Rêve en vert (dream in green) is fast becoming the go-to destination for lust-worthy high-end sustainable fashion.
Founded in 2014, the online luxury boutique proves that sustainability doesn’t have to sacrifice style and it has been growing fast. In the last two years, it has received major funding from two major investors, allowing them to finance the launch of the capsule in-house brand, REV by Rêve En Vert and a pop-up shop at the Shop at Bluebird.
Touting “quality from a place of consciousness”, the London based brand rejects animal cruelty, child labour, poor working conditions and other environment-damaging production processes.
The site offers an impressively diverse range of wares, from sleek Scandinavian basics by Philippa K to modern jewellery by California based Melissa Joy Manning.
The vetting process for brands wishing to join the platform is strict. Reve en Vert (REV) follows a list of tenets including the requirement of products to be remade, local, organic or fair and certain standards in terms of their use of materials, factories and workers must be met.
For founder Cora Hilts, the road to success hasn’t always been easy, facing challenges in the beginning from an industry that refused to acknowledge the importance of sustainable fashion. While the fashion world has newly embraced sustainability since then, this brings other difficulties with it, as it can be viewed as something to use as a marketing gimmick or a trend. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Hilts said:
“Four years ago when we launched, very few people were talking about sustainability in luxury fashion as it just wasn’t cool yet. Ironically today one of the big challenges we face as a truly sustainable company is how many fashion brands have taken sustainability on as a trend or a buzzword.
“With so many conscious collections and sustainable goals being set now, I think consumers are becoming confused about what the word even means in fashion,” she continued. “The way we now combat this and our unique proposition has always been and will remain to be the fact that every element of our business, from our designers to our logistics, has sustainability at its core.”
As awareness of the importance of replacing our bad fast fashion habits grows, due to its devastating effects on people and the planet, fashion platforms like Reve en Vert show us that, there is another way.
“I think people are beginning to wake up to the fact that the earth has an infinite amount of resources that we are using up at a pace that is quite terrifying,” said Hilts. “For the most part, people behind the industry now know this cannot continue.”
One thing that new customers might be put off by is the relatively higher price points when compared with high street brands. As Hilts will tell you, this is because the high street offers a completely different product. Therefore, fashion made with all the boxes checked to ensure its production is ethically and environmentally sound is simply on another level altogether. As such, it isn’t really fair to compare the two. According to Hilts, the big obstacle to overcome here is a change in our shopping attitudes.
“It is impossible to create sustainable fashion at prices that would rival the high street in most cases,” she says. “The reality is that we just should not be able to spend £10 on a fashion item. That price cannot possibly reflect fair labour, natural materials or environmental regard.
“The fact of the matter is most of us spend more money on fashion than we like to admit, but we expect to get five things for that price, not one piece of quality that we will wear time and time again and that is the big issue.”
For those of us wanting to save the planet but also our pennies in the process, following a mantra of ‘quality over quantity’ may be the way forward.
By Fiona Feeney