Chloé’s Creative Director Is Making the Brand More Sustainable

Chloé’s Creative Director Is Making the Brand More Sustainable

October 28, 2022|4 min read
By Grace
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Chloé

In December of 2020, Gabriela Hearst was announced as the new creative director of luxury fashion house Chloé. People who were familiar with her previous work knew that her leadership direction would bring major change to the 70 year old fashion brand. And indeed it did. It became a goal of Hearst’s to focus on sustainability.

From a young age, Hearst understood the importance of using just the right amount and salvaging leftover materials to make new things. She stated, “I grew up on a farm, everything gets used on a farm, so that's where I learned utilitarian skills for sustainability.”

With that attitude, she founded her own fashion brand in 2015 and named it after herself. On the website, there is an entire page dedicated to sustainability, and what sustainable efforts were put forth during a particular year.

For example, the year the company was founded (2015) the timeline reads: “Gabriela Hearst launches her first designer womenswear collection for Fall/Winter with two main values - Long Term and Sustainability. A brand that reflects a slower pace and process: where tradition influences more than trend, where there is a purpose to every piece, where it’s all in the details.“ I wanted to create a brand that had that feeling of things that are well made and long lasting. The company began a partnership with Manos del Uruguay, a 50 year old non-profit women’s cooperative that empowers rural women who are in charge of the production of Gabriela Hearst hand-knits.“

Because she developed utilitarian skills at a young age, her attitude towards fashion is thoughtful and minimal, meaning she produces things to order or in small batches. One reason for doing so is to help fight the overconsumption of goods; she notes that "we live in a world that is overproducing things that we don't need.” This is why she always encourages her clients to “Buy what you need, what you want, what you want to pass down." Hearst took this mindset to Chloé with the hope of making a difference.

Since becoming creative director, Hearst has created three collections for Chloé. Her first designs were produced within two months (an extremely tight deadline) for the Autumn-Winter 2021 collection, which was shown in March of 2021. This collection included a collaboration with the Sheltersuit Foundation, a nonprofit organization that makes outerwear for homeless people from recycled and deadstock materials. Hearst invited the founder, Bas Trimmer, to Chloé’s studio where she asked if the designers were able to create a backpack using some of Chloé’s deadstock materials. For every backpack sold, two sheltersuits were made. The rest of the collection was made with four times more lower-impact materials compared to the previous year (circa 2020). Materials such as viscose and polyester were either eliminated, recycled, or reused from the collection; any denim used was organic, and vintage bags were repurposed. "New isn't always better,” stated Hearst.

Chloé Sustainability Support

With Hearst as the new creative director, a sub brand called Chloé Craftwas created. Craft only consisted of handmade products by independent artisans. While the brand aims to be low impact, it is faced with the challenge of finding ways to make large quantities of production more eco-conscious.

Very recently, at Craft’s SS22 collection debut, Hearst stated, “We’re launching Chloé Craft because I started to realize that this thing that we’re calling luxury fashion feels so industrialized. It looks very machine made. I think it’s important to go into a re-education of what craft looks like. So, everything that is entirely made by hand is identified by a special label. This way, people start to notice the difference; also, if it’s made from deadstock, by a non-profit, and so on. We are using so many different non-profits to make the collection that I have to study and memorize them. And I love them.”

Chloé Sustainable Pieces

Hearst stands out in an inundated industry of greenwashing and empty environmental promises, but her genuine attitude and humble background to save the world shines through and has been infused into the Chloé brand.

Since her reign, the company has achieved B Corp status. Hearst is ensuring that the company makes more conscious decisions when it comes to the environment. This attitude is admirable, especially working at a company like appreciate, where we encourage our users to interact with their goods in a mindful way.

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Grace
Grace
Marketing Associate at appreciate
Grace Collora works as a Marketing Associate at appreciate. She has many interests including writing about fashion, pop culture, and sustainability.

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