It might seem surprising to some that there are fashion designers who equate fashion to sustainability and ethics. In this light, fashion mogul Hassan Pierre may be a rarity in the fashion world. Fortunately, his passion for the environment and ethical fashion is gaining traction.
Pierre’s label, “Way It Should Be,” transforms vintage fabrics into luxurious fashion items. When he finished his studies at New York City’s Parsons School of Design, he set out for a mission: help consumers make ethical informed choices with what they buy. Along with Amanda Hearst, he eventually became cofounder and CEO of Maison de Mode. They went into the retail businesses to convince people to buy things not only because they like to wear but because it’s “good for the planet.”
In a Forbes interview with Angela Chan, Pierre shared his vision and goals for “Way It Should Be.” It began with his first collection of vintage fabrics upcycled from luxury brands such as Valentino, Chanel, and Ungaro. This was his first foray into the field of sustainable fashion.
His second collection responded to the call of a Vogue Page called Style Ethics started by Anna Wintour and Tonne Goodman. The magazine featured one of his dresses modeled by Kerry Washington, a move that propelled his career from fashion designed to CEO.
Pierre and cofounder Amanda Hearst both shared of vision of sustainable fashion. Hearst did work on sustainable fashion for Marie Claire. Their professional relationship soon turned into Maison De Mode. They had an idea of inviting all sustainable fashion designers into one room to create a bigger voice for their advocacy. Their concept revolved around “sustainable fashion is the most luxurious thing.” As conversations with other designers grew, they realized that there wasn’t a retail space for sustainable fashion brands.
Hence, Maison De Mode was born as a marketplace for fashion-forward brands and designers determined to make a sustainable impact. Another aspect of their company is Mode Communications, a consultancy firm on sustainable fashion branding. Their role is to advise companies on CSR strategies and communicate the sustainability aspect of their bands.
An interesting case study is the project Mode Communications did with Lacoste. Pierre’s company helped the company launch its first sustainable polo shirt, the Loop Polo. This shirt utilized old Lacoste shirts then upcycled them into a brand new polo. As a result, tons of polo shirts were kept from being dumped in the landfill. Mode Communications also helped the company implement authentic messaging for the launch of this new shirt.
Maison De Mode also did an energy efficiency project for Diane Von Furstenberg. The goal was to decrease CO2 emissions through a lighting and HVAC switch. Other future projects include one with a footwear brand.
Pierre explained that companies now seek them out because ensuring and communicating sustainability can be burdensome if done internally. In a sense, Maison De Mode is a “plug and play” solution so that brands can achieve their sustainability goals.