Heartfelt – A Timeless Commitment to Quality and Craftsmanship

Goodlifer: Heartfelt - A Timeless Commitment to Quality and Craftsmanship

Jill Harrop is on a quest to revise the way we consume and to adjust our perception of how to dress consciously. Her Heartfelt line of relaxed separates is designed for effortless living and aims to create an aesthetic that rises above all trends. Heartfelt’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship is a counter-reaction to the current driving force of changing fashion trends and the overproduction of clothing.

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Harrop is determined to slow the process and focus on perfecting the few core pieces that the Heartfelt line consists of. She believes good reason is better than simply reacting on trends that promote change and newness. Timelessness lasts forever, and is the most sustainable concept there is in the world of fashion.

Jill Harrop, founder of Heartfelt.

Jill Harrop, founder of Heartfelt.

After graduating from Northumbria university in the UK  with a degree in Fashion and Marketing design, Harrop spent 20 years in the commercial fashion industry, as design consultant to the Wool industry in the UK, as designer for NEXT childrenswear in the UK and finally as a design director of Club Monaco Canada. Nine years ago, she discovered needle felting on a road trip to British Columbia. This particular embellishment technique eventually led her to form this craft business that embodies more than the technique as her philosophy.

The cashmere light scarf is a supremely soft, diaphanously-woven draped wrap, horizontally-traded from Nepal. Grade 'A' 100% cashmere, custom-felting, embellishment and natural dye, painted in Toronto.

Left: the organic cotton scarf is hand-woven in Peru from cotton grown in natural colors. It has a special characteristic of increasing or decreasing in color intensity in varying light exposure. Right: the cashmere light scarf is supremely soft, diaphanously woven, made with grade ‘A’ 100% cashmere, custom-felting, embellishment and natural dye.

Cashmere light scarf.

Pieces are designed to be highly versatile.

“I always wanted to harness and practice the real meaning of what it takes to make quality clothes and always harbored a serious concern for the health of the environment. It was always a troubling bone of contention to follow the fast pace of commercial production, the disposability and ruthless focus in achieving the best price for the maximum quality and work content. My on going mandate is to slow the pace, which for me means not getting caught up in the pressure to produce for the pure sake of  production but really looking at what I’m doing and asking a lot of questions about the need and how its made.”

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Each wrap is sold in its own organic voile case together with a lavender sachet that fulfills three functions — repels moths when the wrap is stored, can be used as a pillow to impart relaxation and restful sleep as well as guard against airborne bacteria during travel.

Knitwear is made in Nepal using grade 'A' cashmere and silk yarn and low impact high quality Swiss dyes. Pieces are designed to be cocooning, easy, sexy and classic with a twist.

Knitwear is made in Nepal using grade ‘A’ cashmere and silk yarn and low impact high quality Swiss dyes. Pieces are designed to be cocooning, easy, sexy and classic with a twist.

The line is, in many senses, wearable art. As each piece is created without template and spontaneously applied by Harrop herself. The imagery is derived from natural forms inspired by seascapes, plants and birds, resulting in somewhat of a modern tribal effect.

All fabrics are ethically sourced, and Harrop is committed to researching and selecting the most gentle processes with the least harmful impact on the earth, without compromising the quality. Organic Pima cotton is sourced directly from Peru, wool felt rovings are sourced locally, and soon she will incorporate more colors produced by indigenous vegan dyes. The company also has future plans to create use pedal power to create kinetic energy, a source of green power that would both speed the process and be a highly sustainable way to make the felt.

Bespoke shirts come in two organic cotton colours, pure white and linen classic. Loungewear is designed to coordinate with knits and wraps and are made with natural fibers - researched for their lightest impact in processes and their luxurious soft feel.

Bespoke shirts come in two organic cotton colors, pure white and linen classic. Loungewear is designed to coordinate with knits and wraps and are made with natural fibers – researched for their lightest impact in processes and their luxurious soft feel.

Usually a huge amount of the fabric is wasted when cutting or creating custom made labels. Heartfelt’s use of remnant fabric to make hand stamped labels cleverly avoids this. Many details and construction methods are copied from vintage garments, which creates a timeless character and better made clothes that will endure time and wear more efficiently.

She always asks herself when designing “Would I want to wear and keep these things forever?” Our answer is yes.

Pieces are limited edition and can be ordered at the studio or online, or found in select boutiques in Toronto.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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