The monetary cost of doing business in the fashion industry is one thing, but the environmental cost is quite another.
Fashion has made a wasteful mark on the environment, from manufacturers letting dyes leak into the water supply to consumers throwing away millions of tons of textiles each year. Those concerns, mixed with ongoing efforts to combat sweatshop labor, make fashion a less-than-sustainable industry, but one Belgian company is out to change all of that.
Honest by, first launched in January, is the world’s first 100 percent transparent fashion company. Details on each garment sold on their website are broken down, giving the consumer details about the material, manufacturing process, price calculation and overall carbon footprint of the item.
The idea first came to creator Bruno Pieters when he took a trip to southern India and observed the way the native people produced and manufactured their clothing. He had long worked in the fashion industry as art director for Hugo Boss, but wondered if Indian-style transparency could hold up on an international level. When he got back to Belgium, he got to work on Honest by, creating classic, crisp and modern basics with no secrets to hide.
“The Earth is in an environmental crisis. Honest by is motivated by the challenges we face collectively, to the climate and to ecosystems. Products in the Honest by store are made with consideration for all beings,” the company says on their website. “Our mission is to offer our customers the opportunity to shop in a completely conscious way.”
But that concern doesn’t come at a small price. A basic cotton blouse will run you about 425 Euro, or $568. Twenty percent of proceeds from the Bruno Pieters collection will go right back to India, benefiting teachers and students of Sebastian Indian School Projects, which “aims to raise the quality of life of the poorest of the poor” by providing education and social services.