Cora Hilts, co-founder of Rêve En Vert, aims to empower consumers to think differently about the way they shop, shaping a future of conscious consumerism. Having studied an MA in Environmental Politics and learning that fashion is the second most polluting industry on earth, it was clear there was a need for a change which ignited a spark that lead to REV. As a retailer of sustainable and honest luxury, each brand is chosen on the notion of four core values; organic, re-made, local and fair. Thankfully, Cora and her team have done the hard work for us so we can indulge in some guilt free shopping.
Cora Hilts, co-founder of Rêve En Vert
How did Rêve En Vert come to fruition?
The company was really born out of the idea that fashion could be a truly effective medium for promoting change – it’s such an influential industry and I always thought that impact could be used for good, rather than to the detriment of our people and planet. If we could curate beautiful items that didn’t cost the earth, it seemed to make sense to me that everyone would rather purchase those items over the ones that are harmful. So I started to bring together all the really amazing designers I was finding within ethical fashion, beauty and lifestyle onto one platform and that was when Rêve En Vert began to evolve into the sustainable luxury retail site it is today.
Who is the Rêve En Vert girl?
She is contemporary and open-minded, forward thinking in a lot of ways I like to think. She is thoughtful and considered with her purchases – she is cultured in the sense that she considers others as well as herself as her eyes are open to both the good and the bad in the world. She’s stylish and savvy when it comes to her purchases. But most of all I like to think she’s compassionate.
Yoli and Otis stocked at Rêve En Vert
Yoli and Otis Veren Dress
What is most important to you when looking for new sustainable brands?
At the moment, I would say innovations in recycling is what I am looking at the most. We have produced so much in this world already that we hardly need to be creating more and I think that finding ways of repurposing what is already in existence is one of the most exciting elements of sustainability.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Longevity is something we consider an absolute benchmark at REV, and that means everything we have should be able to stand the test of time.
What are the items you recommend investing in?
Good knitwear, organic lingerie and a staple bag. Knitwear because so much of conventional wools are gathered in ways that are so harmful to the animals and mass produced with other materials that are often mixed in to make it cheaper for designers to sell. For instance I read last year that a lot of cheap cashmere items are actually mixed in with rat or horse hair in order to make the cashmere go further and I was so appalled. You really need to trust your suppliers when it comes to these items.
What are some simple things we can do to be more conscious consumers?
My top three switches to become more conscious more quickly are:
Ditch the high street, I’m sorry but I don’t think fast fashion can ever truly be sustainable.
Opt for natural and organic fabrics over synthetics – polyester, nylon, rayon, etc. are all just other names for plastic and the micro-particles that comes out when we wash these are filling up our waterways and ending up in the food chain.
Invest in your zero waste essentials (lovely tote bag, stainless steel tupperware and straws, reusable water bottles – I can’t believe how many people I still see in my yoga classes come in with plastic water bottles after David Attenborough did such a good job educating us all on this!)
Do you have plans for future pop ups or a permanent space after The Honest Space?
Yes, we are hoping to have our first independent pop up store late this Spring….stay tuned for details!
How do you reflect the Rêve En Vert core values in your day to day?
I always say sustainability is a bit of a rabbit’s hole – you just tend to get more and more into it as you begin to dedicate time to living consciously. It’s now intrinsic that the consideration I give to the planet through my fashion company extends into the way I eat, travel, live life with my husband and even the conversations I have. Once you start acknowledging how badly change is needed and our individual abilities to create it it can be really empowering to live your life in a different way. I no longer look at trends or observe people jealously because they have something I want, I read news stories and educate myself and get my validation from being a person who cares and is hopefully helping to leave the world in a bit of a better place. That to me is real freedom as well.
What’s your most treasured item and how do you look after it?
My vintage engagement ring and I simply try and keep it on my finger always as I am very bad at losing things!
What do you hope for the future of Rêve En Vert?
I hope that we can make consumers feel like they have the ability to create real and meaningful change – not only in the way that they shop but also in the way they consider their impact on the world. We found this quote at REV the other day that I just loved and hoped to spread the word of so I’ll end on that, it’s from Rumi – “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” If we could make people feel that way through Reve En Vert I would feel like we had done really good work.
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