HotMamas Is A Black-Owned London Based Sustainable Fashion Brand Of Fun & Flirty Wrap Dresses
We absolutely love when we encounter sustainable fashion brands that go against the status quo what it means to be part of the ethical community.
We interviewed Monique Lonewarrior, who is the founder of a London based sustainable brand. Her collections have a bohemian street style vibe that's feminine, vintage-inspired and fits comfortably within the modern, forward-thinking women’s wardrobe.
With a brand name like HOTMAMAS we absolutely had to learn more:
When and why did you start Hotmamas?
Without sounding too dramatic the brand was started out of adversity. After reaching a milestone in my life I was forced to make the decision to either continue down the same path with a safe job that provided little creative outlet or follow my passion which is to create. I have always loved art and fashion but I also have an aversion to greed and cruelty and truly believe that wearing a treasured item of clothing makes you feel all the more special knowing that it has been made ethically and therefore wanted the brand to be ethical and sustainable.
What inspired the name?
The name was first recommended by my brother but dismissed it initially as I felt it wasn’t serious enough. However, after reflecting on it I decided that sustainable fashion is still fashion after all and fashion like art is something to be enjoyed and have fun with… so why not have a name that reflects this. Having a label that is very serious about ethical issues without preaching to its audience doesn’t make it less responsive. So Hotmamas projects an image that is fun, flirty and appealing but conveys the message of sustainability in a more subtle way.
How do you define "sustainability"? How is your brand specifically sustainable and support slow fashion production?
Hotmamas defines sustainability as using carefully sourced natural materials that have little to no negative impact on our environment This includes less water usage, less electricity including low carbon footprint, equality and fair-trade and no cruelty to living creatures. The brand is the antithesis to fast fashion and stays away from constantly changing trends. The classical design of Hotmamas pieces ensures that they remain staple pieces in a woman’s wardrobe for season after season.
What inspired your collection of wrap dresses?
Wrap dresses are timeless and classic; they compliment the female form so well and flatter every shape. They are Simple but yet chic, and are easy to wear. You can wear a wrap dress out shopping or to work and then switch it up to look more glamorous for an evening out. Dressing in something that you only need to wrap around your body and then you’re ready is quite satisfying… no zips, buttons, or hooks. It’s very practical. You can cinch in your waist and create the illusion of an hourglass, if you don’t have one, they can reveal a hint of a leg when you walk or when the wind blows. In a wrap and you can also adjust the neckline to leave more or less cleavage to add little sex appeal… there is so much versatility with a warp dress. I was drawn to the idea of creating wrap dresses in material that are not really used for this style... such as hand-woven natural materials with lots of texture which have a rustic almost worn-in appeal. I also work with Bamboo and Tencel Jersey which is extremely soft and falls beautifully whilst skimming the body. It also feels very comfortable and soft against the skin. Sustainable clothing has in the past been seen accused of being shapeless and androgynous… wrap dresses are the quite the opposite of this.
Does being a woman of color inspire your brand? ... If so how?
I think as a woman of colour there is no hiding the fact that you can be stereotyped as let’s say a subculture, ethnic, street style brand or pigeonholed in a particular market. This can be limiting and will convey the wrong message for the brand by alienating it from its potential target audience and may, in the long run, have a detrimental impact on the overall business. The most advantageous aspect of being a woman of colour is that there are comparatively fewer designers of colour, especially in the UK. This allows you to stand out as there is most certainly more curiosity and intrigue towards your brand, which can be used in the brand's favour through highlighting the things that make it unique. Also growing up in multicultural London you are exposed to so many different styles and as a person of colour you are not merely an observer you are a participant of this and it inadvertently influences your aesthetics.