATTER. Working with a curative philosophy inspired by tradition, we source heritage prints and styles while reinterpreting them in a modern manner. Our mission is to impact change beyond textiles — to make rural artisan production sustainable, shift designers’ approach to their process, and inspire customers to value provenance.
Read: Why The World Needs Craft by Matter
I source out textile artisans with amazing stories and expertise to share, and work to create everyday wear that expresses that in a relevant and viable way. The hope for MATTER has always been that it would thrive as a platform for both artisans and designers, I don’t want to be a designer label. I want to be a connecting platform for those collaborations and to showcase and retail the result of those collaborations. I hope to be in many more fabric-intensive geographies in Asia like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and Japan. I would love to see that diversity come through in our products.
What are you currently reading?
Selected Essays by Albert Camus.
Can you recommend your best five titles to us?
(in no order of preference)
Stories of Your Life and others – Ted Chiang
The Art of Living and Dying – Osho
The Discovery of Heaven – Harry Mulisch
Ishmael – Daniel Quinn
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
It was difficult to choose just five books but these are books that not only changed my view of the world but continued to reveal universes of meaning each time I pick them up again.
What's one quote you live by?
“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
Lastly, what’s your greatest pleasure when it comes to creating beautiful, unique textile pieces?
Explaining the story and cultural origin behind the print and how it was made and seeing someone’s eyes light up with curiosity and connection.