“Honest By was something that I wanted as a consumer. I was a bit lost as a consumer. I knew my values: I wanted sustainability, ethical clothing. There was a lot written about it in the press, reports . But I wanted to create a brand where I could see it for myself. Where I could read everything I wanted to know from the origin of the raw materials to the price calculation and everything in between. So 100 percent transparency. That’s what I wanted–I needed to make the right decision. Because I know that buying is like voting, and I didn’t want to support something that are against my values. That’s why I created it.”
How have you gone about offering complete transparency?
“I think for me it was important because you have a view on how much everything costs. You can see if there is child labor involved or not, and there are certain parts you can only obtain through child labor or practices I don’t want to support. That was important to me.”
“Also, just to know who are you financing. In the end if you buy unsustainable fashion, you are telling the brands to go on. You are paying them to be unsustainable. I think that awareness was there but I couldn’t find a brand that gave me that guarantee.
“Also when it comes to luxury, now there is so much talk about these issues, and I think the danger for a luxuxry brand is the assumption, not that it is good, but because they don’t say. You have a heritage brand, but everything that has been published in the NYT and everything, you kind of know that the biggest hertiage that is still there is the price tag in many cases. You just want to know for sure what you are paying for. I didn’t want to pay for mark up. But sometimes the danger of the assumption is that you will generalize. You will think: ‘This 2000 euro jacket is probably made there, and then they just put a label Made in Italy,’ then you can charge us for it because it is legal. You can make a product there, and just finish it somewhere else and it is done. But it is not always the case…there is a huge advantage and it will be come unavoidable for your reputation. Reputation can take a hundred years to make but a few seasons, a few years, it can go away. That is important for me. Also I don’t have a heritage in Honest By, it is a new brand, we don’t have a tradition, so we make our own–we just tell you what we do now.”
What’s next for Honest By? Do you think this is something that should become endemic across the industry, price transparency?
“I think it will. I think everyone who doubts that are the same people who doubted that woman couldn’t vote. Its just unavoidable. If you analyise it, it always comes down to, for everyone, it is the best thing that could happen.”
This week’s Weekly Want?: Honest By’s Black and Off White Herringbone Linen Sleeveless Wrap Dress, and the 100 percent transparency the label embodies.
All commentary was quoted from Ethical Fashion Forum Summit 2013 On the Future Business Panel. Questions by Ethical Fashion Forum’s founder, Tamsin Lejeune and answer’s by Honest By’s founder Bruno Pieters.
image: Honest By