An interview with Daisy Chen Hutton, Founder of The Fixx Collective
Daisy Hutton was on her way towards earning a medical degree when she had the realization that, while she wanted to help others, medicine simply wasn’t the right path for her. Instead, she ultimately followed her heart into the fashion industry.
Some might consider that an unusual pivot, but one of the reasons that Daisy so loved fashion was its ability to make people feel empowered by clothing. And even as she became a successful fashion buyer, she didn’t immediately realize the negative impact that her position and the greater fashion industry was having on the environment. Yet it was this hands-on industry experience that would lay the foundation for Daisy to found The Fixx Collective, a better way for us all to experience fashion. Daisy sees fashion as art, with sustainable products as her medium. The Fixx Collective carefully curates sustainable brands for purchase, and it also offers unique rental options, called SHARECYCLE™, to shoppers who are looking to enjoy exciting trends in fashion without creating more waste. .
We wanted to learn more about the thoughtful person behind The Fixx Collective, so we sat down for a chat with Daisy.
What would you say to someone hesitant about shopping sustainably/slow fashion?
I have to remind myself to be gentle with people because my goal in life is never to shame anybody for their choices. A lot of people have not woken up to the fact that our apparel industry is so damaging to the Earth. If they just knew what the truth was, they would be shocked and horrified and want to change their habits immediately. That is what happened to me.
Every time I have a conversation with someone about it, they are shocked and appalled that this is not talked about more often. I might mention that polyester is made out of petroleum, and people always say “I had no idea!” Then, from there, people always want to know more. I want to educate people slowly, so they feel inspired to keep learning.
What made you decide to stop pursuing a medical degree and go into fashion?
I think I was a sophomore in college at the time, and I remember already having so many sleepless nights cramming for exams to get all of my premed requirements done and thinking this is not the lifestyle I want to keep pursuing. To be honest, I did not think of fashion immediately. My whole life I wanted to do something noble, give back and help people. To me, fashion was not that. Fashion was a fun thing, a personal interest, that I did not know I could make into a career until I met somebody else studying fashion and decided to pivot my whole life. It was an “aha” moment. I moved to LA with that dream, enrolled in fashion school, and just decided to jump into this career.
Why are you passionate about the environment? When did this passion begin?
I am sad to say that it did not start sooner. I wish that in my twenties and in my college days we were talking about this more. It was not until I had kids and stopped working in the corporate sector of fashion. Having kids and becoming a mom changes your mindset about life. The combination of stepping away from the business and now having this life-altering experience [becoming a mom] made me realize that if I was going to do something I really needed to be conscious of what kind of earth we were going to leave behind. I remember going to a sustainability seminar where this professor from Hawaii talked about climate change, and it was the most depressing lecture I have ever been to because he was very real. That is what ultimately fueled me to take action because I knew I wanted to make a change, and I knew I wanted to use my experience and passion for the fashion industry.
What are you most proud of at Fixx?
Honestly, it was taking that first step. I am not a natural entrepreneur. Starting a business is not something that I ever thought about. The idea of having to do something on my own and figure out every step was so scary for me. But, life is all about overcoming fear. What drove me to face this fear was knowing the alternative would be constantly having this eco-grief that I couldn’t channel into something active.
How do you choose which brands to sell?
We only sell products that make sense from a longevity standpoint – something that will last, and something from brands that are actually taking steps to be sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical. All brands on our website are carefully vetted and meet our standards. Many brands take small steps, for example, using organic cotton instead of regular cotton, but one step is not enough. So we only buy from brands who are fully committed to sustainability and employee wellbeing.
Tell me a little about your rental program and how you got that idea.
Customers choose exactly how they want The Fixx to work for them. They can rent often or infrequently, for nice events or their everyday lifestyle. We have a membership program for people who want to rent monthly, and we are always here to support style development and change when our consumers need more guidance. You can wear something once and return, or you can keep it for an extended period.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Technology! Before this, I didn’t know anything about software development or programming, but in order to run my business, I’ve had to learn about building a website and all the supporting technology that goes with it.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Oh my gosh! I would have definitely told her not to buy as many clothes (laughs). Being twenty is a time where you owe it to yourself to explore what is out there. So, the single greatest mistake that any young person can do is committing to anything too early. I would have wanted to tell myself that everything will be fine, everybody follows their own path, and to find the joy in that instead of looking at it in a fearful way. Instead of being scared of what’s to come, be excited for all of the things you can learn, be excited for all of the opportunities that you can go into, and don’t feel like you need to have that five-year master plan by the time you are 24. Nobody has their life figured out by 24, or 42, or maybe 84. So, be open and enjoy what the opportunities are.
What are you wearing right now?
You’re lucky I put on clothes today! Usually, I wake up and just put on my workout clothes and stay in that all day, but I did leave the house this morning. I have on a really long olive, military-style jacket that I love because it goes with everything and kind of makes every outfit cool.
Hop on over to The Fixx Collective and browse Daisy’s beautiful collection of clothes, shoes, accessories, and home goods. Greenlist items are 10% off so add yourself to the greenlist while you are shopping!