Gabriela Hearst is a designer who has sustainability in her roots. She grew up on a 6 generation ranch in Uruguay where things were built to last. Quality is something the brand is built on. There is no pressure to produce a full collection for the sake of it. The time is always taken in refining the design, ‘even if it’s 6 months’.
This is the woman responsible for this bag. She is so particular about the materials used to make it, there’s a waitlist.
Hearst is a rare designer ‘that has their hand on every single aspect’. She oversees the raw materials chosen, the mills, the stockists and even the backstage catering at the show. She explains, ‘sustainability is something that you practice, you do it everyday, its an exercise. You have to continue perfecting it.’ It’s about being transparent and honest and doing what is best for the environment, ‘the environment is the number one thing we should be paying attention to right now.’
Circular fashion however, is not something they focus on. ‘I am designing so people have it forever’. It is the definition of timeless, her design principals are based on the past, ‘look back 10 years and see if it is still desirable today’.
Nothing is overproduced or overstocked. ‘You don’t want to be overdistributed in a time where there is excess of everything. You don’t have to be everywhere you just have to be successful where you are and focus on them.’
Hearst implores that the industry ‘needs to clean up’. Waste is used to challenge her design – ‘our responsibility as creatives to come up with ideas.’ Offcuts and leftovers are used to create small runs of garments, sometimes only 10 at a time and she notes, ‘that is luxury, not everyone can have it.’
Gabriela Hearst interviewed by Julie Gilhart.