As part of the first annual tFS Style Awards, forum members have selected a group of designers and brands making strides in producing ethically sourced apparel. Following this year's tragic factory fire at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh (1,129 people were killed, many more were injured) reforming manufacturing practices in the clothing industry took on a new urgency. To combat the devastating environmental impact and high human cost of mass produced garments, consumers are increasingly seeking out alternatives to sweatshop-made clothes.
If you're unfamiliar with any of the nominees, we've compiled a short dossier on each, to help you cast your vote:
Honest by. Bruno Pieters
After shuttering his namesake label and stepping down as art director from the Hugo Boss diffusion line, Hugo, Bruno Pieters spent a year traveling around Southern India, where he observed that the locals "wore clothes that were grown, woven and sewn from sources they could identify around them." Pieters (whose design aesthetic leans towards avant-garde) saw this as a kind of radical transparency, one he used as a model for his Honest by. label, which launched in January 2012.
Honest by. lives up to its name: The site offers a full cost breakdown on each item, including composition, supplier and manufacturer information for every single element of the garment — that includes the hang tag, brand label and safety pin used to package it. In addition to raw material costs, the label details wholesale and retail markup calculations. The manufacturing disclosure includes the location, size and manager's name at the production facility, as well as the number of fittings which were needed to produce the basic sewing pattern. The online store features clothing and shoes for both men and women, as well as jewelry.