Friday, 16 March 2012

honest by. BRUNO PIETERS

Honest by Bruno Pieters is the innovative online designer label recently launched in January 2012. 

Utterly blitzing the unwritten code of the fashion industry, Honest is the first ever fashion label (in the history of the world, I’m sure) to operate with a 100% transparency policy. Yes you did hear that correctly. 100% TRANSPARENCY – the breakdown of the cost of products in their entirety including material information, the supply chain, manufacturing costs, carbon footprint offset costs, and price calculations including the mark-up rate on all of the garments. It is detailed people, and I mean DETAILED.

Every last zipper, length of thread, and piece of interfacing is documented underneath the product information, and shows the customer the exact sourcing, production and costing process. This concept gives a whole new meaning to ‘knowing where your clothes are coming from’…

The original idea for the label was conceived by Pieters (who also happens to be an award-winning designer & art director) during a sabbatical from the his industry of expertise, which led him to Southern India, where he spent a year thoroughly exploring  the developing world; and led to a complete change in his personal philosophy regarding fashion. He was strongly inspired by the way that native people wore clothes that were grown, woven and sewn from sources they could identify around them, which led him to question whether this had potential to function on an international scale. And this, my friends, is how Honest was born. 

Extensive research is carried out regarding the sources of all raw materials used to make the garments (including fabrics as well as all trimmings) to ensure the each and every garment is as environmentally friendly as it can possibly be. The ‘wellbeing of the client’s skin’ is also a consideration, in addition to ensuring safe working conditions during each stage of production. 

No leather, fur, shell or horn is distributed by Honest; the only animal products being wool (often organic or recycled) and silk. AND, I’m very excited by the fact that there are a number of vegan designs which are entirely animal free (because I have recently gone over to the green side and become a vegan myself, but obviously some of my current wardrobe is non-vegan, but I will be making better choices from now on!) There is actually a handy filter on the website that allows you to shop by a number of categories including Organic, Vegan, Skin-friendly, Recycled and European.

‘Our mission is to offer our customers the opportunity to shop in a completely conscious way.’

The online store (there are talks of plans to possibly open an actual store in Antwerp soon) boasts collections for men & women that are not dictated by seasons, due to the fact that we are now a world of jet-setters and constantly having to adjust our outfits to various climates throughout the year. The garments are all very wearable and great staple additions to your existing wardrobes. The only thing I would have to say that is personally lacking (for me, being the colour junkie that I am) is the sea of black, greys and neutrals… even the tiniest splash of colour would jam a smile on my little face. Here’s to hoping for a few brights in the next collection!

Honest is also doing its bit for upcoming international designers who are invited to create a limited ‘Green’ item, look or collection for the label. 20% of the profits made on these design collaborations is generously donated to a charity of the designers’ choice (moneyforgoodcausesBOP!), while the remaining 80% goes to funding growth and expansion of the company. 

I can’t believe that I was unaware of this bundle of awesomeness out there in the world until only recently. Hopefully, by blogging about Honest, I have opened a lot of other pairs of eyes to this exciting venture too. Special thank you to fellow blogger Sam (Sam Is Home) for kindly sharing her knowledge of this label with me!

I really think that Honest is going to change the fashion world as it currently stands. There is now nothing stopping ethically savvy shoppers from demanding transparency from all other designers in the industry. Perhaps not today, and maybe not even tomorrow, but someday we will be able to look back and see that an immense amount of progress – that was once thought impossible - has been made; and all it took was a few Bruno Pieters, their 'Just damn well DO IT' attitudes, and a sprinkling of fairy dust mixed in for good luck.  

1 comment:

  1. When I first saw an article in FT times about this I went nuts because there was finally a savvy sustainable line that was driven by design first. I love all the pieces he carries except I wish it was a bit more budget friendly.... But anyhow it's a good first move into total transparency in production!