Honest by Bruno Pieters

I’d like to introduce you this brand, HONEST BY Bruno Pieters. This is “the worlds first transparent fashion brand”

I have never seen anything like this before. He has exposed his inner workings?? He not only shows his entire costing process, but he even lists the names of companies who produce his garments. Most brands are ordered by law to display the country in which the garment was produced on the label, but Bruno Pieters has decided to show not only the country, but the city, address and owners name. He is bringing decency, and humanity back into the fashion business.  I also get a sense that he wouldn’t mind some healthy competition, as most designers would keep their manufacturers heavily guarded. However, working in a country where manufacturing is steadily moving overseas to cheaper, less skilled factories, perhaps more business from his competitors means his local factories will stay open.

You can really get a sense of his core values as a designer when looking at his online shop.

All of his items on the site can be sorted by the following categories: Organic, Vegan, Skin Friendly, Recycled or European.

The thorough examination of each garment is pretty impressive. All designers do this kind of analysis of their products, but none will ever tell the consumer, because they are hiding something. Consumers have the right to know where their clothing is made, whats costs are involves, and how much time is required to complete a fashion garment. The consumer is in in a position to place high value this information. Use your money to show ethical designers that this is what you want.

Take this skirt, for example.

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He starts with the standard in every garment, the Material information. But he is giving WAY more info than anyone I have ever seen.


Fabric: black and ecru herringbone linen
Composition: 100% linen
Weight: 150 gr/m²
Yarn or piece dyed: yarn dyed
Origin of raw material: Poland
Spinner: Siulas, Birzai, Lithuania – http://www.siulas.lt/
Weaver: Siulas, Birzai, Lithuania
Dyer/Finisher: Siulas, Birzai, Lithuania
Supplier: Siulas, Birzai, Lithuania

Composition: 100% cotton
Weight: 70g/m²
Yarn or piece dyed: piece dyed
Certificate: Oekotex
Origin of raw material: Greece
Spinner, Weaver, Dyer/Finisher: the full information overview was made available to Honest by for internal use, however the supplier does not wish to disclose this information nor price of the fabric publicly for confidentiality reasons
Supplier: Devetex, Krefeld, Germany – http://www.devetex.de

Composition: 100% organic cotton
Certificate for raw material and fabric: GOTS
Origin of raw material: Turkey
Manufacturer: Ecological Textiles has produced the bias tape on our request. The cutting of the fabric into bias tape took place in Belgium.
Supplier: Ecological Textiles, Roermond, the Netherlands – http://www.ecologicaltextiles.nl

Composition: corozo nut
Origin of raw material: Ecuador
Manufacturer: Union Knoph, Bielefeld, Germany – http://www.unionknopf.com/
Supplier: Union Knoph, Bielefeld, Germany – http://www.unionknopf.com/SEWING THREAD
Composition: 100% organic cotton
Certificate: GOTS
Origin of raw material: Egypt
Manufacturer: Forbitex, Soest, the Netherlands – http://www.forbitex.nl
Supplier: Forbitex, Soest, the Netherlands – http://www.forbitex.nl

Composition: 100% Tencel
Certificate: Oekotex
Origin of raw material: manufacturer did not wish to disclose any further information on the origin of the raw material for confidentiality reasons
Manufacturer: Freudenberg, Weinheim, Germany – www.freudenberg-nw.com
Supplier: Freudenberg, Weinheim, Germany -www.freudenberg-nw.com

Composition: 100% polyester
Certificate: Oekotex
Origin of raw material: Italy
Manufacturer: EE Labels, Heeze, the Netherlands – http://www.eelabels.com

Composition: 100% polyester
Origin of raw material: China
Production plant location: China
Supplier: Labels and things, Kontich, Belgium – http://www.labels-things.com

Composition :100% cotton
Origin of raw material : manufacturer did not wish to disclose any further information on the origin of the raw material for confidentiality reasons
Manufacturer: Van Campenhoudt, Schaarbeek, Belgium
Supplier: Van Campenhoudt, Schaarbeek, BelgiumSECURITY SEAL

Composition :100% polystyrene
Certificate: ISO 18001,certified manufacturer
Manufactured in: Italy
Manufacturer: UNISTO, Italy – http://www.unisto.it
Supplier: UNISTO, Italy – http://www.unisto.it

Composition: 100% recycled paper
Origin of raw material: Europe mainly GermanyManufacturer: Schollershammer , Düren, Germany – http://www.schoellershammer.de
Supplier: IGEPA Belux, Aalter, Belgium – http://www.igepa.be
Printer: EcoDrukkerij,Beernem – Belgium –www.ecodrukkerij.be

Composition: 100% recycled paper
Origin of raw material: Europe mainly Germany
Manufacturer: Schollershammer , Düren, Germany – http://www.schoellershammer.de
Supplier: IGEPA Belux, Aalter, Belgium – http://www.igepa.be
Printer: EcoDrukkerij,Beernem – Belgium –www.ecodrukkerij.be

Composition: 100% cotton
Origin of raw material: Supplier was not able to give us any information on this matter for confidentiality reasons
Manufacturer: Located in Belgium. Supplier was not able to give us any information on this matter for confidentiality reasons
Supplier: EE Labels, Heeze, the Netherlands – http://www.eelabels.com

Composition: 100% nickel free metal
Manufacturer: Rayher Hobby, Germany. Product was made in the Czech Republic – http://www.rayher-hobby.de
Supplier: AVA papierwaren, Antwerp, Belgium – http://www.ava.be

**For optimal decomposition: please remove all polyester garment labels before disposal. These are not biodegradable.

**For optimal decomposition….” WHAT? Not many designers think about the end of the line for their clothing. Here he is considering the entire lifespan of a product, and touching on the ideas in Clean Production, and the CLosed-Loop Production Model. Because, come on, we know that fashion is the prettiest paradox. We make all these items and constantly desire new, more novel versions of utilitarian items that we already own. We search for psychological utility, and in this search we make lots of beautiful crap that becomes ‘useless’ when we don’t want it anymore.

Next, he discusses the Carbon Footprint of the skirt.


Company: The analysis and calculation of the carbon footprint was made by Ecolife, a Belgian environmental organization that strives for a sustainable world through the promotion of responsible and ecological behavioral change.
Location Ecolife: Leuven, Belgium
Address Ecolife: Valkerijgang 26 – 3000 Leuven – Belgium
Since: Ecolife was created in 2002

The calculation is based on detailed transportation information collected from our suppliers, where available, for all fabrics and trimmings used in this garment.

For every step in the production process from raw material, fabric spinners and weavers to the finished product, we gather information about transportation. This takes into account the amount, weight and dimensions of all materials used, as well as total distance travelled and type of transportation used.

Ecolife base their calculations on the facts provided by different suppliers, agents and manufacturers. Due to confidentiality reasons, some of the textile manufacturers were sometimes unable to disclose full information, in this case estimates were used. The final CO2 result per item is therefore an estimate of the overall output the material transportation process created. To put things into perspective, you can see different comparisons below.

The impact of all materials combined for this item is 2,27 kg of CO2.
This is equivalent to:

  • driving a car for 14,19 km
  • using a classic light bulb for 87,31 hours

On average, one tree can absorb 3,268kg of CO2 a year. It will take one tree approximately 252 days to absorb and neutralize the amount of CO2 created to transport all the components, such as fabric and trimmings, this item contains.

The calculation of the transportation from raw material to the spinner, the weaver, the supplier and finally to Honest by is considered a first step towards our goal. We plan to invest in Life Cycle Analysis in the future. 


Company: Honest by BVBA
Design time: 16,8 working hours
Number of fittings: 3

Company: Elane
Location: Lille, Belgium
Address: Achterstenhoek 11 – 2275 Lille – Belgium
Owner: Mr Peter Ooms & Ms Marie-Christine Haest
Since: 1987
Number of employees: 19
Cutting time: 9.5 min
Assembly time: 44 min
Ironing: 6,2 min
Amount of pieces made (per colour): 10 pieces
Amount per size: 2 pieces
Production location: Affiliated partner in Poland

I have only shown you part of the information he gives you for every piece in the collection, and haven’t even shown you the costing process. Please have a look yourself for more info!


Doesn’t he look like a young Yves?? Total babe-o-tron.

He just recently did a TED Talk.

TED 2013.
Full speech transcript:

The business of truth.
I’m going to start with a quote from Maya Angelou

If you get,
If you learn,

Maya Angelou

I’m not going to teach you anything today
but i will tell you what I have learned about life, about myself
and what i believe is my truth.

The first thing I have learned is
Who I am.
I am a fashion designer
I am the founder of Honest by
But first and foremost
I am a human being.

I love how we have described ourselves in our dictionary
If you look up the definition of a human being
you will see that it says
a human being is a kind and compassionate entity.

It was good to read that again
because I think over the years I forgot what it really meant to be human.

The second thing that I have learned is my purpose in life.
That can be a hard question to answer but for me the answer is very simple.
My purpose in life is to be human
and how do I fulfil
that purpose?
By being human in
my relationships,
in my diet
in my consumption,
and in my work.

-When it comes to relationships I started by being kind and compassionate towards myself,
so that I would be mentally and physically able to show kindness and compassion towards others.
-In my diet, I became vegan this year, because I believe that the world and all beings living on this planet are not here for me, but I am here for them.
to love them,
to admire them,
and to protect them.
-In my consumption, I try to consume more consciously everyday by only buying what I believe in.
-and in my work. I think that is where I have made the biggest change .

honest by.
I launched Honest by last year in january.
Honest by is the first 100% transparent company in the world.
We offer our customer sustainable fashion made in Europe .
We share all the information about a product with our customer .
From the origin of the raw material to the entire price calculation including the mark up that we take a product .

The reason why I created honest by is because this is something that I wanted as a consumer.
Because I believe one needs that level of transparency to be able to make the right choices and consume more humanely.

At the moment we are the only brand offering 100% transparency to the public.
Which makes me very happy as a CEO, but as a consumer it doesn’t.
So what I try to do in my personal life is help other companies to become more sustainable and transparent.
by only buying products from brands that are in sync with my values
and by using my voice.
When I’m in a store I always ask the people who work there the same questions
who made it,
where it was made
and how it was made.

Because I need to know what I’m paying for
and who i’m financially supporting through my purchase.

Another thing I’ve learned is that all that matters today besides love, is money.
And that doesn’t need to be a sad thing.
Money has become a universal language that is understandable to all.
And If we learn to speak money well, it can become a very powerful and positive tool for change.

Now there are moments when I do doubt if my shopping really makes a difference. But then I try to remember all the crazy things we do for money.
We abuse our children, we abuse our animals, our environment sometimes just to get a dollar , or a euro for someone.
That is how important every purchase is.
That is how important every one is.
Every one matters.

I would like to finish with a quote from Gandhi
Be the change you want to see in the world.
I think that is my favorite quote of all time because it reminds me that change does not depend on others and all it really takes is
one person who remembers their humanity.
And that our freedom lies in our responsibilities.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my admiration for everyone who is watching, everyone in this audience, and every speaker today who is already a part of the change.
I applaud you.
And thank you for listening.

Bruno Pieters


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