BY K. BINKOWSKI | FEBRUARY 2017
Meet Cora Hilts & Natasha Tucker, Founders of Rêve En Vert
Rêve En Vert is an online fashion boutique founded in response to the fast-paced consumption of low-quality goods. Founders Cora Hilts and Natasha Tucker joined forces to curate a collection of long lasting, high quality, and beautiful goods for women who wish to leverage their purchasing power for a better world. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Cora and Natasha about their inspiration for Rêve En Vert’s distinct style, their business ethos, as well as the legacy they hope to live and leave.
You have done a beautiful job curating a collection of clothing from designers who care about people and our planet. How would you describe the Rêve En Vert (REV) style and what inspires it?
Natasha: We work hard to curate our buys so that we have timeless, elegant pieces that will last from season to season. We feel strongly that investing in pieces from Rêve En Vert should mean that you are also investing in longevity and quality pieces that you want to hold on to. We are inspired by everything from a Parisian approach to fashion and Nordic minimalism, to a more laid back, everyday California-inspired pick of wardrobe essentials. We are based here in London, so of course the city’s artistic and forward-looking approach to fashion is also something that informs our style.
The fashion industry is ripe with opportunity to improve the ethics and responsibility of production. What is your perspective on the social and environmental impacts of a traditional supply chain and how is REV improving upon it?
Natasha: All of the designers we work with are committed to proving that you don’t have to cut corners along the supply chain in an environmentally or socially impacting way to make beautiful fashion. We don’t specifically handle that side of their businesses but our take is to demand full transparency from our designers as well as forms of accreditation where and when it’s applicable. We don’t expect our designers to be perfect but we feel that transparency and goals to be moving in the right direction are just as important. We would like to think that by demanding honesty and transparency from them, we are improving upon our designers’ supply chains by holding them accountable and asking them to make strides towards being even more ethical and sustainable season after season.
The design and sale of timeless pieces inspires slower consumption on the part of your consumers. While this has the potential to ultimately limit sales it also significantly minimizes the footprint from manufacturing. How do you balance these values with business growth?
Natasha: We absolutely stand by the idea that everyone needs to be buying less of more quality, and as mentioned, this is somewhat antithetical to an e-commerce business. One of the ways we balance this with business growth is to invest in refillable items, such as beauty products, where people come back and replenish them after use. One other benefit of having a global, e-commerce business is the fact that we ship internationally and quite often sell products that may be out of season here in Europe, to places like Australia or California, with different climates. We leave stock on the site until it sells so that there is something available for every season, no matter where you are. We also invest in “seasonless” pieces such as activewear, basic tees and accessories that we restock once we sell out of them and that can be sold all year round.
You have built the REV brand on values of curation, aesthetics, and longevity. How are these same values reflected in other aspects of your life?
Cora: I think curation and aesthetic is something that is constantly evolving for me, but with Rêve En Vert it has made me hone in on elegance and simplicity on the sort of style I like both within the company and now out of it. Longevity is something that I consider when it comes not only to fashion but home goods, furniture, art - everything! When I consider buying something now it’s a process. I ask myself will I love it forever? Is this something that will never go out of style? Is it made to last? It’s amazing how quickly your shopping and lifestyle habits can change when you ask yourself these things.
REV is committed to curating a collection of clothing that can be passed down for generations. What are some of the pieces in your life - or in your closet - that you have inherited from people you love?
Cora: I have some jewelry pieces from my great grandmother Cora (my namesake) which I wear everyday still. They are classic and meaningful - characteristics I love in anything I wear. I also have some leather pants my Godmother hand-made in the 70's from old deer skins she found at home in Maine. I’m still shocked that she made something herself that is so timeless and yet still relevant fashion-wise.
That’s incredible! As you build a business that strives to change lives for generations to come, what legacy are you hoping to inspire? What is it that you hope for your children and your children’s children?
Cora: Rêve En Vert was founded on the idea that we as human beings really have a responsibility to leave the world a better place than when we came into it. Somewhat selfishly, this company is my personal commitment to bettering the world through the medium of fashion, which happens to be an industry that is as destructive as it is beautiful. The hope I have is that REV will be able to further the conversation towards changing habits - producing with better materials, supporting local economies and low carbon footprints, environmental and human awareness. This is a huge step towards leaving the world not only a better place for our children, but also educating them in the way that business should operate moving forward. I hope that Rêve En Vert will be hugely instrumental in this.