Every year it seems that Earth Day gains even more importance. Caring about the environment has come a long way from the hippie, flower-child culture of the 70s to a growing way of life. In the last few years we've all started to look past the gas guzzling SUVs, toxic dumps, and pollution, and see the big picture--that we need to sustain our environment if we want to still be here in coming years--and that's the way it should be, according to Hassan Pierre, creative director of the stylish but sustainable clothing line, Way It Should Be (WISB*). We'll admit that buying a hybrid car isn't as easy as it sounds, and that your control over oil spills is minimal, but there's one excuse that can't be made--the synthetic clothes on your back. Your wardrobe is one of the only (and not to mention, easy) ways that you can make a direct impact on the environment. It's as simple as checking the tag before you make a purchase, and designers like Hassan Pierre are making it even easier for you, offering up beautiful garments that are 100 percent organic from start to finish.
"Style should never be sacrificed for the sake of sustainability"--that's what the mantra of WISB* seems to be, and a quick browse through the collection will show you that they take it very seriously. When we think of eco-friendly clothes, it's hard not to immediately picture scratchy rough materials akin to a burlap sack or even worse, those terrible graphic t-shirts with 'save our planet' messages. Instead of having it written across your chest and looking like a fashion disaster, it's possible for you to wear stylish clothes that don't sacrifice sustainability. Just take a look at the minimal but sensual designs that Hassan has created, and if you don't take our word for it, trust Vogue's. The magazine featured one of Hassan's designs in its May 2010 issue. "We're trying to change the perception that you can't have a beautiful dress that’s organic, sustainable, and actually fashion-forward at the same time," Hassan expressed. "You can have luxurious and stylish clothing without it being stale."
Born in Haiti, Hassan launched WISB* in 2008 after a grueling eight months of research on how to create a completely sustainable fashion collection. "There aren't a lot of green fabrics and materials, so you really have to research," he admits. "It’s a little bit more of a challenge but it also allows for more creativity because you’re limited in some ways that you have to make up for in more creative ways." Creative ways like the line's hang tags, which are made of seeded paper and soy ink--another of Hassan's innovative ideas."You can literally plant them in the ground and a flower will bloom from the hang tag."
Completely organic collections like WISB* are a true novelty in today's fashion scene, but Hassan has high hopes that eventually what he's doing won't be anything special, just the norm. "I don’t understand why more designers don’t do it," he tells us. "There are more now but hopefully in the future it won’t even be a thought to be organic—it will just be." Well, even if it takes a while for the rest of the industry to follow his example, he doesn't plan on curbing the collection any time soon. A basic line for WISB* will be launching next spring with organic t-shirts and jeans, but that's not all Hassan has up his sustainable sleeve. "Eventually we’re definitely going to expand into shoes, handbags, and jewelry, keeping the same aesthetic we have going but bringing it to accessories."
Adamant about the "way it should be," Hassan is aware that fashion is just one of the baby steps towards saving the environment. "I can only hope that not just in clothing but everything in general, we focus on being green and organic for the sake of our planet." For now, he can only advise shoppers to do their part. "Make an effort to see where [clothes] are made. Whether it’s fair trade or organic materials, just be conscious about what you’re buying because everything affects our world and it just makes it that much better when you buy something sustainable and organic." We should all focus on being environmentally conscious and socially responsible, especially when there are designers like Hassan who are trying to make it easier for us. "It needs to be a lifestyle, not just an idea," he expresses, and we agree. That really is the way it should be.
For more information on WISB* or to see the collection, visit www.shouldbeapparel.com