Total Transparency

Fashion designer Bruno Pieters just launched a new clothing line called “Honest By” which reveals everything – materials, methods,  pricing structures. Would you do this?

The Honest By brand offers eco and animal-friendly clothing, with a concept that’s new – communication to the consumer about every aspect of the manufacturing method, materials and the pricing strategies. Different designers were invited to participate – some accepted, others declined.

In this fascinating and thoughtful interview,  the designer discusses his great reverence for creating fabrics and clothing which are consciously-made. Fabrics are often recycled, vegan, organic, and even “skin-friendly,” meaning the cloth will not harm your skin in any way.

Pieters wants his customers to see all of the costs involved and the price calculation. Twenty percent of the profit, if any, will go to charity. The price calculation for his clothing is a 2.0 markup over cost, which is broken down in great detail. Expenses justifying the markup (staff, rent, insurance, marketing, etc.) are itemized.  All items in manufacture are revealed, with their origin, content and price. Also presented is each item’s carbon footprint.

A core principle of their philosophy is, “We want to give you the opportunity to shop with complete awareness of what you are buying.”

The designer talked about the fact that the clothing line is available only on his website. He says, “We decided to sell exclusively online because we thought it would be too difficult to find retailers who would be prepared to expose their store mark-up and concede with our demands.”

He goes on to state, “Also our consciousness is evolving, I think we are realising the way we live, shop, design and produce is not sustainable and is possibly outdated.”

Pieter’s concept brings up all kinds of topics for discussion, including:

  • Makers’ responsibility for use of materials that may be harmful to the environment
  • Willingness to share all costs and sources
  • An alteration in the concept of “perceived value”

Would you participate in this type of project?

Could this ever be a successful model, in your opinion?

Why or why not?

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