• MY CART    0

    Your cart is currently empty.

Up Close with Ren - Founder of Matter Prints

Posted on 16 April 2018

Ren founder matter prints; mischa blog

Meet Renyung Ho, the co-founder of Matter Prints, a socially motivated lifestyle brand focused on travel wear. Matter Prints relies heavily on artisan knowledge and local input to influence their beautiful designs, creating a collaborative approach that acknowledges the expertise of the artisan community. 

Matter's Mission
"Working with a curative philosophy inspired by tradition, we source heritage prints and styles while reinterpreting them in a modern manner. Our purpose is to impact change beyond textiles — to make rural artisan production sustainable, shift designers’ approach to their process, and inspire customers to value provenance."

1. How did the brand name come about? 

It's very much tied to our purpose, and I also wanted a name that people could identify with and almost feel co-ownership over because I knew it had to be a collaborative brand, not a typical designer label so to speak.

Ren founder matter prints; mischa blog

2. What inspired you to start your brand?

Inspirations are always a snowball effect of smaller moments, not ever one reason or one point in time.

3. What are some of the challenges you have faced in building your brand and how have you overcome them?

The challenges have been quite a few but the most important thing that’s helped me is maintaining a growth mindset and a supportive community. Having no background in design, fashion or production was immensely hard in meeting roadblocks in delivery timelines and quality control. That was overcome by seeing not what we didn’t have but what we did and using that to our best advantage. Which is how our unique production model arose, where we do not produce seasonal styles and new styles but only new fabrics.

The supportive community is also fundamental – people who are in your corner to tell you to celebrate the small milestones, who believe in what you’re doing, and who can give you a kick to start going again when you need it.

matter prints; mischa blogmatter prints; mischa blog

4. Your brand strives on being socially responsible. Do you think Matter has achieved that mission and purpose? Are there other social-responsible brands you support?

I think that mission is an ongoing journey as the context of our world's issues, our business needs, and our communities needs are continually evolving. So being ‘socially responsible’ is about always asking the right questions and making decisions according to a framework, not so much a goal to be ‘achieved’ or a finish point. There’s always more to be done, but I do think we’ve achieved building a team and culture that does that.

Some brands we love: Source Collections, Apolis, Everlane, Kowtow

Ren founder matter prints; mischa blog

5. What advice would you give to brands who want to start being more socially responsible? In your opinion, what's the first step?

The first step is to start. We say it often here, sustainability is a journey, and the goal to become more socially responsible can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. Start with one thing. Think about what’s important to you, what are your non-negotiables? Knowing what they are essentially means knowing your own theory of change for your organization and it will help guide the myriad compromising decisions that you’ll have to make.

Follow Ren @travellator @matterprints

Search our store