By Cora Hilts
Originally from the Maine countryside, Cora spent five years in Paris and New York City intermittently working in luxury fashion and studying Politics before ending up in London.
Today We Launch A Campaign Near And Dear To Us, As Detailed By Co-Founder Cora Hilts
What will our kids think of the future we are set to leave them?
I have had countless conversations with people who simply are too overwhelmed by all the bad news we are inundated with – climate change, resource depletion, plastic pollution, etc. It’s just too much negative information to take in. I think anyone’s natural reaction would be to want to bury their head in the sand – and if the world stopped with us, with our generation, that would be fine. But it doesn’t. A couple of years ago I was having a conversation with the model Amber Valetta, who has been a huge advocate of sustainable fashion. At her house in California, her young son was hanging around. Looking at him fondly, she was telling us about sending him to a progressive school that had environmental impact being taught at early ages and that now he was coming home lecturing her on recycling properly, being conscious of plastic, monitoring their carbon footprint. It made a lasting impression on me.
What Will This Next Generation Think Of The Choices We Make Today If We Continue To Brutally Abuse The Planet We Are Leaving To Them? What If We Ruin Things For Them Before They Have The Chance To Be Better Than We Were?
When the world gets so warm that huge storms are constant, water levels take over major cities and the oceans are full of our refuse, it will be around the time that this next generation is really in their stride. And the worst part is that they will not be able to turn back the hands of time. You can’t bring ice caps back once they’ve melted, you can’t get rid of millions of tonnes of textile waste that take hundreds of years to decompose and you can’t revive species that have been driven to extinction through over-consumption.
This was not meant to be a doom and gloom manifesto, but I do not think it’s good to sugar coat things that are so fundamentally important. The amazing thing is, if we all start considering our every day choices, we DO have the possibility to create change and make an impact. Every time you make a purchase you are making a choice about the sort of world you want to live in. That power is where the idea for the #WhatWillOurKidsThink campaign stems from.
Every single time we purchase an item, we are casting a vote for the sort of world we want. When you buy conventional polyester, nylon or spandex you are voting to keep materials in circulation that will pollute our waters with micro-particles of plastic that take hundreds of years to break down and end up on our shorelines and in the seafood we eat. When you buy from Zara, you are making Amancio Ortega the richest man on the planet by producing clothing that is made so cheaply his workers can’t afford to live. As a recent garment worker, Betul Sahin, told the BBC after the campaign where they sewed tags into clothing asking Zara shoppers for help in their crusade for proper payment: “Maybe this kind of money is not a big deal for everyone. But for us every penny counts. We worked so hard for it. We ask Zara: ‘Why don’t you pay us? Why don’t you give us our basic rights?” This is the sort of treatment we vote for when we shop from fast fashion.
“Maybe This Kind Of Money Is Not A Big Deal For Everyone. But For Us Every Penny Counts. We Worked So Hard For It. We Ask Zara: ‘Why Don’t You Pay Us? Why Don’t You Give Us Our Basic Rights?”
I am not a perfect person and I have never claimed to be, therefore Rêve En Vert is not a perfect company. There’s no such thing in fashion currently, but I can say with 100% honesty this is a company built upon principles of ethics and sustainability. We are aware of every problem lingering in our supply chains or material that still haven’t reached ideal eco status, and we actively combat these issues by figuring out alternatives, dropping designers who lose their integrity and being as activist as we can on issues we know need to be discussed.
And therein lies the inspiration for the #whatwillourkidsthink campaign. As a woman in my early 30s, all of a sudden my friends are talking about getting pregnant or are having babies. I see my fiancé’s niece and nephew and I think, oh god, is the world going to be not so great for them? Are they going to be able to swim in the sea when they’re older or will it be too full of plastic? Will we have polluted so many water ways from our demand for toxic dyes and tanned leathers that clean and fresh water becomes a commodity? It’s for all these children I wanted to launch this campaign.
I am not advising we all change our lives immediately, I am personally struggling with going zero waste at the moment (extremely hard), have to remind myself paying more for fashion from independent and ethical designers is worth the outlay of precious cash, and try to always remember my keep cup and tote bag when I go out for a cappuccino and a run to the grocery store. But what we all must do is start to make change, even if it’s small. The world can’t go if we keep taxing it as we are.
Whether or not you have children, I think we can all think of one we are fond of and want the best for. Therefore, we are talking about the steps we are all able to make now, today, to start the change. For me, inspiration for this comes from my finance’s niece Mimi. She is two, very fabulous and I think someone who will grow up to speak her mind and appreciate nature having grown up in Devon. I do not want to feel guilt and sadness when I think of the world I am leaving to Mimi. Please follow our social media platforms as we start the conversation, engage with interesting women and try and pioneer a movement within fashion for positive action. Talk to us about what you are doing about sustainability, what upsets you and what inspires you. If you have a child or children in your life, tell us if that has changed your outlook on the future. Share articles that illuminate and educate and send us your thoughts. Help us create a world our kids will thank us for and habits they will respect, it’s so worth it.
Cora with Mimi
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with the campaign! We be having guest editors, influencers and other brands to contribute their thoughts so stay tuned to hear how others are approaching the future and tackling their own ethical questions.
We have also created a range of eco-firenldy tote bags to support the campaign. For every purchase of a bag, profits will go directly to our charitable partner Trees for the Future, which plants trees in deforested areas to recreate local livelihoods, re-fertilize destroyed lands and offset carbon emissions.
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