If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
This African proverb has long been a favourite of mine. Sure, we can do a lot of things on our own, and in many instances we may have no other choice, but having others help can take us to places we’d probably never reach alone. It’s not always easy to ask for help. Sometimes we’re afraid. Sometimes we don’t want to burden others. And sometimes we just don’t want to come across as weak or needy… yet asking for help when you really need it can be the most courageous and bravest thing you can do.
For those of you already following the brand you may remember a story we covered back in March on 24 year old Ugandan fashion designer, Idah Nandyose (@nandycouture) – see blog post ‘International Women’s Day.' Idah contacted Miss Matahari because she was aware of the brand’s philosophy and mission – to shed light onto inspirational women overcoming obstacles and challenges to realise their goals and dreams, whilst looking at ways in which we might be able to help or support.
Since the original story, Idah started the 'My body is mine’ campaign (@mybodyisminecampaign) against body and menstrual stigmatization; still a huge problem in many parts of Africa, (and sadly other parts of the world too). For these women, their monthly period is more than a mere inconvenience, it brings shame, guilt and even bullying. With limited access to sanitary products, (which are expensive - parents and husbands would rather buy food), these girls are left unguided, trying to find ways in which to hide their periods. Self-isolating can result in the avoidance of school, work or any public places. Underage pregnancy is also common, and without proper education, another on-going issue that needs to be addressed.
Along with her mother's all-women tailoring business (@tinactailors), Idah hopes to empower girls with style and self-esteem, promoting a positive body image. They are also planning to begin mentorship programs and seminars where influential women will hold talks and find ways to combat this type of bullying. The programs will advocate menstrual hygiene by teaching young women how to make their own sanitary pads from old fabric and banana stem wastes (more exciting news on that later!) These will be washable and reusable, so fully sustainable. Not only will this initiative provide the necessary skills to make their own sanitary products, it will also provide the girls with vocational skills which they can use to gain employment too.
In order to help this campaign we’re looking to raise funds to cover the cost of additional sewing machines, sewing supplies, and tutors. However even without funding, Idah and her family are already imparting their knowledge to smaller groups of girls. With your help 200 girls a year can be educated, with an aim to increase this number to 750.
Miss Matahari pledges to give 20% of all sales this summer to try and raise money for this cause. With fashion sales at an all-time low, however, I’m not sure it will prove very successful. I fully respect that many of you may be unable to buy or donate at this time, so I ask you to simply share Idah’s story and create further awareness – follow, like, comment, share – none of these cost a single penny but are priceless to those receiving your attention and support.
Just as it’s not right that we should still be fighting for #blacklivesmatter, neither should we be fighting for women to be able to menstruate without the fear of bullying, shame and poor hygiene; something most of us take for granted. This is 2020; the year for change. By helping Idah you're supporting so many amazing causes at once. Black-owned businesses. Women-owned businesses. Body positivity. Free bleeding. Mental health. Sustainability. And simply providing women with the knowledge and empowerment to be able to help themselves. Positive change IS possible. So please, let’s not just go fast, let’s go FAR, TOGETHER.
Miss Matahari xx
If you're a woman, women-led business or organisation with an inspirational story to tell, please email email@example.com so that we can share it and help support you in any way that we can. #womensupportingwomen #togetherwearestronger
All images featured in this blog post are supplied by Idah Nandyose and Tinac Tailors.
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As the world slowly starts to emerge out of its pyjama/blanket clad cocoon, I wonder what we can take away from this unprecedented experience of Covid 19. What have we learnt? What will we miss? And what will we want to change moving forwards?
This global pandemic has affected so many people in negative ways, but still, somewhere amid the fear and uncertainty we have also seen hope, and the potential for a better and braver new world.
Size Guide information - best viewed in landscape mode/on a larger screen.
The models in The Warrior Collection range from 5'5" - 5'9" in height and size 4-6 US (8-10 UK). They are all wearing our size S.
The main model in The New Frontier Collection is 5' 10" and a US size 2-4 (6-8 UK). Her bust is 34", waist 26" and hips 36.5". She is also wearing our size S. The petite model wearing some of the styles and accessories is 5' 3" and a US size 2. Her bust is 33", waist 25" and hips 39". She is wearing our size XS. If you fall into the petite category, you might find XS fits you better length-wise.
Note on pants - The workout tights/capris in The Warrior collection fit a little larger than pants/leggings in The New Frontier collection, as they've been specifically designed to flatter all body types, with a slightly more generous cut on the thighs and around the waist. If you have very slim thighs, we recommend you go down a size in any of the Warrior collection bottoms. In general all of our pants are designed to accommodate curvy or muscular thighs. When in doubt, drop a size.
We've also created all styles across all collections to fit a little longer on the sleeves and legs to provide more allowance for different shapes and sizes; not to mention we love the longer sleeved/legged look.
If you have any queries on sizing, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be more than happy to discuss your specific requirements.