Ethical fashion. We’ve all heard about it, but what does it really mean. For the buyer, for the company, for the employee? Ethical Fashion is where Fair Trade and sustainability meet. Not only does it focus the social and environmental impact of fashion, but looks to improve working conditions of those who work in the industry as well.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who’s not interested in the idea of ethical fashion. It does however, come at a price. Many clothing companies keep costs low by under paying their workers, or with unsuitable work environments. Or maybe they use cheaper fabrics or processes that end up costing the Environment. So when you buy Fair Trade Fashion, it May cost more.

So why do it? Unfortunately, the reality is that not everyone has the budget to buy clothing that was sustainably and ethically produced. However, I like in fashion to eating well. It costs more to eat healthy. And we can’t all afford organic, GMO free, grass fed, free range food 100% of the time (and if you do, YAY)!! Shopping ethical Fashion is the same. I don’t pretend that every piece of clothing in my closet was a conscious purchase. However, when I can making the effort to shop sustainably is important to me.

That’s where Mata Traders comes in. They have beautiful clothes. The patterns they choose and the quality fabric that they use makes for a pretty amazing addition to any wardrobe. It’s about more than just a pretty dress. Mata Traders Partners with fair trade organizations in Nepal and India that Focus on educating and empowering women through work.

When it comes to fair trade fashion, the options are growing. But Mata Traders stands out to me among the crowd. As I was reading more about their workers, I was so incredibly moved. The artisan cooperatives that work with Mata provide support to help end the cycle of poverty for their seamstresses. That includes healthcare, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions and daycare. It blows my mind that sone of these systems don’t exist even for American workers. But it’s also so amazing that positive change is happening on the other side of the world. If you want to bawl like I did hearing about the amazing work Mata is doing, click here.

At the end of the day, ethical fair trade fashion comes at a higher cost to the American consumer. But the value of the clothing is so much more. The things we support are perpetuated. And when you support companies like Mata Traders you are supporting women, who earn a fair wage. Allowing them to progress in a highly stratified society. Giving them the option to send their children to school to get an education. Providing them with benefits they wouldn’t have otherwise. And slowly but surely, the World becomes a little bit better of a place.