There's a lot to talk about when it comes to sustainable fashion. For one, how do we know it is truly eco-friendly? Two, is it just a fad that's taking the spotlight for now? Three, is it a monotonous way of dressing up given you've not much options out there? Hindy Weber would like to take the time to discuss all of these with her new line, Hindy Weber Everyday.
After a long hiatus from the fashion industry, Hindy comes back with a renewed vision of the stylish life. Her version is a lot simpler and less restricting. To put it simply, she thinks fashion should be liberating. Hence, her seasonless RTW line follows no trends. Instead, it allows women to enjoy dressing up the way they see fit for themselves. What's more, you also get to do your part in the grander scheme of life.
Hindy's clothes are made with careful regard of the environment. Her clothes are made with topshelf organic textiles sourced and created ethically with long-term use in mind. In fact, she's pretty much like you and I who have a deep love for fashion. But in Hindy's case, she's determined to put her foot down for Mother Nature. For her, mindul fashion consciousness should be woven into our everyday lives. Through her line, she's urging us to do the same.
Below, we get to know more about Hindy's new venture and her admirable causes.
Could you tell us about your new business venture? What motivated you to make a come back in designing prêt-à-porter? What have you been up to since?
"I took an 8-year hiatus from ready to wear, but I was still designing specialty evening wear and bridal wear intermittently. My focus was on raising my family, and my organic farm business, Holy Carabao Farm.
A lot of friends and clients kept encouraging me to go back into prêt-à-porter but I only wanted to do it if I could do it with my new principles of sustainability and regeneration. I’m constantly sketching and collecting ideas, but never encountered a source for organic textiles and a sewing shop that complied with my standards. The stars aligned for me early this year."
What's the difference between your studio then and now?
"My work then was under a large retail store and we had to comply with global trends, and also merchandising formulae to comply with growth strategies. So it was very market and company driven. And when I moved into made-to-measure bridal and evening wear, I was still customer-driven so the selection of fabrics, trimmings and appliqués were not necessarily fully considerate of the environment. Whatever was pretty is what would go on the dress. But that doesn’t always equate to what is best for the greater whole.
My studio now is seasonless, trend-free and bound by a strict sustainability and fair trade ethos."
Having a sustainable view in fashion, what does the stylish life look like for you now?
"It might appear more restrictive but actually having less options in terms of textiles and trimmings gives me more freedom. It’s a new kind of freedom in that it’s simpler, easier. My pieces are easy to assimilate into your wardrobe, whatever your personal style is. It’s also a non-imposing view. I don’t impose my aesthetics on you. It’s actually quite like a clean slate, giving you room to play with the pieces and mix-match with what you already have. This is not easy, mind you. It’s a discipline for me as well. Everyday I need to edit, edit, edit. Fashion detox is what I call it."
In the Philippine context, where do you think Filipinos stand now when it comes to slow and sustainable fashion?
"There is some trendy interest, and it’s been great with Arte Fino and Maarte Fair boosting the patronage of local weaves. But everyone is an environmentalist until they have to pay for it. It’s just like organic food. It requires a new consciousness in order to go beyond the price tag. Because our prices are higher than fast fashion, it is naturally prohibitive. But we need to start deciding what we’re going to support with our peso. What brands, what companies, what kind of ethics are we helping support? It’s much easier to buy a shirt for P499 but what is the true cost of that shirt? How much of that goes to the farmer who grew the cotton, to the sewer, how much of the dye is polluting the rivers, how much water was wasted to make it? I urge everyone to start asking these questions. I love fashion just like anyone else, but I’m not a slave to it. And I’m certainly not willing anymore to turn a blind eye to all the injustices in the fast fashion industry."
How important is it for designers to provide eco-friendly options to their consumers or patrons?
"There is no other issue more important today than the health of the planet. Everything else comes second. If we don’t get our planet back to health, we are all doomed, and nothing else will matter. That’s a fact. It’s our very foundation. And the thing about the environment is, by curing it, we will cure all other ailments we face such as human rights, poverty, epidemics, socio-economics, violence. It’s all connected."
Let's talk about your line, Hindy Weber Everyday. Why did you name your line as such?
"Because I aim for a new fashion consciousness to permeate into our everyday lives."
You started online. What made you decide to have a pop-up shop?
"I got a lot of inquiries from potential clients who wanted to fit and feel the clothes. So I thought if I’m going to have a store, it would have to be a pop-ups because it’s the only model that fits the rest of my schedule. I am still hands-on with my family and Holy Carabao Farm."
What are the pieces we can expect when we visit your pop-up store? How do these resonate with the style of the modern Filipina?
"The modern Filipina can wear whatever she wants. At least that’s how I see it. My pieces are trans-continental, seasonless and trend-free. I try to design for as many body types as possible but I can’t please everyone. All materials and dyes are toxin-free and eco-safe. Colors are earthy with a natural fade. The silhouettes are simple and easy, yet I have to say they are not staid or boring. I still love the woman’s physique and like to dress women to feel beautiful and sexy, not “prim and proper”."
We noticed you have an interesting hashtag: #SeedToStyle. What's the story behind this?
"As a farmer myself, I know the importance of soil and seed health. Natural textiles come from fibers, fibers come from plants, plants come from seeds. The only textile I use from an animal is silk. But the silkworm eats the leaves of a mulberry tree, which still stems from a seed."
Finally, when we talk about slow and sustainable fashion, what's one myth that you'd like to debunk through your new fashion line?
"That it has to be made locally. Some of my garments are made overseas. I support the local industry in other ways. We live in a global market now, and I have chosen to produce most of my pieces overseas because of their skill and expertise with the kind of textiles I use. I just balance my carbon footprint in other ways."
Hindy's pop-up shop is located as SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City.