This week Bags of Ethics announced the release of our Great Global Designer Face Coverings, a collaboration with The British Fashion Council, The Council of Fashion Designers of America. Designed by three British designers, Ahluwalia, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Marques’Almeida and three American designers, Mara Hoffman, lemlem by Liya Kebede, and Kim Shui, the sustainable and reusable non-medical face coverings are intended to be used alongside existing social distancing measures. The project aims to raise money for the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and CFDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity programming.
As part of the launch, we want to highlight the creative minds behind each design. Mara Hoffman is one of 3 American designers who partnered with us on this project.
Originally from Buffalo, N.Y, Mara, after graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York City, founded her label in the year 2000. Fifteen years later, the brand committed itself to implementing and developing more sustainable practices.
5 things that you may not know about Mara Hoffman
- After 15 years, she made a seriously dramatic turn – 5 years ago, 15 years after she founded her label, Mara Hoffman decided to make a shift, and started to focus on sustainability. “People thought I was crazy… that I was walking away from money,” she said when she first made the shift, being told that people didn’t care about sustainability. However she defied the voices of her critics and the successful brand continues to focus on sustainable materials, processes, and production, in order to improve and extend the life of each garment. She is part of the sustainability movement without shouting about it, something which is very important to her.
- She now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Javier Piñon, and their son Joaquin – clearly creativity runs in the family, and her son has got a good dose of creative genes from both parents.
- In early March of 2019, Hoffman was the first-ever recipient of Unifi’s “Leading the Change” award. The honour recognized her ongoing work in the sustainable fashion space, where she has been a leader for the past several years.
- Mara’s biggest challenge in her sustainability mission was the increase in cost when she started using sustainable manufacturing methods and materials, and when she first made the shift it was hard to convince buyers and customers to embrace the sustainable changes and higher price tags.
- Her two ultimate business goals are to have total transparency across their supply chain, and to create a circular model.
Mara has said:
I wear a mask for the safety of the most vulnerable, my family and my community. I take my role in this as an individual extremely seriously. We will gladly take any opportunity to use our platform to aid in Covid relief initiatives and are proud to work with the Bags of Ethics and the CFDA, a partner we value and support, on this mask collaboration. I believe that through the unity and solidarity of the collective we can overcome this pandemic, and I know we can do this.
To shop the collection featuring Mara’s design, visit https://bagsofethics.org/shop/great-global-designer-face-coverings/great-global-designer-face-coverings-mara-hoffman-lemlem-kim-shui/ .