Hipster, Sister

October 30, 2017

Hipster, Sister

Hipster is most certainly a double entendre in this case. Not only are HfS Collective bags beautiful and completely on trend, they sit on your hips - they're hands-free! SOULiers Studio is so thrilled to be carrying a selection of HfS Collective belt bags! We are so enamored with the beautiful styling and function of these bags. 

HFS Collective (formerly known as Hipsters for Sisters) was founded in 2012 by mother-daughter team Debra and Rachel Denniston in Los Angeles, California. Since the beginning, they’ve sought to create ethical and sustainable, hands-free bags inspired to liberate women from their "baggage". We recently chatted with Rachel, one half of the amazing duo behind the HfS Collective brand. Here are her answers to some of our questions on ethical fashion, veganism, and desert islands.  

Describe your personal style in 5 words or less.

Neutral, easy, minimal, feminine, with bohemian tendencies

Describe your brand aesthetic in 5 words or less.

functional, easy, timeless, happy

Number of years as a vegan (if you are).

Vegetarian for 14 years before going vegan 2 years ago

What has been the most challenging thing for you launching your own vegan/sustainable line of bags?

Sourcing is probably the most challenging part. We work really hard to find beautiful, animal-free fabrics that are also sustainable and wear well. Thus far, we've worked with eco-suedes made from recycled plastic bottles, naturally sustainable cork and raffia, eco-friendly certified vegan leathers, and are now most excited about our new Piñatex Collection, made from pineapple leaves, a by-product of the pineapple industry.

What has been the most rewarding part?

The most rewarding part is knowing you are making beautiful things that people love without harming animals or contributing to our planet's demise. 

Do you think that apparel and accessories that are ethical/vegan should be differentiated from leather/animal materials? If so, how? 

I do think ethical/ sustainable fashion should be differentiated from normal, mass market goods. People have the right to know where something was made and under what conditions, and with what materials...etc. There's not enough transparency in the fashion industry. The brands that do go the extra mile to make their goods with integrity, using sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing should communicate that to their customers because it makes their products even that much more special. 

What do you see as the biggest vegan or ethical fashion trend right now.

I think one of the biggest trends right now in vegan and ethical fashion is using new innovative materials that are not only animal-free but also environmentally conscious (like Piñatex). We are at such a tipping point with our planet that there's no excuse for using materials that are not eco-friendly and also no excuse for buying ones made of these toxic materials contributing to climate change (like leather and PVC). Unfortunately there are some vegan brands out there still using toxic forms of vegan leather and not advertising it as such. It's more expensive to spring for the eco-friendly versions, but we do because our customers deserve transparency and to know what exactly is in the products their buying.

What is the craziest myth you’ve heard about being vegan?

The craziest myth about being vegan is the idea that vegans must miss eating meat. I haven't had meat for 16 years and I think once you realize where meat comes from and how, you don't ever catch yourself wanting to eat that stuff again. 

Most inspiring activist/style muse/role model.

There are so many inspiring people out there doing amazing things. Jane Goodall, Stella McCartney, and all of the young designers working to up the vegan fashion game.

Top 3 things you’d take with you to a desert island.

My dog, Freddy (I know he's not a thing, but I'd definitely take him), a sketchbook, and perhaps my phone so I can call for help when I get stir crazy.

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