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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 on this event please visit: www.behindtheclothes.be 

the exhibition.

A.The Clothes:
Divided into 3 sections.

Part 1: A Tribute.
Pieters has created five new designs and slogans dedicated to one of his Fashion Heroes, British designer Katharine Hamnett. Hamnett was the first designer to use fashion as a vehicle to make a bold statement on the political, environmental and philosophical issues of the time. Her then revolutionary and now classic t-shirts bore slogans demanding social change printed in angry black lettering.

Part 2: Transparency.
A selection of six designs from Pieters’ new brand Honest By. For every item Pieters has shared all the information about the sources of the materials used, the manufacturing processes involved, and the price calculation, right down to Honest By’s mark-up. For full transparency, please visit the Honest By website: www.honestby.com

Part 3: Re-made.
Pieters made his name from his sharp and intricate tailoring. For this exhibition he has recreated five of his most renowned catwalk styles - presented in Paris between 2001 and 2009 – using sustainable(GOTS certified or recycled) fabrics. A challenge inspired by his new brand Honest By. All items were made in Belgium by Trois Quarts.

Pieters has recreated six of his favourite skirts designed between 2001 and 2009, this time using sustainable(GOTS certified or recycled) fabrics. A challenge inspired by his new brand Honest By. All items were made in Belgium by Trois Quarts.

Pieters has recreated four of his most innovative jacket designs from the period between 2001 and 2009, this time using sustainable(GOTS certified or recycled) fabrics. A challenge inspired by his new brand Honest By. All items were made in Belgium by Trois Quarts. 

B. Behind the clothes:

Behind the clothes – literally and figuratively – Pieters presents a series of portrait photographs of over 40 people involved in the Belgian fashion making process here in Antwerp.
The series includes portraits of Etienne Debruyne, a Belgian Flax producer; Raymond Libeert CEO of Libeco - one of the few surviving manufacturers of linen in Belgium; and Rosalinde Heerkens and Aurélie Callewaert of Trois Quarts – Antwerp’s renowned pattern designer duo.
The series also showcases Fashion creatives and image makers including photographer Alex Salines; make-up artist Gina Van den Bergh; stylist Ilja de Weerdt; and model Anouck Lepère.
In short, a journey behind the clothes showcases 40 members of the creative/ production team, from the raw material to the ad campaign, and every talent along the way.

All photography by Bruno Pieters

The 'Applause' soundtrack for the '(Behind) the Clothes' exhibition has been created by Antwerp sound designer Senjan Jansen of SenStudio. Jansen has collaborated with Pieters since the start of his career. He is also currently working as sound designer on fashion shows for Belgian designers Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackermann, and Christian Wijnants.

(Behind) the Clothes.
05.06.16 – 31.07.16
11 am – 6 pm 
Closed Mondays
Free Admission
(there are no guided tours for this exhibition) 
Kattendijkdok Oostkaai 22, 2000 Antwerpen

Texts written by Bruno Pieters & Lawrence Tallentire
Photography of exhibition by Frederik Vercruysse