Gallery: SANS: Is Eco Fashion an Oxymoron?


New York-based design house SANS wants to be perfectly clear – despite the fact that they use mostly eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, soy and wild silk — they do not consider themselves an ‘eco’ fashion line. In fact, in SMAC’s recent video profile on SANS featuring the brand’s new Home Made line of patterns (check it out above), SANS co-founder Lika Volkova asserts that eco-fashion doesn’t exist. “How can fashion possibly be good for the environment?” she muses. “You produce things – you make them.” Lika’s words may be a bit of a slap in the face for fashion brands that wear the badges of their sustainability proudly, but the logic behind her observation is difficult to dispute. Until a line can claim that there is absolutely no production, shipping or packaging associated with its clothing at all, eco-fashion, in the truest sense of the term, might be considered an oxymoron.

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  1. ChrisJ November 16, 2009 at 2:28 am

    She’s exactly right! “Ecofashion” is 100% bullsh*t. Most of the materials being used are no better than conventional materials, production still takes place half way across the world and everything is overproduced (see how much ends up in discount stores).

    Every single company pushing eco are doing it to market crap; pure and simple. So glad that inhabitat has exiled the “ecofashion” to it’s own site.

  2. jennine April 22, 2009 at 9:49 am

    hmm… this is all very interesting… but there is only three pieces you can download? i really love this collection, but what she\’s talking about in her video and what is available on the site are two different things.

    also, there are a lot of communities that make patterns free or cheap to download .. burdastyle is an opensource sewing community.

    i still like the collection anyway…

  3. Jake Lara April 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Industry can be no impact if the technology is right. Ants are very industrious, are everywhere yet their agriculture, industry and building complexes are totally sustainable and have been for 50 million years.

    Bit mind blowing really :)

    If they can do it, we can.

  4. Yuka Yoneda April 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Nber, I think that you have a point and it all depends on how we define eco-fashion. Is eco-fashion fashion that does not harm the environment at all? Or is it fashion that is better for the environment than other fashion brands?

    It’s like saying that low-fat ice cream is healthfood. It’s certainly healthier than regular ice cream, but calling it healthfood may be stretching it.

    I also want to say that in no way is this article saying that eco-fashion does not exist. It is just pointing out a different point of view.

  5. nberkopec April 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Who said the point of an eco-fashion line was NO impact?

    What’s wrong with calling a reduced-impact line eco-fashion?

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