MARA HOFFMAN'S CELEBRATION OF WOMEN
One glance at Mara Hoffman’s vibrant line of colorful classics is enough to convey the fundamental truth behind her design line: This is a celebration. Starting in 2000, Mara Hoffman is a brand of non-basics. Ditching boring black for an explosion of rich hues cut in classic shapes, her aesthetic has always centered on standing out. After building a strong following for 15 years, she realized that means more than just being noticed. Revamping her entire business in 2015, every collection now follows a rigorous sourcing and manufacturing code. As her website states: “The aim is to design and manufacture our clothes with greater care and to reduce our impact, generate awareness, and ask you, our lovely customer, to join us in taking action and holding us accountable.”
This commitment to sustainability is evident in each step of her process. Materials are natural, recycled, and renewable as much as possible, including a commitment to 100% organic cotton for her 2017 collection following the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), regarded as the premier certification for sustainably sourced clothing and textiles. All of her iconic swimwear uses Econyl, a regenerated nylon sourced from recycled fishing nets, or Repreve, a post-consumer recycled textile derived from plastic bottles.
Manufacturing partnerships focus on localized production near sustainably sourced materials, reducing carbon footprints and encouraging local economies. Additional partnerships with non-profit organizations like Nest, a sustainable sourcing initiative near and dear to Accompany, and Art Atlas, a Fair Trade certified Peruvian organization focusing on cultural heritage in manufacturing and artisan independence, demonstrate Hoffman’s commitment to equality among workers and partners.
Mara has also been a notable advocate for systemic change in the fashion industry, creating an extensive operating guideline that she encourages other brands to adopt. Her presence at Fashion Revolution Week, her public commitments to workers’ right organizations and environmental concerns aligns perfectly with our own commitment to sustainable commerce and ethical fashion.
More recently, Hoffman has leveraged the same type of thinking toward womens’ bodies, offering larger sizes to accommodate the diverse clientele she’s built. Using Instagram for active feedback, and paying attention to the users behind her comments, she realized the demand for more variety in fashion. As she explained to Vogue, “It’s been such a long time coming, and so many women have been asking us for this on social media,” Hoffman explains. “Women would write, ‘Can you please make this in my size?’ Or they’d ask, ‘Why don’t you include me in this conversation?’ That’s always a brutal [question], because of course I want to include you—I want to include everyone.” It’s not as simple as “tacking on more sizes,” though—which might (partially) explain why so many other designers have yet to embrace size diversity. “You have to do it right,” she says. “There’s a process to it; it’s another series of fittings and a different approach to patternmaking. You want to give it as much care and intention as you’ve given everything up until that point.”
The result is a community that is actively uplifting, encouraging, and celebrating each member’s contribution toward the whole. Women rejoicing in other women, designers developing strong and sustainable manufacturers, manufacturers reducing waste and supporting entrepreneurship. It’s a virtuous circle that Accompany is proud to be a part of through our active support of Mara Hoffman and celebration of her commitment to conscious consumption and unilateral sustainability.