Nowadays, calling yourself a “green” clothing line can increase brand awareness, get you new clientele, and rake in the big bucks. So why in the world is avant garde New York design house SANS fervently denying their own eco-fashion status? It would be understandable if SANS, founded by Lika Volkova and Alessandro Do Vito didn’t use eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, soy and wild silk, or promote home-sewing your own clothing to reduce the heinous amount of fuel that goes into the garment industry – but they do. Are they just in the mood for self-sabotage or is there a logical explanation for SANS’ startling statement?


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The answer lies in SMAC’s recent video profile on SANS featuring the brand’s new Home Made line of patterns. SANS co-founder Lika Volkova asserts that the simple reason that her line is not an eco-fashion company is because eco-fashion doesn’t exist. “How can fashion possibly be good for the environment?” she muses. “You produce things – you make them.” Brands that pride themselves (or even base their whole business model) on their sustainable products may not like what Lika has to say, but the logic behind her observation is difficult to dispute. All garments, with the exception of secondhand clothing, produces waste, expends energy and exploits the earth – things that can hardly be called “eco.” So it’s arguable that eco-fashion, in its most literal sense, is an oxymoron. But if SANS is not an eco-fashion brand, why are so many people in the sustainable design community giving it rave reviews?

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In the video, Scott Hahn, co-founder of sustainable lines Rogan and Loomstate opines “When I think about Lika’s work, I can’t imagine it being anything but green, for the lack of a better description.” So perhaps SANS’ mentality of an invisible and humble sustainability is actually the key to gaining devoted fans. Just like a true hero doesn’t call himself a hero, SANS lets its work walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. Aspiring green fashion brands, take note.

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So what’s next for SANS? As the video points out, the brand’s Home Made line really pushes the envelope by allowing consumers to purchase their own patterns and sew their own garments right in the comfort of their own homes. Just go to the website, download a pattern for as little as $6, pick out your own fabric (or better yet, use some you have on hand) and whip up your custom creation!

+ SANS Home Made Video by SMAC
+ SANS