Welcome to Fashion FWD: A Series by Kat Hoelck

Welcome to Future Prosperity’s Fashion FWD, a series by Kat Hoelck where she interviews designers, artists, and brands who are building blueprints for doing it well.

Kat Hoelck

October 8, 2020

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Kat Hoelck

i! I'm Kat Hoelck, Future Prosperity’s Design Director and in-house academic. I am a designer and educator with a decade-long career in the fashion industry. I teach Design Communications at Parsons School for Design and I’m focused on promoting circularity at every level of production. What does that mean?

A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. (SOURCE: What Is The Circular Economy?) This means, we produce using  only materials that are readily recyclable and/or fully biodegradable, eliminating trash at the end of the life of the object. This is the future we are aiming for. While it’d be grand if we could just snap our fingers and be there, we have a ways to go to close that loop. We will need to use imagination and innovation across industries to make it the norm.

Good design is more than just function and form; it should solve for a problem. If a designed object isn’t crafted with the planet’s largest issues in mind (hello, Climate Crisis!), then it doesn’t really matter what the aesthetics are like-- you are literally designing garbage. If you’re aiming for good design, circularity must be the target.

Here at Future Prosperity we know that it will take passion and effort from many directions. We celebrate individuals and companies who are thoughtful at every level of their design, production, and distribution chain. This means using only materials that are readily recyclable and/or fully biodegradable, prioritizing ethical labor practices that center people and planet, and marketing from an evolved, intersectional lens.

While the fashion industry is one of the planet’s largest polluters, it also happens to be one of the most creative lanes in the game. I am thrilled to launch Fashion FWD:, a series where I’ll be interviewing artists, designers, and brands who are building blueprints for doing it right, sharing innovative and compelling solutions from some of the industry’s brightest talent. May we use the power and romance of fashion, coupled with circular production, to create a more livable future for all.  

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