Behind The Scenes: Our First Capsule Collection
Natural materials. Responsible sourcing. Timeless wardrobe essentials. Meet Hass, a new venture from Avocado Green Brands, one of the most trusted and respected sustainable companies on the planet. We’re elevating the sustainable fashion industry with luxurious, high-quality, intentional garments that are better for you and the planet.
To celebrate the launch of Hass, we spoke with Sonica Singh, our director of apparel brands, for a behind-the-scenes look into what went into bringing our first capsule collection to life.
MO: How is Hass tackling sustainable, slow fashion differently?
SS: That was one of the first things we wanted to wrap our minds around. When we talk about sustainability — and it’s been a hot word for a while in the apparel industry — I love talking about it as a destination rather than an evolution. And how we tie that idea back to Avocado Green Brands is this concept that we are constant striving to do good until we can do better. So we took that and applied it to apparel.
Everything that we’re looking at, everything we design, all the research and development we do, from our raw materials to how the garments are produced, speak to the customer in mind. Who are they? What do they need in their closet? How would they approach these clothes? What about these clothes is going to mean something to them? That’s another definition of sustainability — keeping a sustained product in your wardrobe for a long time.
MO: How does the decision to launch a small, curated capsule collection tie into Hass’s larger mission to be a leader in the slow, responsible fashion space?
SS: It comes down to being really intentional in our design. For this initial launch, we built out a basics collection. These are your workhorse pieces. Your great GOTS certified organic cotton t-shirt and a number of styles that you can wear with everything that’s already in your wardrobe.
Think about the fashion calendar as we know it and those drops that are consistent throughout the year. That’s not really how customers are shopping anymore. There is a distinct and intentional shopping that customers are doing when they’re purchasing. They’re looking for pieces that make sense for them. So our whole design ethos here is how do we create a product that makes sense for the customer when they need it.
MO: What has that journey of designing Hass's first capsule collection been like?
SS: It’s been challenging but at the same time really rewarding. Part of the puzzle was putting everything together. Coming out of an apparel background, I knew all the pieces that needed to be there, but how do we get them to fit together so that we can build this brand?
That’s one of the best parts about Avocado Green Brands as a company and the way we thought about the Hass apparel line. There is a lot of conversation and open ideation. How can we make this better? Where can we go from here? How do we build this process?
And so when we are researching and developing even just the raw materials, we are looking for partners who are already in that space — dye houses using non-toxic, sustainable methods and factories that have already implemented ethical standards for their own employees to ensure that they're safe workplaces.
Part of the excitement is looking at what the apparel design horizon has and finding these really great nuggets and these gems out there, and saying, "Hey, you guys are doing a great job, we want to partner with you. Can we make something better together?"
MO: What has been the most challenging aspect of designing a collection from scratch?
SS: We’re on a pretty tight calendar. We did a turnaround in about a year, which is definitely a challenge — still doable, but we had to be laser-focused.
There were kind of two roads we took. One was based on strategy. What do we want to do for the business and how do we want to build it? So really thinking about the customer and being concise and intentional in our design processes. The other side of it is how do we build out the actual business within our internal structure as a company and with our external partners here in the apparel world in LA?
Those two ideas really came together to bridge that gap but also provide a different type of apparel for the customer, a different level of understanding of where the goods are coming from, and how they were put together.
MO: Let’s talk fabrics. What impact does the natural, sustainable fabrics Hass uses have on customers, workers, and the environment?
SS: Natural fibers themselves are biodegradable — they come from the Earth, and then they go back. So the process is taking those and creating them into apparel. As long as we can limit our material’s environmental impact and then take it to a place where it goes cradle to grave, then there’s an opportunity for us to be really thoughtful in how we’re making clothes.
Our GOTS organic cotton has been completely certified in our supply chain to ensure the yarn coming in and the way that it’s handled and made in LA is something the customer can feel really good about. The modal pieces we have in the pajama set are certified by Lenzing, which is an industry standard leader as far as the circular system that they’ve already established and how they make their fabric.
When you look at companies that are spearheading the industry, how their materials are being created and then we partner with them, it just ends up being a better story for everybody.
And then finally, the blends that we used — the softness and the comfort of the garments is a constant consideration. We want to make sure the customer feels good in the pieces but also feels really good about the pieces. That’s the thing that’s been kind of the shining light or the beacon of light that we keep going back to — making sure the fabrication of our pieces is high-quality, something that’s going to stay in your closet a long time, that you’re not going to wear through it too quickly. At the same time, does it speak to the circularly or some kind of natural fiber that can go back to the Earth?
The alpaca pieces that we have in the collection, the sweaters that come out of Peru, that entire factory is ethically sourced, they have an incredible facility and space. And as we look at other opportunities in the apparel space, we see that there are recycled or other types of blends and fabrications. Those will all come with time, and one of the most interesting things that’s happening with sustainability in apparel right now is that technologies are moving so quickly and there’s just better and better stuff out there.
MO: Hass also uses natural, non-toxic dyes. Can you give some insight into the inspiration behind the colorways and textures you chose?
SS: What we really went back to and what I was trying to hone in on is the Avocado Green Brands look and aesthetic. The space that we create in our stores, the way our website is laid out, the colors that are there. A lot of those go back to the natural environment. They intrinsically speak to our natural surroundings. We have these really lovely Earth tones. We have these greens in our stores, and natural materials, whether it be basket weaves or the natural materials that are in our mattresses and bedding already.
The interiors that we design were an inspiration for the clothes that are supposed to be worn in those interior spaces. So instead of doing a graphic black and white, we’re bringing in these soft tones — off-white and slate that goes back to stoneware — to invoke a space you want to be in and how the clothes that you’re actually wearing go back to what that interior is actually like.
MO: How does it feel to have a finished product in front of you?
SS: Every once in a while, I take a step back and I’m like, "Okay, yea, we did all that!” For me, at the end of the day, it’s a labor of love. Every uphill battle, every challenge, every pivot we had to make, it’s fascinating and new and it’s real. And that’s what product development is — finding ways to make it happen.
I’m really excited on the back end, and the thing that I keep thinking about is the customer reaction. When they come back and what they say and if they love their garments and if they love the materials.
There are so many opportunities and there’s still so much on the horizon that we can speak to that this is actually only the very tip of the iceberg. This is our initial articulation into what Hass is and there’s still so much more to come.
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