Interview: Jill Heller of Pure Thread

Pure Thread Founder Jill Heller is a passionate tastemaker and trendsetter who brings her expertise in the designer, contemporary and sustainable fashion markets to consumers and designers alike. After years of building successful retail experiences and companies, she followed her personal passion for ethical fashion and life practices, founding Pure Thread in 2010. A creative […]

Pure Thread Founder Jill Heller is a passionate tastemaker and trendsetter who brings her expertise in the designer, contemporary and sustainable fashion markets to consumers and designers alike. After years of building successful retail experiences and companies, she followed her personal passion for ethical fashion and life practices, founding Pure Thread in 2010. A creative entrepreneur, she feels blessed that Pure Thread is the perfect platform for her to do what she loves: styling women, working with designers, turning the needle in the fashion industry from “fast” to “conscious”, and helping to make the world a healthier and more beautiful place to live.

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Tell us about your brand Pure Thread

Building on my long career in fashion, and my passion for making the Earth a better place to live, I launched PureThread, a customer-intimate, customized styling service with an added focus on introducing my clients to beautiful sustainable apparel, accessories, home decor and beauty products.

Each season I work directly with top brands to present our customers a well curated selection of the best pieces from American and European designer and contemporary collections, carefully edited and presented in my studio.

The appointment-only experience features hand-picked luxury fashion items conveyed with my hands-on styling. The seasonally edited selections reflect an environmentally sustainable approach to design – from organic fibers and conscious production to hand-crafted pieces and fair trade practices – that are both visually pleasing and nurturing to the soul. Customers can expect to find anything from office to casual weekend wear to special one-of-a-kind pieces.

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Because I love to educate people about ethical choices in fashion, home decor and beauty, there is a continuous focus on sustainability. We source from individual artisans and crafting collectives around the planet, discovering products not found in department stores but unique to us or to the very few like-minded natural sourcing entities working today. Sourcing is the wellspring of our inspiration and relevance, the bedrock of our business.

Our choices will gather the forces of ancient quality, natural beauty, integrity in design, and sustainability, and flourish in their placement, positioning, and power to make your home a one of a kind environment that elevates your everyday quality of life.

I have assembled a remarkable range of perspectives, including designers, craftsmen, eco-entrepreneurs. My associates Tracey, Wendi have added so much inspiration and beauty which makes our company PureThread, the fashionable, taste-making and forward thinking company we are today.

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Can you give us a sneak peek into what you’re working on for 2016?

I am enjoying a productive and exciting start to 2016, and I am really looking forward to another year of building and learning. After spending several summers in the Hamptons, NY, I plan to spend more time at my cottage in Sag Harbor where I can thrive on its beauty. I find a great balance of creative expression near the ocean.

I will continue to create a gathering place where people convene to learn and share mindfulness practices, view glimpses of what inspires me and in turn, encourage everyone to find their deepest level of desire.

I will build a robust community of collaborators and customers, my work will serve as the bridge that connects the two. A world where the artisan is at the forefront of our minds… A world where the design is simple, beautiful, and functional. A world where music touches the core of everything we do, the way we move in our daily lives.

I am on the path to creating a very personal blend of work and life, 2016 is about the culmination of an inspiring period of development for me. 2016 is about dreams and visions coming true.

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What is the key purpose you hope to achieve through Pure Thread?

I feel that the traditional version of retail is no longer applicable in our contemporary lives, and that to do meaningful work is the only way to do work. Like Oobuntoo, building, supporting, and enjoying community is a cornerstone of my work ethic.

It is my passion and goal to touch on different aspects of sustainable fashion, encompassing not only the environmental issues presented by a wasteful and fast moving fashion cycle, but also the social impact of the global fashion industry which employs up to 40 million people worldwide.

It’s a time of transition in our world. It’s a time to look toward the future and make a shift in our way of thinking, both from a personal perspective in how we dress, and business perspective in how we work. Seeking balance, and equilibrium between our fast tech information age, which is only getting faster, and the need for quiet, to contemplate, look around us and see what’s truly important. We must balance this rapid pace with peace, and time in the natural world. It’s like looking through a portal into the future reality and emerging as a individual and company that does not deplete but sustains life.

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What made you go down this path?

This concept partially evolved out of the concern that Americans do most of their shopping online, which eliminates one of the basic ways in which we have always connected. Remember walking into your favorite neighborhood boutique or market and having a nice chat with other patrons or the owners of the store? It was a wonderful way to connect, and is all but defunct. As I watch people gazing at their phones instead of saying hello, I worry about people feeling lonely and unsupported.

I believe deeply in the healing powers of connecting to people in the flesh. The retail experiences create have created embody all of this.

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Main source of inspiration?

I reach out to collaborative brand partners because of our aligned values, and my passion for products that speak to my heart and soul. I usually don’t have a specific idea of how a collaboration might look, but I do think that when philosophies align, there is often an opportunity for business magic!

I have a deep appreciate for a quote by Deepak Chopra, “When you live your life with an appreciation of coincidences and their meaning, you connect with the underlying field of infinite possibilities.”

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What are some of your favourite brands in the sustainability community?

These are some of my favourite brands because ‘their stories are large, their hearts are big, and their talents are endless…’ 

M PatmosMarcia’s goal is to make easy, modern, understated, beautifully crafted clothing that feel as comfortable as wearing jeans and a t-shirt and become wardrobe essentials. Into these pieces she incorporates strength, ease and grace, and also uses thoughtful production techniques that are socially conscious and eco-friendly, when possible. By mixing modern manufactured items with handmade ones, Marcia has continued to strengthen her involvement and participation with artisan communities all around the world. “There is something very special about an item touched by a human hand.”

Suzanne Rae is a women’s ready-to-wear line inspired by and made for the progressive, empowered and modern woman. Both feminine and feminist in philosophy, the line explores the multiple juxtapositions of a woman’s natural being and interprets these abstract ideas into tangible garments.

Indigenous Each time you wear fair trade clothing, you are working to actively preserve artisan traditions while supporting fair wages and safe working environments. Designer fair trade clothing is the height of fashion, because it expresses your personal style while staying true to your morals. Because we’re all part of the fabric of humanity.

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H Fredriksson The Swedish designer Helena Fredriksson lives and works in Brooklyn where she combines the two worlds into a sophisticated collection which reflects both the Scandinavian aesthetics of her upbringing and the multi cultured reality of living in New York City. She balances the fashion sense with her art background and brings the intricate nature inspired fabric prints, created from her photographs and drawings, into the collection for an intimate touch.
With a sense of past and present, the designer’s belief in traditional craft as well as in a future of new sustainable fabric technologies is marked in the mindful fabric choices of the collection.

A PEACE TREATY A PEACE TREATY is an evolving collection aimed at creating ethically produced, artisan level accessories and apparel for the luxury fashion marketplace. Each season, A PEACE TREATY travels to a particular region and seeks out local village artisans to re-define an accessory, designing limited edition pieces in style unique colorways.

KAYU Kayu is a California based label founded by Jamie Lim. Jamie grew up in South East Asia surrounded by artisanal crafts. Over the years she noticed that these traditional arts were slowly disappearing. Kayu was born out of a desire to preserve and cultivate these traditional techniques and also support the artisans.

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Julie Crosby When I met the potter Julie Crosby a few years ago, I fell in love with her work and began collecting bowls, plates, and my favorites: various kitchen urns that I use to hold my organic fruits and vegetables. Her work is cherished not only in my, but in so many kitchens around the world.

I love the idea of bringing the garden inside and creating a more natural home that is in tune with nature. Enjoying fresh green living things all year is so great for the mind and spirit, as well as the air we breathe. It’s fun to use these pots and their leafy inhabitants as sculptures that add a touch of color. Since my favorites are the exotic and graceful orchids that represent love, luxury, beauty and strength and add a rare and delicate beauty to any space, Julie considered orchids as she made the pots. She researched different types of orchids, deciding to make a pot that did not detract from flower, but gave it a foundation for the flower to grow upward. Orchid roots are strong, so she wanted the container to reflect this more than just a glazed flower pot. the rock in the earth brings and earthiness to the planting.

Images Courtesy of Pure Thread


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