by , 01/07/07

sans, eco fashion, organic bamboo, organic cotton, organic wool, sustainable design, ecco domani

SANS is a groundbreaking new eco-fashion line based in NYC. Comprised of designer Lika Volkova and sustainable production veteran Alessandro De Vito, SANS pushes the envelope with innovative shapes in sustainable materials such as bamboo, tussah silk and organic cotton and wool. SANS may well be the perfect name for this line, as it is not only “without” the pesticides and chemicals that often go into traditional textiles, but also “without” the frills and the trappings of trends.

The modern design of SANS is a sophisticated investigation into form and function which is impressive at any level, but all the more so from someone whose formal training consists of growing up sewing. De Vito became more aware of sustainable design while living in London where he helped produce a friend’s streetwear label. He joined forces with Volkova after moving to New York and SANS was born. De Vito states, “Our thoughts on it is that ‘eco-friendly’ is not a marketing angle but just something that should be common in all lines at this level.” Therefore, while sustainably minded, they prefer to be recognized primarily for their design and construction. That recognition is on it’s way as SANS was awarded one of the five Ecco Domani Awards earlier this week. The awards come with a grant that will allow the designers to show their collections during New York’s fashion week.


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  1. Fab Friday | Fashion Fi... March 6, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    […] Via Jill Danyelle of fiftyRx3 for Inhabitat […]

  2. Inhabitat » GREEN... February 4, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    […] The highlight of Green Fashion Week in New York was the SANS show, which took place this Saturday at the Daryl Roth theatre in Union Square. We loved SANS’ spring line so much, we couldn’t help but have the highest hopes for the Fall collection of eco-friendly fashion, which utilizes all organic and sustainable materials such as bamboo, tussah silk, and organic cotton and wool, in innovative, deconstructed shapes. While the jury is still out on the Fall line that debuted yesterday, the SANS show didn’t disappoint. Read on for highlights from the fall collection… […]

  3. kik February 2, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    yes, i think the sustainable clothing portion is quite worth paying attention to, however, where is the social responsibility to show these clothes on a variety of body types? we really do need to illustrate to our oh so impressionable youth that healthy bodies come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. i know some of us are super thin naturally and some are curvy. celebrating all of it would in my opinion be a much more wholistically sustainable design!

  4. Jodi Smits Anderson February 1, 2007 at 11:26 am

    I guess then my questions would be “What makes these clothes sustainable?”
    What is the material? Will it last? (Looks like it – wool and bamboo are wonderful)
    Is the style one that will be “timeless”? (not from what I’ve seen thus far)
    Do you have to dry-clean (non-sustainable)? Are the dyes responsible?


  5. Jill Danyelle January 11, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Dear Readers, Thin, Curvaceous and Otherwise…

    I am a bit dismayed that this post on some of the most innovative clothing design I’ve seen in awhile (from either eco or non-eco designers) has been overshadowed by a discussion on models and weight. I certainly do not mean to make light of these issues. However, I think the commenters above underscore that if you take a cross section of society you will find people who are naturally thin and those who are naturally curvaceous. I would argue that both can be perfectly healthy and both could look perfectly fabulous in SANS designs. That certainly doesn’t mean there are not a lot of issues surrounding the Standard American Diet, obesity and anorexia, but I think it might be a bit unfair to lump all of that on SANS. I have spoken with Alessandro from SANS and he expressed that they made an effort not to use size “0” models. He states:

    “Both of those girls were very healthy. For one, it was her last job before going home to Hungary to study architecture and the other was a sweet 16 year old from Boston. Both were size 4-6 which is nowhere near size 0. Some girls are just naturally built like that. Not to mention they were both 5’10″…”

    He also assures me that they have customers in all shapes and sizes that are quite happy wearing their clothes. I, for one, look forward to being one of those customers.

  6. lindaloo January 10, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    I’m a super thin person like these models (not anorexic or anything, just made that way – an ectomorph, or whatever). I wouldn’t know about trying to hide “extra bits.” My problem is trying to hide my thinness. I would steer way clear of these clothes. All the comments about “skeletal” and “sunken-eyed” confirm my suspicion that clingy, shapeless clothes just make thin people look even more thin.

  7. Jaime January 10, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I love these designs – I would wear them all!

  8. matguy January 9, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    The model in the photos is not just thin, she looks skeletal and sunken-eyed. It actually takes away from the clothes for me.

    Being super thin has gone from being a sign of starvation or illness a hundred years ago to the height of fashion today, and yet maintaining such a body weight without dying is only possible through modern technology requiring no physical work- try having that body and growing all of your own food or providing shelter for yourself, or carrying water to and from a well every day, for example. It’s like bound feet or royalty growing their nails impractically long as a sign that they could afford to not work.

    What I am saying is that sustainability ought to be about who you are not what you wear, and in this case while what the model is wearing might be sustainable, her entire existence is not.

  9. Jill Danyelle January 9, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Lisa-

    SANS is in the process of updating their website, so check back there for purchase information. This is their Spring line, so it is not in stores yet, but I know some pieces have been picked up by Kaight If you cannot find any information in a month or so, shoot them an email and I am sure they will be happy to tell you where you can find their items.

  10. Lisa January 9, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Where can I buy these dresses?

  11. Toni January 8, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Excellent! I love the fact these are eco-friendly AND very well designed. Looking forward to seeing more.
    I like most of it, but I have to agree with you JIll, the SOCKS are pretty sweet!

  12. Jill Danyelle January 8, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Hey Jodi-

    Actually, model weight has been a recent international issue. It happened when Spain required models to have a BMI (height to weight ratio) above 18 to participate in shows and has spread to several other countries. In fact, it was just reported on in today’s WWD.

    “NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America is moving ahead in putting together its strategy on the global debate on weight.”

    So, while there are some changes, it is likely that most models are going to remain thinner than the average population and this is nothing new. Additionally, what comes down the runway is not always what ends up in the store, the clothes are often fit to the model. The issue rather seems that you don’t want to wear clingy clothes to avoid accentuating certain areaas. I completely understand that, but, as Jill said, I don’t see how that prohibits you from wearing other items in this line such as the jeans, t-shirts, jacket and cape top. I also second Jill’s admiration for the socks. The potential of socks as an accessory has far from been reached and I cannot wait to get myself a pair of these.

    So, if this isn’t your style, don’t fret. There is a growing variety of styles in eco-fashion many of which can be found online. During the last year I wrote about a store a month on I am in the process of indexing the site to make information easier to find, but until then you can also check this incomplete list. Right now probably every store is having a sale, so it may be a good time to investigate.


    Good luck!!

  13. karline January 8, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    love it, it is sculptural and simple yet very creative

  14. Jill January 8, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Hey Jodi-

    How about the jeans, the cardigans, and especially THE SOCKS! I know they are sort of impractical, but the socks are my favorite thing in the SANS line…

    Anyways, I hear what you are saying, but I think if you look at the sans website, you will see a lot of drapey dresses, and comfy cute stuff like sweat pants, T-shirts and sweaters that really would look good on any body type. I hear you on the short, stretchy mini-dresses, but that is not the only thing that SANS does.

  15. Joanne January 8, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Jill — it’s not true that stretchy fabrics fit any body style. For those of us who have “extra bits” here and there, showing them is the last thing we want to do. You really have to be rail thin to wear most of these clothes. They were designed to look best on a near skeletal frame. A few of the jackets may work but I certainly wouldn’t buy something like this unless I tried it on.

    Love the fabrics though

  16. Jill January 8, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Jodi-

    These models are thin of course – they are models! However, I don’t think there is anything “abnormal” about either of these two models. Frankly, these stretchy, non-form fitting garments come in a variety of sizes and would look good on any body type – so I am not really sure what the issue is here. Do you think you have to be a size 4 to wear a poncho or a stretchy cotton dress?

    In terms of “where can the average American purchase trendy, sustainable clothing” – that is a problem for all of us – skinny or not, as right now there are not a lot of stores specializing in trendy, eco-friendly fashion. I would try online.

  17. Jodi Smits Anderson January 8, 2007 at 9:07 am

    I know these are fashion models and therefore, abnormally thin and unformed. But as sustainability should be for the masses, many of which have more mass, where can the average sized american purchase trendy yet sustainable clothing?

  18. David Carlson January 8, 2007 at 5:01 am

    To me it turned into a hygiene factor to use ecological cotton. I think it is very strange that still most brands are using fabrics that pollutes and kills people and India and elsewhere.

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