Who is… Bellerose?
Even though Bellerose is named after an American town, the label is as Belgian as it gets. The brand has a rich history to look back on. When it was founded in 1989, it was synonymous with classic men’s shirts and craftsmanship. A little later, Bellerose launched a women’s and a children’s collection, as well as expanding its offer with accessories. The importance of craftsmanship has only increased over the years, as has the brand’s focus on quality, wearability, and a careful attention to details in terms of design and finishing. Bellerose stands for casual clothes full of interesting contrasts – between different fabrics, feminine and masculine styles, oversized and slim, … Opposites attract, they rightly feel.
Bellerose plans to increase its use of recycled materials and organic cotton; to make the most of its deadstock by turning it into a resource; and to start upcycling leftover fabrics. When creating its accessories, Bellerose opts for European full grain leather whenever possible: this is the strongest type of leather available on the market. In turn, BRUT Organic Denim, Bellerose’s latest capsule collection, is made entirely from European, organic and sustainably sourced materials. To single out the denim that plays such a key role in BRUT: it consists of 56% recycled denim fibers, 23% Greek cotton and 21%Tencel. Hemp completes the picture, as do the embroidered rivets (rather than their metal counterparts) and corozo buttons (corozo being a biodegradable natural material that is also referred to as ‘vegetable ivory’).
Every Bellerose item is characterized by durability, but the brand wants to do even better in the future by refusing to compromise on the quality of never-out-of-stock items. For Bellerose, these pieces should always be timeless in terms of design, they should always last for years and always be made from eco-friendly materials – no exceptions. The items from the BRUT collection are an excellent example of Bellerose’s design goals, as they are fully recyclable at the end of their lives.
Bellerose invests in sustainable washing and finishing techniques. For the BRUT capsule collection, for instance, the brand relied on avant-garde eco-friendly technologies to limit the use of harmful chemicals and water to an absolute minimum – no mean feat for a denim collection.
Bellerose is on a mission to inform its customers. This ranges from providing details about the materials used, to advising consumers on sustainable shopping – read: making the right choices by carefully checking labels and only purchasing those items you’re certain you will wear for a long, long time.
Bellerose offers a life-long repair service to its customers, who can bring clothes that need a little TLC to dedicated Repair Corners in Ghent or Antwerp. In addition, the brand shares plenty of maintenance tips. The online Bellerose magazine tells you everything you need to know about taking care of your knits (launder by hand, please!), your denim (a wash every ten wears suffices) and your leather accessories (all they need is a wiping down with a damp cloth every now and then).
Bellerose settles for nothing less than items that last – both in terms of style and quality. And the team’s efforts pay off, because Bellerose clothing easily finds its way to the second-hand market and, hence, a second life. Moreover, the brand wants to take steps to further improve this aspect of its business.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Claude Ampe: “We have a lot of work to do in terms of external communication, but there’s room for improvement when it comes to our internal communication strategy, too. We want to streamline the way we think and work in our organization. In addition, the research into innovative solutions presents us with some challenges, as does the process of implementing the many ideas we have.”
Claude Ampe (Operations & wholesales director at Bellerose)
What does sustainability mean for you?
Claude Ampe: “Bellerose tries to offer the right products – and by ‘right’ I mean that we keep an eye on the working conditions, use materials that are not harmful to people or the planet, and take great care to minimize waste. We focus on premium products that last a long time.”
Which lesson(s) do you want to share?
Claude Ampe: “It’s important to just get started, and to realize that it’s impossible to change everything at once. Communicate openly about where you’re standing, without falling into the trap of greenwashing, of course.”
This page was created in October 2021. Curious to find out where Bellerose stands now? Feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org!