A selection of some of our favourite products have just launched on Rêve En Vert, a luxury retail platform for sustainable and ethical goods. In celebration of our arrival, here's a short Q&A with the forward-thinking co-founder of this brand, Cora Hilts.
Why did you start Rêve En Vert?
I came up with the idea oddly whilst I sat in a class on renewable energy. My professor mentioned that after the oil and gas industry, fashion was the second most polluting industry on Earth. I was completely shocked. I feel like now a lot of us are aware of this fact but six years ago, I just couldn’t believe that an industry that was meant to be so innovative and creative could be so far behind. I was like: how could something so beautiful be so truly ugly? That’s when I had the idea for Rêve En Vert – a retail site that would curate only sustainable items that were made with both aesthetics and ethics in mind, which would allow for people to make significant changes in the way they shopped. We began as a sustainable fashion retailer, but have now evolved into all things conscious living.
What have been your biggest challenges?
I would say raising money as a young female for a sustainable business was extremely challenging, but I would also say that it was one of the most rewarding and educating processes I've been through.
Has sustainability always been important to you?
I studied politics with an emphasis on environmental politics and sustainability, so I have known about this sort of looming threat for over a decade. However, it wasn’t until my master’s degree at King's College London that I really became a convert and decided that this is what I needed to focus on. I also credit it to my passion for nature having grown up on the seaside in Maine; it really fueled my desire to protect Mother Earth.
When did you decide to launch skincare and beauty on Rêve En Vert?
We have always wanted REV to evolve as the women behind it evolved, and although we started out with an emphasis on sustainable fashion we have now really expanded our range to include all elements of living consciously. Beauty was one of the most obvious category expansions as it’s something that we use everyday and has such an amazing power to nourish and feed our skin rather than laden it with chemicals. We wanted to make that choice much easier for the women shopping with us by putting on our favourite ethical beauty products and it has become one of my favourite categories to work within as there are so many incredible stories coming out of beauty now.
Why did you choose Irene Forte Skincare?
I personally fell in love with the line when I first heard about the organic Sicilian farm it was coming from - organic farming and regenerative agriculture is something I am incredibly focused on at the moment and when I heard the brand was utilising the earth so well I immediately knew it would be a great fit for us. I was also very drawn to the ingredients, like hibiscus and pistachio, which are resources I hadn’t heard of being used in skincare so often and was thrilled to offer these new and beautiful ingredients to our audience.
What advice would you give our readers who are trying to shop ethically?
If it’s not something you would love putting your body every day, don’t buy it.
What's the one beauty product you can't live without?
A great night cream - I am the sort of person who jumps out of bed in the morning and goes straight into coffee and emails so night for me is when I relax and take a bit more time for self-care. Washing my face and applying a really nourishing evening cream is one of my favourite moments. I can’t wait to try the Hibiscus Night Cream.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be more engaged with the world and less focused on yourself—you have it pretty good and can be doing more to have a positive impact!
What have you got in store for 2020?
We have just launched a brand new website which I am so excited about - it has been a labour of love! It has fine details, transparency and community at its core. We also have some very exciting collaborations coming up in the Fall so stay tuned!