After 11 years of working in fast fashion, Hindy Weber is doing things her own way. Hindy, who first made her mark in the industry as a private label designer for Rustan's, became known for her success as a brand-builder, handling over seven different brands, including womenswear, swimwear, children's wear, and women's accessories for 33 seasons. However, in 2011, she took a sabbatical which turned out to be permanent.
"I was burnt out from the fashion industry. I was building and designing seven brands. I got tired, and I just didn't want to be contributing to the mindless automations of the fashion industry," she said.
That doesn't mean though that she gave up on fashion entirely. She started her own label, Hindy Weber, and did custom-made dresses for weddings and special occasions.
The designer, who has become a wife and doting mother to her four children, also decided to focus on her farm. Founded in 2007, Hindy initially went into it simply because she wanted to bring home better food to her family. But the endeavour proved to be much more than that. Harvest became plentiful and soon enough, the quaint farm would eventually become what it is today: Holy Carabao Holistic Farms.
With the farm and the custom-designs, it would seem Hindy is all set. So what pushed her to do RTW again? "I was sick and tired of buying other brands," Hindy told us candidly.
She shared that the collection, aptly titled "Hindy Weber every day" was borne from her own dilemma of finding clothes that fit her lifestyle, and without compromising her principles. "When you have kids and then you go from meeting, to the gym, to the beach, to office, to the farm. What do you have? You'll end up in [fast fashion brands]. You have no choice."
She also pointed out that even local brands don't seem like a more viable option. "If you go into the local, small designers, their pieces are [more for] special occasions. It's really not so much for every day."
This isn't just her concern. More importantly, she's worried about how they're made.
"A lot of local brands right now, they just put [embroidery] there, but then the [fabric] is from China. So I'm not into that," she said. "They're just fakers pretending to be all earth-friendly, so I got tired. It didn't make sense that I was an organic farmer and that I was a designer but I was wearing other brands."
To Hindy, the ethics she adheres to is a top priority.
"I wanted to do something that is consistent with my lifestyle now. That is very, very hard and that's why it's been an eight-year process. 'Cause it's not easy to create fashion that is truly sustainable."
She further shared that the most challenging part was sourcing the fabrics and being uncompromising about it.
"It was really important to me to source the right fabrics from the get go. They're made from scratch [and] almost everything is either organic or natural. And some are even compostable. I really thought about those things, even the buttons and trims."
Though Hindy is back doing RTW, don't bet that she'll ever return to fast fashion.
"I think the moment you become commercially available, you're going to have to start compromising your principles." Adding, "it's so easy to compromise and to make a lot of money." With her eponymous brand, she stressed, "I don't want my clothes to end up in landfills, I don't want my clothes to be polluting the waterways."
And besides, it's not like she's doing this for anything other than her passion for design and committing to a holistic lifestyle.
"I'm [at that] point in my life and in my career where I have nothing to prove. I don't want to make like some collection where I have to show 'oh I'm such a great designer.'" Though she admits she's been through that when she was younger, she said she's long past it. "It's really liberating. Because before, yeah, there's really stress to prove [my worth]."
Through it all, her philosophy in life-and in fashion-has matured.
"When you already know what matters in life, you just want to wear nice, decent clothes you know?" Hard to argue with that.