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Meet Kathryn Hilderbrand
Written by Magaly Fuentes-Sagan - Friday, 18 April 2014
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GreenLinebyK
 

If you are up to speed with the slow fashion community, chances are you have heard of Kathryn Hilderbrand or at least one of the projects she is currently spearheading. Hilderbrand is a radiant soul who devotes an innate and positive intensity to everything she does. Her staunch dedication to the slow fashion movement is evident. Hilderbrand perfectly melds her passion for conscious fashion with her tremendous talents, while pursuing her childhood dream to create beautiful things.

Hilderbrand operates Stitched, a full service tailoring shop in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, US. She is also the designer and founder of ethical women’s clothing label, GreenLinebyK, children’s clothing line Green Line Kids, co-founder of the The Tailor Project alongside Sustainability expert, Amy Dufault, and a heavily involved advocate of the Fashion Revolution Day campaign. Recently, Hilderbrand was invited to the Kim Power Stilson show on SiriusXM radio, has been featured in several publications for her work, and was even named Woman of the Month at her local women’s club. Does the term “powerhouse” seem fitting?

Hilderbrand began sewing and creating at a very young age. She completed her first apprenticeship under an Italian tailor, Lorenzo Cippulo, at the age of 16 and worked for years as a seamstress, opening her first business at 23 and becoming a master tailor in her late 20's.  Hilderbrand says she felt her "life required practicality for many years and tailoring was a consistent and reliable source of income.”  A few years ago, as her children grew to an age of more independence, she decided to take the leap and launch GreenLinebyK, a line of women’s clothing.

 

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GreenLinebyK
 
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Green Line Kids

The GreenLinebyK collection is produced for the modern woman utilizing natural, sustainable and organic fibers. The focus is on timeless and comfortable everyday wear made from a variety of knits. The signature drape is clean and cut with the woman’s figure in mind. Green Line Kids offers handmade children’s clothing, lovingly cut and constructed one garment at a time. The collections have been growing while she continues to operate her tailor shop.


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"Transparency Dress" honoring the fallen garment workers in Bangladesh 

Months ago, as the Fashion Revolution Day campaign was launched in the US, Hilderbrand was asked to be a part of it by Oceana Lott, US director for the initiative. She jumped right in and declares, “I love being involved with Fashion Revolution Day because I am completely committed to bringing awareness to the truth about what goes on in this industry.  I feel honored to be involved and feel that it is my moral and ethical obligation to be a part of much needed change in this industry.  Change that might save lives and better the quality of lives of those on the lowest levels of production.” Fashion Revolution Day is a movement to increase awareness of the true cost of fashion. Beginning this month, it will be held each year on April 24th, the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

 

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Kathryn Hilderbrand with items created through the The Tailor Project
 

 

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Amy Dufault wearing a leather jacket Kathryn RE-made through The Tailor Project

During her work with the FRD campaign, Hilderbrand met Amy Dufault and through their conversations, The Tailor Project was born. The Tailor Project is a year-long mending and design collaboration between the two. Dufault says, “it is a call to arms for old friends, new friends and colleagues to join in supporting their local tailor.” The two will be working together to re-vamp things in Dufault’s closet.  Hilderbrand says, “What I love most about The Tailor Project is that people are actually ENGAGING. What many people don't know is that fast fashion has affected many in the trades locally. Why hem a pair of pants for $10 or $15 when you can replace them for the same or less? This just encourages waste and glutinous ways of consuming. It also forces tailors and seamstresses to work for less and less just to compete, thereby reducing their quality of life and increasing their work hours. I'm sure I don't have to explain that this then affects their children...and on and on. The Tailor Project teaches us to look at our consumption, what we value, and our practices in an entirely different way.”  

   

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GreenLinebyK

Kathryn Hilderbrand puts her heart and soul into all she does. When I asked her what her aims are through her heavy immersion in the ethical fashion sector, she said, “to affect change in our industry while bringing a sound and ethical product to the consumer (in the case of design) and a professional service to my clients (where tailoring is concerned). My other goal is to provide jobs to women in our industry at a fair wage - jobs that make them feel appreciated and challenge them; jobs that build confidence, ability and financial independence.”  


If you’re looking out for “one to watch” within the slow fashion industry, I'm thinking Kathryn Hilderbrand should be topping your list.


SiriusXM radio has invited Hilderbrand and Dufault back to do another show on April 24 (Fashion Revolution Day), 3pm EST via channel 143 or the show can be streamed live on byuradio.org. Be sure to tune in. In the meantime, keep up with her projects through Stitched, GreenLinebyK, Green Line Kids, and The Tailor Project.

 

 

 

 

Magaly Fuentes-Sagan is a writer, fashion designer, entrepreneur, foodie, and impassioned supporter of all things related to sustainability. Magaly has a broad range of interests spanning art, fashion, travel, environmental issues, health and wellness. With an AS in Fashion Design and a BA in International Business and Marketing, as well as a comprehensive fashion career that has included couture bridal design, sportswear product development, visual merchandising, buying and marketing management, Magaly brings the scope of her experience and passions to her work.  Magaly has been writing about sustainable fashion since 2007 for various publications and continues to contribute to the Ethical Fashion Forum’s SOURCE Magazine and SIX Magazine. She also owns the recently launched online women’s ethical clothing boutique, Pashen Collection

 

 

 

Comments (1)Add Comment
Thank you
written by Kathryn Hilderbrand, April 19, 2014
Thank you for such a beautifully written article. When someone asks me why I do what I do, I'm sending them this link. I could not have put into words any better or more eloquently, than you have here, why slow fashion and change in this industry is the driving factor in each piece I design, cut and sew.

With a heart of gratitude,

Kathryn Hilderbrand

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