SERVING UP CONVERSATIONS WITH THE LACOSTE FAMILY
Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre
Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre, founders of Maison de Mode, a sustainable fashion website collaborate with Lacoste to launch our first ever sustainable polo.
What inspired you to start Maison de Mode?
Amanda: I started working in fashion 10 years ago at the magazine Marie Claire. It was there that I started to learn about the stories behind our clothes - WHO made them, WHERE they were made, WHAT they were made of - and that's when I became more interested in the ethics and sustainability associated with the fashion industry. Unfortunately, not many people were talking about sustainability and, even more frustrating, the term "sustainable fashion" had a negative connotation. So, Hassan and I decided to create a one-stop shop where people could easily find responsibly-made clothing and accessories AND see that ethical fashion is chic and luxurious.
Hassan: Amanda and I both have a passion for sustainability and fashion and were challenged with the idea of proving that sustainability could be sexy. With her editorial background and my design background we realized there was no place to shop a curated selection of designers that had ethics embedded in their core values, so we decided to launch Maison de Mode to serve a growing consumer base we knew was out there.
What other initiatives do you take part in that contribute to the Maison de Mode lifestyle?
Hassan: I have extended my experience and voice to numerous panel discussions including the 2015 NGO Conference at the United Nations, SXSW in 2018, Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in 2018, Future Sustainability Summit in 2019, and the Future of Fashion Summit in 2019. Additionally, I hold a position on the Board of Well Beings—an environmental and animal conservation NGO, and I am also a Member of the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards Guild.
Amanda: I launched a charity in 2018 called Well Beings which is dedicated to animal welfare and conservation. Not surprisingly, the fashion industry has a HUGE impact on both these issues (animals + the planet) and so we've started a behavior-change campaign where people can learn about how to eat, shop, and live in a more sustainable way. More personally, I stopped eating red meat 6 years ago and am phasing leather out of my wardrobe. The cattle industry accounts for 80% of Amazonian deforestation, and by supporting that industry less, we can make a big difference!
Is it exciting to see brands such as Lacoste moving into more sustainable pieces?
Hassan: Absolutely! It further proves that sustainability in fashion is becoming the norm. Seeing a major heritage brand like Lacoste make the transition into the sustainable fashion space will surely inspire other brands to do the same.
Amanda: Yes! Because for the fashion industry to really become more sustainable, the biggest and most popular brands need to lead the way. And by Lacoste proudly committing to more responsible practices in their company, the smaller brands will now follow suits.
Recently, you both promoted and sold the Lacoste Loop Polo on Maison de mode, what was your first thought when such a heritage brand introduced a sustainable twist on a classic piece into their collection?
Hassan: As someone who has been wearing Lacoste for over 20+ years I was beyond excited to learn the brand was going to introduce this updated take on their classic polo. When a brand's values start to really resonate and align with your personal values it's a big win!
Amanda: I was super excited! I grew up in NYC wearing my Lacoste polos and now the polos are even COOLER because of their sustainability.
What inspired you to focus on sustainability? Was there a lack of it in the industry or was it something you were passionate about from the start?
Hassan: Both! When we started no one was really talking about sustainability in regards to fashion yet. We were both passionate about both the design and environmental spaces and understood it was really the future- it was just going to take a little push to educate people at that time about what sustainable fashion was and show how chic it could be. Time proved this to be true and now the term sustainability is being heard everywhere!
Amanda: I've always been committed to animal welfare and environmental protection - I've sat on the board of Riverkeeper, the HSUS, and now my own charity Well Beings. But when I started working in fashion (at Marie Claire magazine) I learned about how the fashion industry impacts animals, people, and the planet, and once I made that connection, starting MdM was an inevitable next step.