A Fashion Experience Capturing Hearts Around the World

Hearts was founded on the idea that “Conscious Minds Create Change”. The committed team works with artisans all over the world to create exclusive fashion forward designs that are made with respect for the Earth, AND make a difference in people’s lives.

I’m thrilled to share with you my interview with the Creative Director of Hearts, Stephanie Petro whose favourite one-liner is:

“Success is measured in the lives we change, one person at a time”.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about how Hearts first came about?

The fashion industry is one of the largest sectors of global commerce. It costs Americans $75 USD each annually to bury our waste in landfills. At Hearts we love upcycling materials into new fashion, this is one way we help save our communities money and landfill space. Our goal in forming Hearts is to use fashion as our voice to create awareness, progress, and world change.

The heart of Hearts is about a conscious decision to support good, while looking good. We want consumers to realise their purchasing power and be part of creating world change. We are passionate about providing education and awareness so consumers have the knowledge to create change and be part of a community that supports it.

Q. How would you describe Hearts’ design aesthetic in 10 words or less?

Our designs represent a deep compassion and connection with people and our planet.

Hearts has partnered with ARTICLE22 to support artisans in Laos who re-purpose bombs by recycling the metal into accessories and paying artisans at least 4x local market rates

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what makes your label both socially ethical and eco-friendly? 

Hearts designs consciously through artistic express and with respect to our planet. Our goal is to change the typical distribution channels with intent to positively impact the lives of people and take less from the planet. We are able to do this through providing awareness and aligning our products with our world causes, materials, and processes.

This lovely headband has been handcrafted from upcycled fabric remnants! This exclusive Hearts item is created using only a solar powered sewing machine

When you purchase a Hearts product you are not only fashionably accessorizing yourself for the day, you are feeding a family, supporting education, creating justice and equality, preserving cultural traditions and acknowledging the people who make your fashion.

Q. What organisations are Hearts currently partnering with and why?

We have created our iHeart Change Partnership program to support our partners who are working to solve one or more world causes: Environment Sustainability, Quality of Life in a Community, Education, Freedom and Social Justice, Human Rights, Cultural Awareness and Conflict Resolution.

With iHeart Change, we are able to support these projects through increasing awareness and providing financial support.

Q. How influential do you think social media has been in pushing for a more ethical fashion industry?

The power of social media must be respected and used positively to reach all demographics and on a global level.  It allows us to connect to consumers, and bring awareness about world causes.

We are also able to connect with organisations and ethical movements to build a network and share ideas.  Through social media, collectively we are able to increase awareness, share and provide solutions, and help shape the future.

Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?

Stella McCartney and Saffia Minney from People Tree.  They are both leaders in the Fair Trade movement and bring awareness to ethical and environmentally conscious fashion.

Q. If you could instantly change one thing about fashion today, what would that be?

The biggest challenge Hearts and our international artisans face is overcoming the limitations set by the standards in today’s current fashion practices. While Hearts is firmly grounded in our slow fashion movement, there is still a very big demand for fast fashion. We believe this is simply because there is not enough information out there for consumers to be provided an alternative choice and still have the “wow” feeling when they purchase something new.

The Sunshine Clutch has been handmade in Indonesia ensuring ethical employment and fair wages for this local artisan community

The Hearts design team truly takes time to work with our artisans and cultivate their talents to be at the forefront of current fashion trends. There will always be another hurdle and a way to make improvements. The Hearts team gladly accepts this challenge, but we cannot do it alone. Each conscious purchase consumers make is a vote to show fast fashion that good things are worth waiting for.

Q. What does the future hold for Hearts?

If Hearts is able to reach just one person through our movement we have already done our job, of course we dream big so we will not stop at just one awakened consumer. Hearts hopes to inspire people to think differently about their purchases, not just in the fashion industry but in every aspect of consumerism.

Love Note iPad Sleeve handcrafted in South America, with proceeds contributing to the purchase of books for local schools in Bolivia

The value a monetary purchase has is very powerful and can impact change on a global scale. We hope to show through transparency that while all is not perfect, the smallest things do indeed add up. When we share the knowledge of the artisans behind our fashion, our manufacturing processes, the materials we favour and our practices, we hope that people will listen and become inspired.

We believe with all our hearts that when everyone is provided with facts, they will work towards conscious consumerism and make demands for other companies to do the same.

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