Matt & Nat was founded by Inder Bedi. Manny Kohli has worked alongside Inder since 2001 and is now currently the President & CEO of the Montreal based company. Inder sold his interests in the company in 2013 and has moved on to a new project, however his dream for Matt & Nat lives on!
The idea behind MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE originally came to life in 1995, in beautiful Montreal.
At Matt & Nat, they live by a simple motto, “Live beautifully”. Living beautifully means appreciating the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us. Their values include social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, learning, authenticity and, of course, love. They are inspired by the textures and hues of nature and, to better protect it, they aim to constantly better their ways.
From the start, being committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in their designs felt natural. Each season, they continue to explore new innovative ways to remain sustainable and eco-friendly. Over the years, they’ve been experimenting with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, Matt & Nat have been committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles.
ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY
MATT & NAT stands for MAT(T)ERIAL + NATURE.
M&N is a vegan brand therefore there are no animal products used in production.
In 2010, the UN reported that the best way to protect the environment is to adopt a vegan/vegetarian diet, given the harmful effects of factory farming.
The linings inside all MATT & NAT bags are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles.
In addition to being vegan, sustainable materials are constantly sourced in design such as cork and rubber.
The head office in Montreal, Canada is a ‘cruelty free’ zone. On the last Friday of every month the staff hold a vegetarian potluck at which time employees’ birthdays are celebrated with vegan cupcakes!
Various vegan leathers are used in production, the scientific terms are PU (polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinylchloride). PU is less harmful for the environment than PVC and they make it a point to use it whenever possible. They continuously try to improve the standards for all their materials. One of their factories operates by the SA8000 standard and they hope to make this standard a bigger part of the production going forward.
They visit diligently each factory and build strong personal relationships with their owners; they too are a part of the Matt & Nat family. This involvement in the making of the bags ensures integrity every step of the way.
MATT & NAT design and produce their own custom hardware.
Over the years, some great brand ambassadors of M&N have included Nathalie Portman, Fearne Cotton, Olivia Wilde, Charlize Theron, Rory Freidman, Emily Deschanel, Tobey Maguire and Adrian Grenier.
MATT & NAT encourages their team to volunteer as much as possible, when schedule permits.
It’s important to Matt & Nat to not use leather. Simply put, they don’t like hurting animals and they care about the welfare of the planet. The collections are all designed by a close-knit team in Montreal, Quebec. Matt & Nat develop prototypes and collections based on sketches, using their signature vegan leathers and using eco-friendly materials like recycled nylon, cork and rubber. The bags are then produced in China, in small factories they’ve had long-standing relationships with. Matt & Nat only collaborate with factories that are in line with their ethos and verify regularly their operations are up to standards. They make sure the factories they work with qualify for the SA8000 standard certification.
Various vegan leathers are used in production, the scientific terms are PU (polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinylchloride). PU is less harmful for the environment than PVC and it’s use is definitely preferred, whenever possible. In addition to being vegan, sustainable materials are constantly sourced in design; these include recycled nylons, cork and rubber. Moreover, all linings are made of 100% recycled bottles. Approximately 21 plastic bottles are recycled for every bag produced.
Matt & Nat strive to design timeless and durable styles. Each season, several quality control tests are performed on all new styles. They also test them in their daily lives. By doing this, they test the wear and tear of the materials and make sure that the bags are as functional and resistant as they are fashionable. The designs are well thought out and meant to be practical. Furthermore, thanks to their durability and strength, the bags can last a very long time and, hence, are sustainable products.
MATT & NAT FACTORIES: WORKERS MATTER, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
Building personal relationships with each of the factories is important. Staff regularly visit each factory and make it a point to build strong bonds with the owners; they too are a part of the Matt & Nat family. They make sure that while they provide you with a quality product, the conditions of the workers developing it are up to par with their standards. One of the factories operates by the SA8000 standard, which ensures quality work conditions for all. They hope to make the latter a bigger part of their production, in the future.
EACH SEASON, NEW INITIATIVES
With each season, Matt & Nat make it a point to offer customers the cutting edge of ethical and eco-friendly fashion. Materials are consistently improved and updated with composites that are less harmful for flora and fauna. Materials are always vegan. PU is always preferred over PVC, as it is less harmful for the environment. More renewable materials like cork and rubber are also frequently used in their designs. All of the linings are always made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles; on average, that represents over 120 000 recycled bottles a year.
IN SIMPLE TERMS
Live beautifully is their mantra. Its meaning is broad yet easy to understand; simply put they take care of the planet as it takes care of us. They love the environment and aim to work with it to offer you sustainable, ecological and highly fashionable accessories.
“We are not perfect but we aim to better ourselves with time. The vegan spirit of Matt & Nat will live on. Our learning journey has just begun.” – Manny Kohli, President & Ceo