Sustainable fashion today offers you a rainbow of ways to shop and support the things you care about most. Whether it’s made in USA, cruelty free or fair trade, you can pick and choose how you vote with your dollars and #wearyourvalues. A great way to discover ethical fashion is through online retailers who curate and source pieces from ethical brands and ship them directly to you.
Maison de Mode is one such platform, providing some of the finest ethical brands out there now so you can look good, do good and feel good. Founded by fashion activist Amanda Hearst who you get to know in Made In Mexico and Hassan Pierre, the company started with pop-up shops and has since grown into an online pillar of the sustainable fashion movement.
In her recent interview with Coveteur, Amanda talks about how we can remake our shopping habits by following our existing love and support for organic food, “I think if people looked at fashion the same way, that there is a person behind it making the product; where are they making it, how are they living, do they have children…” And in our interview, Amanda talks about her life behind her fast-growing luxury ethical online store:
Tell me more about Maison de Mode. What inspired you to co-found this brand?
I’ve always loved fashion and cared about protecting the environment. So when I realized that the two were interrelated, I became interested in the idea of sustainable fashion. I first wrote about the topic for Marie Claire about 10 years ago. When I met my now partner, Hassan Pierre, we came up with a “side project” to create a concept shop showcasing ethical fashion. From there, we did about 12 more pop-ups. As we gained customers and profits, we realized that we were onto something. We launched the site in 2016 and it has been an incredible ride ever since!
How would you describe the Maison de Mode aesthetic?
Hassan and I started Maison de Mode with the goal of proving that sustainable and ethical fashion is luxurious and beautiful. So, all our products are, first and foremost, high-end in quality and aesthetic, luxurious, and unique.
To really move the needle, retailers need to showcase products and brands that are first and foremost luxurious but also sustainable.
What were you doing before you co-founded Maison de Mode?
I was a market editor at Marie Claire.
When did you first become interested in sustainability?
It’s hard to say because sustainability is such a multi-faceted topic. My interest in sustainable fashion began around 10 years ago when I started learning about the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Then that led to interests in sustainable food, beauty and living. It’s all interconnected. I think everyone begins this journey with their point of most interest. Mine happened to be fashion.
What has your journey been like as a sustainable entrepreneur?
Ever-evolving! It began with sustainable fashion but now I’m looking into natural beauty, a healthier diet…
Sustainability is a concept that impacts every aspect of our lives. Nobody is perfect, but it’s important to just try our best.
Can you describe your typical day?
I travel a lot so there isn’t too much of a routine! But I always make sure to do a pilates session in the day, a large soy latte in the morning, and a walk with my dog Finn before dinner.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Think big, start small.
Do you feel like marketing Maison de Mode as sustainable has helped or hindered the brand?
We market ourselves as a luxury retailer because, until recently, the idea of sustainable fashion made people nervous. There were all these stigmas. ‘It’s for hippies, it’s clothing made of hemp…’ So we want to surprise people by introducing them to cool, new brands that were also ethically made as a surprise. Now, we promote luxury and sustainability because many people are starting to realize that they are often the same thing.
What are your thoughts on today’s fashion cycle?
It’s too fast and this pace is unsustainable. I already see the push against fast fashion to a more custom-made, artisanal approach.
How do you believe the fast fashion industry can begin to fix itself?
I’m not sure it can. It’s on this treadmill and eventually the machine will just be too fast. I think that the fashion industry is going to go through a big overhaul and fast fashion is not going to stay in the picture.
How can brands manage their waste?
Eileen Fisher has a great product recycling program and there are some other brands developing efficient closed-loop cycles. But probably the biggest solution would be to produce less.
What brands do you look up to?
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs interested in sustainability?
Don’t take on everything alone. Work with like-minded people and learn how to delegate.
And now for some fun stuff. If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be?
I’d work for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust!
What are some things you do for fun?
Jigsaw puzzles, yoga. I’m learning Norwegian because my fiancé is Norwegian and, believe it or not, that’s really fun for me!
What is something nobody knows about you?
I’m fluent in Spanish.
Who would you love to see in Maison de Mode?
Emma Watson, she’s such an amazing sustainable fashion pioneer!
Where do you like to shop?
What is your favorite thing to wear?
Workout clothes. I’m taking athleisure to another level haha.
How do you wear your values?
By buying less and trying to know where a product came from before I buy it. It’s a process and nobody’s perfect!
Cover Photo: Carmen Busquets