Skip To Content
The Schmooze

Desert Chic And Sustainability At Mara Hoffman

Designer: Mara Hoffman
Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018
Location: Remote (literally)
Jewish? Sicilian and Jewish.

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about sustainability in the fashion industry, but few brands have absorbed the message as fully as Mara Hoffman. Her fall winter 2018 collection was made entirely out of low-waste and recycled fabrics.

In lieu of a show or presentation, Hoffman’s collection was presented in the form of a lookbook. Shot in the desert, the sparse vegetation and crumbled dust provided a muted background for bold colorblocking to really shine. There were flowing prairie dresses in virginal whites and loose layering in the form of soft suiting and long puffer coats. It was a small collection, showcasing a mere 27 looks, echoing Hoffman’s minimalist philosophy.

But is it truly minimalist?

Let’s be real here: Presenting a new fashion collection and calling it “sustainable” is pretty ironic. Hoffman isn’t some bold warrior on the front lines of creating sustainability — she, along with all other brands, are part of the problem, masking her consumerism in fruitless virtue signaling. Can any fashion be truly minimalist, and truly sustainable? After all, retail survives on consumerism alone, which is why presenting new collections every season is so vital to the lifeblood of apparel companies.

Hypocrisy aside, the Hoffman collection is beautiful, its imagery hopeful and even whimsical. Perhaps it’s not hypocrisy so much as a wish — that this collection is the physical embodiment of her vision for the future, that mainstream fashion will be rid of its excesses and become a sustainable, ethical industry.

Michelle Honig is the style writer at the Forward. Contact her at [email protected]. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning journalism this Passover.

In this age of misinformation, our work is needed like never before. We report on the news that matters most to American Jews, driven by truth, not ideology.

At a time when newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall. That means for the first time in our 126-year history, Forward journalism is free to everyone, everywhere. With an ongoing war, rising antisemitism, and a flood of disinformation that may affect the upcoming election, we believe that free and open access to Jewish journalism is imperative.

Readers like you make it all possible. Right now, we’re in the middle of our Passover Pledge Drive and we still need 300 people to step up and make a gift to sustain our trustworthy, independent journalism.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Only 300 more gifts needed by April 30

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.