One of the biggest things we try to educate brands on, is that sustainability is a journey, your ethical sourcing is a journey. The place where you launch your brand on day 1 is just the first step to building a brand for people, planet, and profit. One of our favorite brands who exemplifies this journey most is Mara Hoffman, who has slowly grown her business to be a leader in sustainable fashion one decision at a time. Last week we had the privilege of attending the launch event of their latest sustainability initiative Mara Hoffman: Repaired and Renewed in partnership with The Renewal Workshop. Here's our conversation with the team and what you can takeaway for your own sustainability journey as well.
Mara Hoffman: Repaired & Renewed by The Renewal Workshop
If you've been in the industry for any length of time, you are aware of the massive waste issue we have from damaged merchandise. The Renewal Workshop launched in 2015 and is the leading provider for circular solutions for apparel and textile brands. They partner with brands to keep all of their unsellable goods from landfill.
Q&A with Michelle Flores, Director of Sales, The Renewal Workshop
How does The Renewal Project process work?
Q&A with Mara Hoffman, Owner/President, Mara Hoffman
What does your team do to find new sustainability partners that are a good fit for your brand?
We rely heavily on the sustainable community. After we set out on a path, we typically find resources quickly come back to us. It's actually one of my favorite things about making this shift, is the openness of informatio, and that was so different. Before, everything felt so proprietary, but now making this sustainability shift, everyone's goal is to give everyone their contacts and information and improve together.
Q&A with Dana Davis, VP Sustainability, Product, Business Strategy, Mara Hoffman
How did you find The Renewal Workshop?
We run in a lot of similar circles. I had seen them at Fashion For Good and we were both members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Then we spoke with other brands who worked with them like Eileen Fisher, Prana, and Patagonia. When we got into this space, we were intentional to build a community and network of people we could rely on. It was through these recommendations that we were able to ensure this partnership was a good fit for our brand and move forward.
What did creating this partnership look like?
We were actually in conversation for about a year before launching. The Renewal Workshop had done a lot of work with outdoor brands prior and so it was important for us to ensure whatever we did was a good fit for our customer. Through that process, they had proposed some amazing ideas and their business ethos is so aligned with ours that is was a great process.
With so many great sustainable resources popping up today, how do you decide what to go with first?
We focus on impact first. We are a scrappy team, so we look at budget and what we can accomplish with a small team, and measure that against the impact we see it making. These partnerships also help us on a communications level, so we can engage with our consumer, and teach them something they can do with us to be more sustainable.
This is really the first step for us. We hope to open this up to our customers to take back their clothes. Ultimately, we want to create a line that is truly circular by partnering with different textile recyclers, and other partners who help us reach that goal.
Just like the Mara Hoffman team relies on their sustainable community to build a better brand, so should you! To learn about more sustainable fashion events, like this one, taking place or to gain more insight into sustainable strategy ideas and resources, join Deadstock District today.