HOURS is a new ethically-minded New York based clothing line that specializes in quality and fit across US sizes 14 to 28. In time, they hope to extend to US size 40. The co-founders are sisters-in-law, Naaz Gulati and Harroop Gulati Kaur. Both ladies come from fashion families and have fashion backgrounds of their own. Together they saw a badly serviced and under-represented market in the fashion world and decided to put their heads together to service and represent it.
The fashion industry doesn’t do a good enough job of providing fabulous attire for larger sizes. Size ranges would often stop at a US12, which did not reflect the range of sizes that Gulati and Kaur saw walking the streets each day. The plus-size merchandise that was available was rarely gorgeous quality, chic, a good fit, and sustainable. These ladies took it upon themselves to improve matters by creating a low-impact, high-quality, and relatively affordable label.
The label is committed to sustainability and making ethical choices. Kaur explains, “Sustainability is a pillar of HOURS. We strive to keep that as a consideration for all decisions — especially in the production lifecycle, where much of the waste is created at the fabric level. Our collection is made of upcycled fabrics that would normally be discarded at the mills. We also made sure to produce only what was needed to reduce the amount of inventory excess that ultimately turns to waste.” Production runs are kept small to minimize pollution and waste.
Gulati explains, “Because the climate is changing so rapidly, and fashion is such a large contributor to the world’s pollution, we wanted to make sure we were being responsible in everything we were designing and in every area of our supply chain, from the manufacturing at the fabric level to every single button that goes on, the suppliers that we work with, how we’re shipping the goods, what we’re shipping the goods in, the packaging — everything.”
Materials and products are sourced from environmentally-friendly and socially responsible partners. As far as I can tell, these sources are not local, and fabric is imported. Although the company is not completely sustainable yet, it is a very important goal of theirs. For example, they aim to be completely plastic-free at some point, and are almost there. They use recycled and recyclable packaging for their mailers, tissue paper, and envelopes.
Items are neither basic nor statement, but more along the lines of what they call elevated essentials or wardrobe staples. The style sensibility is modern, simple, alluring, luxe, a little edgy, comfortable, versatile, and above all creates a beautiful fit. Fabric compositions are blends of naturals and synthetics. Most of the items are neutrals although the odd bright comes through too. Prices are relatively affordable.
I see fabulously clean, polished, playful and practical items that double duty across a range of dress codes and activities. It is an understated relaxed elegance that can be dressed up or down, which is the type of performance we want from our wardrobes these days. Their Instagram page is fun, and well worth a look.