Over the past six years, through his label Honest By, Bruno Pieters has been quietly providing us with a vision of high fashion that is as beautiful inside as it is outside. This month he's launched a new exhibition which communicates his vision and some of the inspirations behind it.
The exhibition is named, Behind the Clothes and Pieters' introductory message which we have pasted below packs a punch.
AN INTRODUCTION FROM THE CURATOR.
I launched Honest By in 2012 with a commitment that every product in every garment we sell should have the smallest impact on our health and the environment. Since then, I have been invited to share my ideas at summits and forums on sustainability and transparency all over the globe. I have been inspired by the conversation, the desire for change within the fashion industry. Disappointingly, this talk has not yet translated into action: production processes are barely evolving at all.
Whether we wear High Fashion or High Street Fashion - whatever the price tag - the destructive ‘footprint’ is the same: toxic chemicals, GMOs, deforestation, animal cruelty, child labour, overproduction … disagreeable practices designed to raise profits and meet an insatiable consumer demand.
There is an urgent need for a global fashion revolution.
The excuses for not changing are no protection against the consequences of this failure.
Our future is conditional: there are no guarantees.
Human demand cannot be matched by the earth’s supply. If all humanity enjoyed the lifestyle of the average European, we would need 2.5 earths to support us all. This vicious circle of supply and demand is unsustainable: as long as we keep buying products that put our future at risk, others will continue to produce them.
However, an awareness of our genuine power as consumers can break this cycle. We can – and must - initiate changes. Whether we buy a garment or the materials from which it is made, each purchase has an impact on the world around us.
Behind the decisions we make as consumers is a complex network of entrepreneurs involved in a long chain of processes. For this exhibition I want to give a face to some of the individuals who form part of this network, each with a crucial role in the fashion creation process here in Antwerp. The dedication of each of these individuals helps to make this city a harbour of creativity, and to ensure that the story behind the design is as beautiful as the design itself. And in turn we, as consumers, affect all their lives and livelihoods.
Fashion with ethics. Those of us who care about fashion must work to transform this industry into something we can all be proud of.
Today’s hero is everyman. Every designer, manufacturer or customer who asks the questions, does the research, demands transparency and buys in sync with their values is an engine for change and, in my opinion, a hero of our time.
I applaud you.
This exhibition is dedicated to you.
- Bruno Pieters
For more information please visit: www.behindtheclothes.be
The exhibtion runs from 05.06.16 – 31.07.16 Location: Born in Antwerp, Headquarters, Kattendijkdok-Oostkaai 22, 2000 Antwerp