The fashion industry’s mission over time is not only to keep people dressed, but also to work on innovating and improving the materials and components used to produce both raw materials and the clothes themselves. However, it is also a fashion design to reflect the reality we live in and the consequent adaptation to what is the context of contemporary societies.
Driven by a macro trend related to the reduction of clothing consumption, by a gain in environmental awareness and concern about the ethical conditions in which garments are made, at a time when fashion is consumed so quickly and in an immediacy that is positive neither for the environment nor for those who produce it, some brands have taken this route as their own.
Facing the question, we ask ourselves: what is it to be a sustainable brand? HILBEA gives the answer and the example, not only in the philosophy behind the brand, but also in what is its business, through the materialisation of the different collections.
Chemical-free production, where in the manufacturing process of the organic raw materials, agricultural production requires less energy consumption and consequently has a lower environmental impact, providing safer working conditions for its workers. Reduced water consumption, where the soil in which cotton is planted has a greater propensity to feed and retain rainwater more easily. According to data indicated by Textile Exchange’s Life Cycle Assessment study, organic cotton manages to consume 91% less irrigated water. The promotion of biodiversity, since in the production of the organic cotton that makes up the HILBEA garments, the natural processes of soil maintenance are guaranteed and this is reflected not only in the improvement of soil fertility, but also in the stimulation of the biodiversity inherent to that same place. On the other hand, the preservation of the seeds, which is a guarantee of the use of a non-genetically modified provenance, and which also ends up being a motor for the stimulation of biodiversity.
For HILBEA, ethical production is also sustainable production. Both the farmers and the factory workers who make our garments have the fairest and most ethical working conditions, with no exploitation of child labour or cheap labour at any time.
This awareness is accompanied by environmental and labour certification, and our partner factory holds SMETA, OEKO-TEX and GOTS certificates, which assess and evaluate ethical working conditions and environmental practices. Motivated by greener environmental practices, all the brand’s raw materials are produced, stored, and distributed within Portugal, as well as all its designs.
The reduction of CO2 emissions is a concern of the brand and as such, we try to ensure that these gases are only emitted in their minimum amount, so as not to harm the surroundings and communities near our production centre. This concern also carries over to waste management, with all waste management policies being adhered to, the recycling of all possible materials involved in the production of the garments being guaranteed and minimal waste achieved, both during production and during the sales phase, as no garments are incinerated.
This range of practices positions HILBEA among a group of Portuguese brands with environmental concerns and awareness, and above all with a vision of more sustainable fashion at a time when we must slow the engine, reduce our consumption, and make lasting investments in quality and domestic products.