In the world of fashion, Matt & Nat stands out as a brand with a minimalist style and an exceptional ethos. Designed and headquartered in Montreal, the company has been producing clean-cut, vegan leather accessories and bags with recycled plastic linings since 1995 (the brand’s name is a play on “material and nature”). By prioritizing style alongside social responsibility and creativity, founder Inder Bedi deftly avoided the granola pitfalls of many a vegan business, instead creating an eco-fashion line epitomizing global, minimalist chic, which continues to grow.
Within the last two years, the company has branched out from its core product line to offer a more diverse range of accessories, most recently added—shoes. “In order for any brand to survive, innovation and creativity is key,” says Monika Kazamias, marketing coordinator at Matt & Nat Canada. “For this reason, the demand for vegan shoes drove the brand to apply their extensive knowledge on recycled materials and fashion to introduce a shoe line that is both 100 per cent environmentally friendly and in style.” Ranging from mules to sneakers to rain boots, the line, predominantly made from recycled cork, rubber, and nylon, comes in a variety of bright, nature-inspired hues.
Today, Matt & Nat backpacks and other goods are sold in over 500 stores worldwide. Among them are two bricks and mortar boutiques around Montreal, opened in 2016, and one in Ottawa, which opened this past May. Both launched with the intent of deepening consumer awareness of cruelty-free leather. With reclaimed wood panels and crisp white walls, the boutiques reflect a cool yet rustic essence central to the brand.
As they work to broaden their reach within the European market, the label continues to challenge consumers and companies to think critically about the environmental impact of fashion choices. Their mantra, “live beautifully”, encapsulates Matt & Nat’s core values—that the pursuit of beauty and respect for the Earth’s living things may happily coexist.
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