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Bags made of Water Bottles; seen at samsāra SS09
In April 2009 the Montreal, Canada headquartered international distributed handbags and accessories label Matt and Nat announced the brand new launched samsāra collection with a global charity. Through a voting on the samsāra website users can choose which initiative will get one Dollar from each bag: initiatives for international aid, domestic violence, animal welfare, or environmental issues.

Vote for charities!
The affordable samsāra (means 'rebirth' in Sanskrit) collection is like all Matt and Nat products vegan and eco-friendly. The voting will run until midnight on 31st December to get money for Enough, EarthSave, WSPA and Canadian Women's Foundation. (Find more information about the initiatives below.) You decide!
It is planned to select with each new collection new charities.

fig.: samsāra spring/summer 2009. Architectural details and bold styling in the colors black, tomato, chocolate brown and plum. Photo: Leda and St Jacques (The Canadian photographers are working for ELLE Quebec and ELLE Canada magazines leda-st-jacques.com.)

Video: Matt and Nat founder (1995) and creative director Inder Bedi about the vegan and eco-friendly designer bag collection made of recycled water bottles. The video is directed by Shaun Monson for earthlings.com in collaboration with fashion.net. By youtube.com/user/vegalitariansociety, 2008. By the way: The Vegalitarian Society was started in 2008 by Stig Harder, the founder of fashion.net.

The idea for eco-friendly bags.
In 1991 the idea for the eco-friendly collections came when Inder Bedi followed the recommendation of a Mahatma (Sanskrit ‘great soul’) to go vegetarian for 30 days. "... a design centric focus with environmental consciousness, a perfect balance of opposites emerges, representing the duality of Matt and Nat's soul." as you can read on mattandnat.com was born.

Matt and Nat list how eco friendly their vegan bags are:
- The bags are 100% vegan so there's no tanning process, and don't use any leather.
- Starting with Fall09 collection they will stop using all PVC - and all bags will be made of PU instead.
- Their products are not Fair Trade but are 'child labor free'.
- Depending on the size, 15-55 recycled plastic bottles go into the material used to make their bags.

The charities to vote for are:

ENOUGH - THE PROJECT TO MAKE GENOCIDE AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY HISTORY
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Enough's strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a "3P" crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises.
www.enoughproject.org

CDN WOMEN'S FOUNDATION - TRANSFORMING THE LIVES OF WOMEN AND GIRLS ACROSS CANADA
The Canadian Women's Foundation (CWF) is Canada's only national public foundation dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. CWF researches, shares and funds the most promising approaches to ending violence against women, moving low-income women out of poverty, and building strong, resilient girls.
www.cdnwomen.org

EARTHSAVE CANADA - SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT ONE MEAL AT A TIME
Earthsave Canada is a local, grassroots organization that advocates the benefits of a plant-based diet. Not simply for personal health benefits, switching to a plant-based diet is one of the most effective and impactful green decision an individual can take, conserving water, energy, natural resources, and ending our dependence on harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
www.earthsave.ca

WSPA - FIGHTING FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANIMALS EVERYWHERE
In partnership with hundreds of member societies, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) strives to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends. They bring about change at both grassroots and government levels to benefit animals. They support and develop high profile campaigns, scientifically-backed projects and innovative education initiatives. With their member societies, governments and international agencies, they also provide relief to animals in communities affected by disasters.
www.wspa.ca

Check out the website of samsāra and vote for your favorite charity: www.sam-sara.org. http://www.fashionoffice.org/collections/2009/samsara5-2009.htm

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