Bruno Pieters wants you to pay attention to the man behind the curtain. The award-winning designer, formerly of Hugo from Hugo Boss, is launching a ballsy new clothing brand and e-tailer that promotes complete transparency in price and manufacturing. Honest By, according to Pieters, is the first company in the world to give customers a full cost breakdown of its products—the sartorial equivalent of speaking stark-naked in front of a crowded room. Pieters conceived of Honest By while on sabbatical in southern India, where he observed the way locals grew, wove, and stitched their clothes from sources they could identify. Returning to Antwerp, Pieters decided to explore that degree of transparency with luxury products on an international scale.
THE BEST POLICY
Besides exposing cost markups, material information, suppliers, organic certifications, and so on, Honest By also challenges the industry’s traditional two-season model by offering summer and winter garments year-round, whether by established or emerging guest designers. (All pieces are limited edition and sold exclusively through Honest By’s online storefront.)
Honest By also challenges the industry’s traditional two-season model by offering summer and winter garments year-round.
Because the brand chooses not to use leather, fur, shell, or horn, invited designers are encouraged to use only organic and animal-friendly materials. While not entirely vegan—Honest By cops up to using wool (either certified-organic, recycled, or ethically sourced) and certified-organic silk—a cruelty-free option will be available for almost every design.
“Suppliers are vetted to ensure every component in every product has the smallest impact on our health and the environment,” Pieters writes on the website. “At Honest By, we want to offer a range of products made with consideration for all beings.”
If that wasn’t—dare we say it?—revolutionary enough, 20 percent of profits go to a charity of the designer’s choice while 80 percent will fund the company’s growth, including hiring new staff and expanding collections. And if other designers or labels are inspired by the Honest By concept, the team also offers a consultancy service to help businesses develop their own sustainable, price-transparent, and traceable products. “The earth is in an environmental crisis,” Pieters says. “The Honest By team is motivated by the challenges we face collectively, to the climate and to ecosystem.”