Making Fashion Sustainable And Circular
Growing up on a farm in Uruguay, fashion designer Gabriela Hearst learned to value nature’s resources and make the most of them. “A farm, overall, is the highest example of circularity”, she observes in this DLD Circular conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist. “You can have as much as the Earth lets you have there.”
Hearst also explains why she believes that the future of fashion lies, in some ways, in the past. “I’ve always said that in fashion, in a certain way, we have to look to pre-industrialized times.” One example: coloring fabrics with botanical dyes, rather than chemical ones. Hearst also pioneered the use of a biodegradable material named Tipa as a replacement for plastic packaging in the fashion industry.
As Creative Director of Chloé, as well as with her own fashion label, Hearst strives to minimize waste and use organic materials whenever possible. “We're trying to look at craft and it really is a matter of understanding and respecting your materials and where they come from.”
The conversation also touches upon Hearst’s efforts to reduce over-consumption and increase the percentage of repurposed fabrics. “We have a percentage of recycle and upcycle materials that we use every season”, she says. “And last year, in our ready-to-wear [collection], for all of 2020, we were over 50 percent, upcycle and recycled.” For 2021, the aim is 60 to 70 percent, Hearst adds.
Gabriela Hearst is the Creative Director for Chloé. Her commitment is to make a strong and modern collection without compromising ethics and key values, taking into consideration where materials come from and who is making them. In 2020, the British Fashion Council awarded Gabriela as an Environment Honoree for her contribution in creating positive change within the industry.
Hans Ulrich Obrist is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since 1991 he has curated more than 250 shows. Obrist’s publications include A Brief History of Curating, Project Japan: Metabolism Talks with Rem Koolhaas, Do It: The Compendium, Think Like Clouds and Ai Weiwei Speaks.