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Interviews: Cora Hilts, reve en vert

Interviews: Cora Hilts, reve en vert

by Ana Wang

March 20, 2014


LONDON — “I really began to be involved with fashion when I moved to Paris at 19. I admire the way French women dress and still consider them as muses for rêve en vert. I love how they own relatively few pieces but that each one is beautiful and considered. Paris was where I first saw that you could have sustainability in fashion simply by buying less and buying to last-those investment pieces that you reach for time and time again. There’s also that sort of careless sophistication thing they’ve got going on that I adore – I’m a little too flower child myself to always pull it off but it’s such a great look.

I accredit my passion for sustainability largely to growing up in the countryside, right on the ocean. My mother was adamant about making me aware of the beauty and satisfaction you find in nature, and I’ve very much kept that sensitivity with me as I grew up and moved to the city. This sort of intrinsic value I had was refined whilst in my master’s course in environmental politics and sustainability at Kings College London.

rêve en vert was born out of the desire to create positive change through my professional life. I wanted to evoke change in the lives of the many people who I know and meet on a daily basis as they are oftentimes the ones who don’t gravitate so naturally into the world of sustainability. It’s a platform Natasha and I have curated to be for people like us – we live in London, we like to have fun and be fashionable, but not at a cost to other humans or the earth. We intend it to be the online shopping destination for ethically produced fashion with emphasis on aesthetic. Sustainable fashion should be as beautiful in it’s appearance as it is in its production.

SVILU drawstring pants are perfect for throwing on everyday. They are made in the USA from organic cotton and fit perfectly. Tarnlight Collective’s sweaters are my go to piece for knitwear – the designer Adam Jones was head of knitwear at Dior and you can see his expertise with these light sweaters. One size fits all and in four gorgeous colors – I always go for the bright red. They are sustainably made in a small factory in Italy and laced with healing energy, so I really don’t feel you can go wrong there. I love wearing leather jackets year round, and one thing about London’s slightly dreary weather is it allows me to do so. The Sway cropped and studded leather jacket uses all up-cycled leathers that would otherwise go to waste, and naturally dyes them using vegetable tanning processes. You can be rock a bit rock n’ roll with this jacket – I throw it over everything.

My Muzungu Sisters velvet and silk robe was hand-made by a Moroccan embroiderer – each one takes a month to produce in the family’s workshop. It’s such a special piece and reminiscent of traditional means of production so I do treasure it. I have a vintage gold pendant that belonged to my great grandmother, the original Cora. It was originally a brooch but we made it into a necklace to be a bit more wearable – I think of this as my classic example of a piece that is timeless. And lastly, my Alix of Bohemia jacket was hand-sewn for me by the lovely hippie herself. Alix is amazing in that she uses vintage fabrics from Japanese flags to old French table clothes to create one of a kind pieces.

My must have beauty essentials are Josie Maran organic Argan oil; without fail, John Masters Organics for all hair care products; and coconut oil – I have started using coconut oil in my baths which is great for skin and hair, plus you smell like you’re coming off the beach which is never a bad thing. My favourite cream of all time is Love Your Body Cream from Indian Meadow Herbals – it’s made in small batches by two women not far from my home in Maine. Oh, and I love Kjaer Weis organic make-up which I discovered through a friend working for her. All of the packaging is beautiful and meant to be refilled to cut down on waste. Her palettes are perfection.

I think being sustainably minded has really infiltrated my life in a way that makes me generally a bit more respectful to people and the planet. I think about my actions in a much larger context now as I think people tend to think that as one person they don’t have much power to make a difference, but I really disagree with this. Everything from taking shorter showers to bringing tote bags to the grocery store matters in regards to our impact on the earth. Once you open your mind to the things you can do to make a change in your lifestyle it actually becomes really intrinsic – I hope rêve en vert can inspire this in our followers.”

– As told to Ana Wang, March 2014

Photo: reve en vert

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