Two successful North American eco clothing designers, Kathryn Hilderbrand and Aiste Zitnikaite, recently chose to combine their distinct aesthetics and spark each other’s creativity by collaborating on a small capsule collection to highlight a shared agenda.
Hilderbrand, as GreenLinebyK of Massachusetts, started selling her womenswear and kidswear in 2010, handmade from all natural, organic and sustainable fabrics and informed by a ’70s bohemian sensibility. In spring 2013 she added Fair Trade and eco-friendly accessories.
Aiste Zitnikaite (known as Aiste), of Montreal label Devinto, has now been in business for nearly ten years. She uses ethically sourced natural fabrics like bamboo, organic cotton or silk to create comfortable, stylish, glamorous and individualistic womenswear, exploring tensions between elegance and rebellion, sombreness and comfort, simplicity and distinctiveness in her feminine yet empowering designs.
Each was already emphasising sustainable creation and production processes, individually cutting and hand crafting each garment to minimise waste and avoid overproduction. When they met last year they instantly identified a shared concern about fashion industry practices, and desire to contribute to and highlight the newly emerging, fairer and greener paradigm.
For this inspiring collection, called Singlestream, each created three pieces true to the vision of their own brands yet designed to mix and match cohesively, allowing wearers to transform themselves, chameleon-like, with each combination.
Hilderbrand contributed 70s chic in the form of the sleek Copley Wrap Top and Mission Park Trousers, and more familiar, fluid boho movement from the gorgeous grey lightweight woven bamboo-and-linen Boylston Proper Skirt, which has a hemp, organic cotton and wool waistband and is layered with adjustable side ruching to allow for a personal style statement.
Aiste brought a late 60s urban sophistication with her Concordia Vest, Berri Skirt and the stunning Joliette crop top, made from hemp, organic cotton and wool tweed and featuring a distinctive rolled collar and adjustable-length double short sleeves. The names reference their own subway journeys, Hilderbrand on the Boston T and Aiste on the Montreal Metro, and all pieces share meticulous attention to detail and beautiful, flattering cuts.
The line, launched in October, has received an overwhelming response, with many – attracted by its luxurious, exclusive handmade quality and beautiful, understated design – pleasantly surprised by the ethical credentials.