Mara Hoffman Says The Sky Is the Limit When It Comes To Promoting Sustainability
5 May 2019
Mara Hoffman’s work extends far beyond the clothing she creates. Her design philosophy represents a progressive take on the future of fashion. Hoffman has become entrenched in the sustainable fashion movement, exemplified by her latest collection shown last September, dubbed a “fashion funeral”, which represented her vision for upholding a sustainable future for her brand and, she hopes, the industry.
Her efforts to be more aware and responsibe begin with her personal style. When shopping, she is drawn to wearable, easy to care for pieces that augment her daily uniform - a white button-down and pants. Brands such as Eileen Fisher, Stella McCartney and Patagonia are all committed to making a lasting impact on a positive and less wasteful future and became great sources of inspiration, as well as myriad other individuals who have been in this space for a much longer time.
Hoffman’s shopping habits shifted as her awareness grew about the state of sustainability in the industry. “I started to feel the weight and overbearingness of the things that I already owned. My relationship to the things I owned shifted.” She began buying less and shopping more enthusiastically for vintage pieces. Her favorite piece of clothing is currently a pair of vintage Levi’s jeans. She wears them almost everyday.
This mentality extended to her design philosophy too. She has always valued timeless design and a long, wearable life, but she began asking herself, “Are we doing customers a favor by creating this, or are we just adding more noise?” More importantly though, Hoffman always questions, “Is this garment special?” Hoffman is purposeful about the clothing she creates, and prefers a slow pace when creating. She values the Mara Hoffman mindset: Everybody coming together under the same purpose and with the same mission. A fitting allegory for the industry more broadly.
Hoffman is enthusiastic about the future of sustainable fibers. New innovative technologies such as renewable cottons and fiber-to-fiber recycling are encouraging, promoting a range of choice for the Mara Hoffman brand and wider industry. “I’m excited to see alternatives, and not be limited by sustainable options when I’m designing.” For instance, the launch of TENCELTM Luxe fibers created a “wow” moment for both Hoffman and the brand, as she could finally replace silk with a more environmentally friendly alternative. “I have something now that I can substitute, and have the kindest version of this feeling that I’m trying to accomplish.”
She does warn however, that although this movement is promising, the pace at which brands are asked to output is still unsustainable. For sustainability to be achieved in the long term, Hoffman argues that fashion must slow down. “We are feeding an outdated system by constantly producing more. Waste and pollution do need reform, but from a designer’s perspective, I’d like more time”. Hoffman is dedicated to creating thoughtful garments and she no longer subscribes to a constant need for newness, but rather focuses on a singular, high-quality collection over a longer period of time.
The Mara Hoffman brand embodies a vision to inspire change. Sustainability is one of her most important brand messages. “There is no room to be a brand right now who isn’t at some level at least trying to accomplish this.” Hoffman is committed to a sustainable future and feels excited about what is yet to come. “The sky is the limit and I think we are heading that way. It really feels like that.”
Please feel free to check out Part 1 of the Mara Hoffman interview video here.