For pioneering artisanal fashion and driving change beyond textiles
Renyung Ho is a familiar name in the ethical fashion and sustainable tourism space. She’s the founder of MATTER, and is a second-generation leader at Banyan Tree Hotels, an international hospitality brand that manages and develops resorts, hotels and spas in Asia, America, Africa and the Middle East. As an independent entrepreneur, impact investor, humanitarian and writer, Renyung brings her expertise to everything she touches. At Banyan Tree, she’s spearheaded the group’s sustainability initiatives and has woven wellbeing into the very fabric of the hospitality experience.
But we’ve long known her for her work in the ethical fashion space, for which she’s been, and continues to be, well-respected. Renyung is one of Singapore’s pioneers in artisanal and slow fashion and is well-known for her work with MATTER. How did MATTER come about? She’d always known, since she was a child, that she wanted to travel the world, work to celebrate humanity and make connections between people and values. Later, it became about connecting the dots and providing a forum for her innovation to shine in her diverse professional life (journalism, hospitality, coworking, crowdfunding, and e-commerce). And thus, MATTER was born.
MATTER is an ethical fashion brand, which works with a curative philosophy inspired by tradition, sourcing heritage prints and styles from all over the world while reinterpreting them in a modern manner. Their purpose is to impact change beyond textiles. MATTER is known, and loved, for transforming textile heritage into prints that tell stories, inspiring customers everywhere to think about the provenance of the clothes they wear, telling stories about the process that give rise to our garments, and making artisanal production sustainable. Today, Renyoung has embarked on a new chapter with MATTER, after having a sense for a while that she, and the brand, needed to change. They had somewhat achieved her initial mission: to change the conversation around what is possible with ethical fashion, what is possible with artisan craft, and with COVID, it seemed like a reasonable point to pause. Currently, MATTER is exploring new models and ways to support and honour artisans and designers—so stay tuned for the work MATTER will continue to do: it’s certainly not the end.
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