Updated: Dec 19, 2019
What you wear says a lot about what you believe in.
If you’ve spent any time here at ReFashion Report, it should not come as any surprise that fashion has a long way to go in reducing its impact on the planet. But, fashion lovers, do not fret. We have options. Loads of options.
Of course I talk a lot about secondhand shopping because I believe it is the most sustainable way to shop. But, I know that’s not for everyone. We are lucky to live in a time when there are brands that care about the planet just as much as you do.
Shown here is an excellent example of a sustainable and ethical fashion brand providing the opportunity to wear your values while looking right on trend and stylin’. This story was originally shared on sustainable lifestyle website Amare by Heidi.
Make a statement with sustainable
vegan accessories brand Hozen
All fashion-loving ladies know how much of a statement our handbag can say about our style, but what about our values? What we wear on our arms also says a lot about our personal ethics. When it comes to luxury handbags, leather has traditionally been known as the top choice- for durability, style, tradition and timelessness- but it’s also expensive and unfortunately [not often acknowledged] unethical when it comes to animal and environmental rights.
If you’re anything like me, a sustainable fashionista who is working your way towards a more minimal wardrobe, there is nothing like a sharp new accessory or handbag to liven up your closet and reinvent and extend the life of what you already own. So what’s a girl to do who’s in the market for a trendy new handbag? And who’s ethics and love for the planet and animals are just as important as her eye for style? Not to fret- we have an American brand that checks all the boxes.
Introducing Hozen, LA-based brand combining ultra chic style and cutting edge design with sustainability. Call it the luxury ‘leather goods’ brand of the future if you like- because we can only hope! Hozen is a vegan eco-friendly brand with purpose- many as a matter of fact, as you’ll learn about below in my interview with the founder Rae Nicoletti.
Aside from Hozen’s ethical and earth-friendly standards, the brand’s minimal yet fashion-forward aesthetic is meant to be a head-turner, and offers numerous wardrobe must-haves. Among my personal favorites are the belt bag (currently wearing; also can be worn as a shoulder bag).
“WE LOVE FASHION—BUT WE LOVE THE EARTH, TOO. “ Hozen
All of their stylish handbags are constructed using one of two vegan options, 1) Biopolyoil (grain-based, non-plastic) or PIÑATEX® (pineapple leaf fibers), both of which perfectly mimic the look and feel of a conventional leather’s texture.
Hozen was born from the commitment to respect and protect the planet and build a sustainable accessories brand that demonstrates the philosophy that doing good can look as good as it feels.
Nicoletti may have started on the conventional side of fashion, working on the creative team at Kate Spade for six years, but her good conscience eventually got the best of her as she learned more about the leather goods industry and eventually became a vegan.
Along the way, she spent time researching upcycling leather discards, prop styling and eventually trained in a yearlong mentorship with an Hermés master artisan to learn the craft of hand leatherwork. The more she learned, the more convicted she became to embark on an eco-friendly leather goods brand.
In addition to being a vegan brand, what additional measures do you take to be sustainable in your production and where are your accessories made?
Each of the products used in our lines are produced using innovative and recycled materials sourced from factories with high standards of ethics and clean production processes. Our accessories are made in small batches at a family-run, fair-wage factory in Los Angeles. The Biopolyoil fabric is produced in Italy. The Pinatex is produced in the Phillipines where the Pineapple husks are sourced. Additionally, we use a recycled plastic/ organic cotton twill lining,100% post-consumer recycled plastic zippers and thread, natural rubber and remnant rope, recycled cotton labels, and the packaging and hangtags are recycled paper.
What are the biggest risks in continuing to support the leather industry?
1. Environmental toxicity: toxic chemicals used in processing leathers are polluting our soil and waterways.
2. Unethical working conditions: the chemicals used in tanneries are just one of the ways that the leather industry presents dangerous worker conditions.
3. The demand on the leather industry continues to rise due to increasing consumer demand which puts further strain on the planet.
Good design is sustainable. Can you tell us how your designs are particularly sustainable?
Our designs are eco-friendly in nature. I may get ideas and inspiration from current trends, but our aesthetic is practical, versatile and wearable; therefor it will have staying power in your wardrobe and that is innately a more eco-friendly choice.
What is your sustainable style advice to someone trying to curate a more sustainable closet?
1. Secondhand is best. And you find unique and one of a kind designs that not everyone has.
2. Stick to basics that you’ll love for a long time.
3. Choose from brands that produce small batch, using eco-friendly materials, and made in the USA.
4. Invest in one thing you really love with super high-quality.
You already have a growing celebrity following, including Miley Cyrus, Natalie Portman, and Laura Prepon. What’s one celebrity you would love to see wearing Hozen?
Gwyneth Paltrow is a big inspiration! I just love the whole Goop lifestyle.
Hozen is clearly more than a sustainable vegan accessories brand. You take additional measures to give back and use your fashion brand for good.
Yes, 10% of our profits are donated to Mercy For Animals, an advocacy group which exposes the injustices of factory farming.
Our website is also carbon neutral and in the future we will be exploring additional ways to invest in more carbon offsets.
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Photography by Carrilee Fox Photography