Mara Hoffman – Embracing Sustainable Fashion
In our Spotlight articles, we look at amazing designers you might not have heard of. This week, we’re embracing the world of Mara Hoffman and her admirable brand of sustainable fashion.
Like many designers, Mara Hoffman graduated from the famous Parsons School of Design in New York City, not far from her hometown of Buffalo, NY. In 2000, she created a small-collection of hand-dyed items named “Circle”, and when her designs were spotted in the street by a Sex and the City stylist, her brand took off. From there, Mara’s eponymous label was created, and has grown to include women’s ready to wear fashion, swim wear, children’s clothing, and bridal wear.
Despite the brand being born in New York, Hoffman’s designs are heavily inspired by her world travels and her aesthetic is truly global. Hoffman’s designs pay homage to many cultures around the world, and her emphasis on bright colors and bold patterns embodies distant countries and nature in all of its glory.
Her designs celebrate women’s clothing from around the world—from bold printed dresses to cropped pants, peasant skirts to marimba cover-ups, and button-up sheath dresses with thick straps. Her colors evoke bright skies, warm beaches, and gentle waves. Her signature prints include birds, waves, and leaves. What’s more, from swim wear to dresses, coats, to blouses, jumpers to scarves, Mara’s designs emphasise the female figure, clothing that works with women’s bodies.
But even more than just beautiful clothes, Mara Hoffman is starting a sustainable fashion revolution. As the brand’s president and creative director, Mara and her small team have close control over the brand’s approach. Although Mara is the first to admit that she didn’t always see the impact of fashion on the planet, her brand now fully embraces sustainable fashion, always investigating the possibilities to create clothing without damaging the world we live in.
As a result, she uses eco-friendly fibres such as recycled nylon and polyester, and sustainable cotton and viscose. Her manufacturers use renewable energy, reuse by-products, and reduce water usage, waste products, and emissions. Her fabrics contains no chemicals, her labels and bags are compostable, and the brand helps to protect rain forests. And as a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Mara is calling for these practices to be implemented across the fashion industry.
For Hoffman, fashion isn’t just about designing beautiful clothing, but keeping the world beautiful. In the future, she aims to develop more careful manufacturing processes, reducing the impact of fashion on the planet, and raising awareness of the issues. Hoffman’s aim is to continuously evolve and become more sustainable, and for her customers to embrace this ideal.
Not only is the brand environmentally-friendly, but it’s also socially-responsible. Mara Hoffman helps to create sustainable employment in India, particularly for women, and performs regular checks on workers’ wellbeing. As Mara describes, “everyone – from mill to market – is an integral and important part of the Mara Hoffman family”. We all want to be part of Mara Hoffman’s family.