PARIS--This past January, Antwerpian designer and ex-creative director of Hugo Boss Bruno Pieters launched his new collaborative label ‘Honest By’. On top of being vegan and produced in a totally transparent manner, each collection is designed by another, like-minded fashion house.
Tomorrow, the line will see its first collaboration with Paris-Based, Canadian born label Calla. Think flower power, 2012 style. For the campaign, which we're revealing exclusively, Pieters recruited casting director/Tales of Endearment blogger Natalie Joos to model.
But Pieters has more green tricks up his sleeve.
In May, the designer will also be a spokesperson at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, hosted by the Crown Princess of Denmark. We chatted with him in Paris about Ghandi, luxury and honesty. Fashionista: What is the story behind this collection? Bruno Pieters: I met Calla last season in her showroom in Paris and asked her if she wanted to do a collection for us and she immediately said yes. I think the designers who accept our invitation believe in the same things we believe in, they don't see it as doing me a favor but it's their own personal conviction that makes them do it. Also they are very proud of their products so are happy to share their production secrets with us and our audience. Calla is our first collaborator and she is perfect to start this project because she's young, innovative and so motivated. Calla made her very first men's pieces for this collection. For women she made a printed dress with a tulle upper part. The whole look and world she created for us is very relaxed but sophisticated at the same time, perfect for spring i think.
How green is the line? It's all vegan and very sustainable: Calla's collection is all made out of different qualities of GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton satin and cotton twill. The reason we offer vegan clothes is because I think there is no need to involve animals when there are so many other options at hand today. That is what Honest by is about: offering beautiful designs all made in a conscious way. Which I believe is the normal thing to do. All of the products we sell online are 'green' and made in Europe.
When did you start worrying about the environment? For me it's just normal to offer fashion that doesn't harm us. I can't imagine paying for something unsustainable. The reason why we communicate all the information on the material, the manufacturing, the price calculation and the carbon footprint is because that is what you need to know to shop consciously. But it's not the reason why people buy it, they just love the clothes. I don't like the term eco-fashion, it sounds so political and serious, it’s just fashion.
How unsustainable is the average fashion production these days? I think everyone should do and buy what they believe in. There is no wrong or right in this world. Only choices made. But of course every single one of those choices has consequences.
In the one year research we did, we discovered that the luxury suppliers aren't very sustainable, nothing is organic or even skin-friendly. Which kind of shocked me, because I saw luxury fabrics as something that was already good and harmless. The fashion industry is what it is, they will always give us what we want. It's a business like any other. I saw this big billboard with a quote of Gandhi when I was in India and it said ' Be the change you want to see in the world'. I think that's what inspired me to create Honest by. I don't want to change the world, it's great as it is, I just love life and try to work in a way that I believe is respectful towards that life.