Honesty probably isn’t a trait you would associate with the fashion industry – especially not when it comes to how and where clothing is made. Bruno Pieters is one designer who is trying to combat that though, through his brand Honest by.
Launched in 2012, the brand is all about transparency – right down to the buttons on its products. Not only can customers trace back everything they buy to the manufacturer (and sometimes even the source), details about pricing markups are also available. In addition to the collections created by Pieters, he often enlists others to collaborate on capsule collections – the latest being Y/Project’s Glenn Martens.
The two met back in 2006, when Pieters began teaching at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and although he did not teach Martens, the designer looked to him as a mentor. In a full circle from designing Honest by’s debut collection in 2012, Martens is back again. “It’s one of those companies people don’t talk enough about,” Martens told us. “Fashion is watched by so many people and I think it is important to make a statement.”
Available from today, the six-piece collection is made up of items that Pieters picked out from the Y/Project archive – think oversized trench coats, layered denim trousers and a skirt with an upper-thigh skimming slit. And if that weren’t enough, each of the pieces have been remade in fabrics that are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. In addition to the collection, the accompanying images are as equally honest. With no assistants or hair and makeup, they were taken at a friend’s house by photographer Arnaud Lajeunie with just Martens and the model in the room.
“I understand that not everybody has the time for it but luxury brands and people who work in this industry should be the first ones who are doing it to be trendsetters,” said Martens on why he thinks an ethical approach in fashion is so important. While Y/Project is still not 100% transparent, it has come a long way. For the recent SS18 collection, the only leather products were the shoes – in comparison to the majority of looks when it was first starting out.
Hopefully, with Y/Project taking this step, other brands will be more willing to be more transparent when it comes to their collections.
Honest by Y/Project is available online here