October 11, 2012

It's "Good" to be "Honest"

Today we'd like to discuss two outstanding sustainable brands, one we've spoken about before, goodsociety and the second, Honest By Bruno Pieters S/S13 collection. We were lucky enough to catch up with Sarah Schulze of goodsociety and ask her some questions about the label!

photo via goodsociety

MBF Trend Consulting: Can you give us a little background on goodsociety and what your company stands for?

Sarah Schulze: Goodsociety is a fully sustainable and fully organic clothing company who cares about the world around us. For every pair of jeans purchased, goodsociety will give a quarter to someone in need. That’s 1⁄4 of our profits, not an actual quarter. Our collection is dedicated to selected humanitarian projects. Our vision is simple, we want to give people the ability to have an impact through the simple everyday decision what to wear. Our commitment to a clean earth is through a sustainable approach in creating the highest quality of denim available. Also we believe that clean jeans should come from less chemicals.

MBF: Can you explain your new campaign?

SS: Our campaign shows a good society like a big family. We show that doing good is so easy, it’s a daily decision made in front of our closet. It is fun to be good and you don’t have to offer a sacrifice for it. We start with a relaxed family get-together in a warm, kind and joyful atmosphere. Later we fade into the lives of the family members to show the different characters of the good society. We want to appeal to a wide range of consumers. To the cool, the urban, the nature-loving, the conservative, the mature, the wild ones, everybody gets a role model.

photo via goodsociety

MBF: What is a typical day like for you?

SS: At the moment there are no typical days. One day is completely different to the next. Right now, I am at an agriturismo in the Abruzzi in Italy, after a long day in mills, factories and labs working on the collection F/W 2013/14. Last week we were shooting part two of our campaign. Right before that we were attending Richard Bransons & Carbon War Rooms "Creating Climate Wealth" summit. And I could go on and on and on. It's a very exciting and creative time, I love to be on the road, meeting people and get connected.

MBFHow did you transition from a mid-market designer to a sustainable designer and what inspired you to do so?

SS: After more than 12 years in the denim business I started thinking about production conditions for people and our environment. What was happening behind the scenes? I knew that denim is a very water- and chemical-intense business and I realized that globalization only works in one direction – toward producing companies. And they forget about the people and our environment. For me it was clear, that this cannot be the right way. We should take responsibility for the less fortunate ones. I wanted to give something back, be it clean drinking water or enough food or safe working conditions or a clean environment. So I started to look deep into sustainability and its possibilities for creating a real good denim line without having any losses of design, finesse and beauty.

photo via goodsociety

MBF: Where do you look for inspiration?

SS: Inspiration is everywhere. A large part of my inspiration is music, as I come from a family of musicians. Music turns into complete pictures or scenes, shapes and colors. The past decades of fashion and classic styles are just as inspiring as new materials or production procedures. Furthermore I am interested in human beings and being human, that's quite inspiring too.

MBFDo your clients actually ask if your collection is sustainable?

SS: About 50% of our clients are very interested and up to date when it comes to sustainability. Some focus only on the organic part of this topic and others are into the whole sustainability. The rest simply likes our fine denim for its well-fitted cuts, clean lines and utmost style. But all of them share the wish to do good and to be a part of helping others.

photo via goodsociety

MBFHow has the business evolved since we saw you a year ago at the Green showroom and where do you see the company headed in the future?

SS: When we first met at the Green showroom I was working with goodsociety as their European distributor, launching the brand. The brand has gotten some immediate attention with celebrities such as Ariane Sommer and Richard Branson, offering their endorsement of our brand. I had the possibility to get involved completely by buying goodsociety with my partner Dietrich Weigel. We have built an entire new production chain and switched from Asia to Italy. All manufacturing and refinement of our jeans is now 100 % made in Italy by our skilled Italian partners. We work together with long-established family businesses, dedicated to fabric, design, high quality and social responsibility. Now that our jeans are out in the market we focus on sales in Europe and the relaunch in the U.S.

MBFWhat kind of advice would you give someone looking to get into sustainable design?

SS: To create a successful product it is important that it can survive outside the green or eco corner. It has to convince people with its design, even people who are not interested in sustainability. Sustainability is a wide field. Use it in all its variety. Organic materials, recycling, high-tech procedures. Keep looking out for innovations.

video via Honest By

As we mentioned above, we'd also like to highlight Honest By Bruno Pieters Spring/Summer 2013 collection inspired by his travels to India and Japan. The collection combines the designers exquisite tailoring skills and clean lines with a plethora of bold color and print. Honest By, launched in January, is the first brand in the world to share the full cost breakdown of its products. The label is a public platform for designers and brands to exchange their design processes as well as research Honest By's resources concerning organic fabrics and suppliers. Not to mention, the brand is fully committed to being "honest" with its 100% transparency policy! Check out some of our favorites from the collection below!

photo via Honest By

photo via Honest By

photo via Honest By

photo via Honest By

photo via Honest By

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