My desire to make sustainability the ultimate way of life was the reason behind starting Rêve En Vert. I wanted style and ethics to sit alongside one another and to inspire people to change the way they consume.
We have since expanded from strictly selling sustainable fashion into offering a full array of conscious beauty, home, and lifestyle products, as it’s become very obvious that people are looking to make significant change in all areas of their lives. Fashion, however, sits at the heart of what we do and helping people have a more sustainable wardrobe is a very personal mission for me.
Here, I offer five simple tips for curating a conscious closet. I hope they help you get started on what is truly a wonderful journey of putting meaning over less thoughtful consumption!
1 | Ignore trends and invest in fashion that lasts —
Humans purchase 400% more clothing today than we did 20 years ago, and the average American tosses out 82 pounds of textile waste each year. (This adds up to be around 11 million tons of waste from the US alone.) For the most part, these textiles aren’t biodegradable, which means they sit in landfills for at least 200 years where they release harmful gases into the air.
At Rêve En Vert, we curate our selection of goods to only offer pieces that we know will stand the test of time with quality and style.
I have personally pared down my closet to have only natural fibers that I feel comfortable and beautiful in and can’t tell you how much I look forward to the changing seasons to get back into the three favorite sweaters I own or the four perfect summer outfits. Simplifying your closet is one of the easiest swaps to make.
2 | Avoid plastic in fashion (it’s much more prevalent than you think) —
This is one of the biggest issues we are currently facing at Rêve En Vert: how do you responsibly use stock plastic-based fabrics? It’s shocking how much plastic fibers are in our clothing (anything made from polyester, nylon, or rayon is simply an elevated term for plastic). The big issue with this? The microparticles that come out of them. According to The Guardian, each cycle of a washing machine can release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibers into the environment.
Particular offenders are activewear as they are almost entirely made of these fabrics. Luckily, there are more and more lines out there which are coming out with natural activewear alternatives — we stock an incredible line called Vyayama that makes yoga pieces from things like bamboo, tencel, and cupros which are all natural materials that biodegrade.
3 | Steer clear of fast fashion —
I don’t personally believe fast fashion can ever really be sustainable — their business models are at odds with slow, smaller scale, and local production practices. Most chain stores insist on new products in each of their locations every two weeks. Even if all of them were to implement 100% viable recycling schemes (of which none of them are currently even close), it would still not justify how much resource went into making that much cheap fashion in the first place. Also, the carbon footprint of these huge corporate fashion houses are insane — one piece of clothing can visit 12 countries before it ends up on your shelf.
4 | Ask yourself if you REALLY need it —
Estimates suggest more than half of all clothing purchases are discarded in less than a year. Landfills burn the equivalent of one garbage truck full of garments each and every second. It’s so easy to use shopping as a quick stress fix, so years ago when I started Rêve En Vert I made up a question I would ask myself anytime I shopped for something: would I feel amazing if I bumped into an ex whilst wearing this? It’s shockingly effective as a way of whittling down your purchases to only those that you truly love and will wear confidently time and time again.
5 | Explore vintage options —
Fashion is circular in terms of trends so oftentimes something that someone discarded as out-of-date years ago will come back in style. I have found silk slips from the 20’s to sleep in, flowy dresses from the 70’s in my mother’s closet, and a particularly amazing Belstaff biker jacket in a small vintage shop in Venice. All of these pieces I treasure and take care of because I know they are rare now. In a world with billions of people, it feels nice to possess something that no one else has, and to know I won’t walk into a party and see eight other girls looking exactly the same. It allows me to not only be sustainable, but to feel that I have a unique sense of style.
There is so much resource already on the earth, it’s crazy that we are still producing so many new items… particularly ones that won’t stand the test of time.
Cora Hilts, co-founder and CEO of luxury sustainable e-tailer Rêve En Vert (REV), began her illustrious career at Christian Louboutin and Stella McCartney where she gained a love for design and the creative industries. From Bar Harbor, Maine, Hilts has lived in London since 2013, where she co-founded Rêve En Vert in 2014 out of her London studio apartment. Having since lived and worked in Paris and New York, Hilts gained a master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Politics from King’s College London, where her true passion for the environment was nurtured and the idea of Rêve En Vert began.
Rêve En Vert believes in quality style made from a place of consciousness. Their highly-curated collections deliver long-lasting fashion you can feel good about, wanting to empower their consumers to think differently about the products they buy. Rêve En Vert strives to create a new era of style, and a space for honest luxury.