This is not a post about Eco Fashion

by jennine on April 22, 2009

Sans ss09
Ok, so this isn’t a non-post about eco-fashion. Like the movie ‘I’m not there‘ wasn’t about Bob Dylan. I’m so confused. We can not talk about things that don’t exist, or we can talk about people who are making steps towards something that needs to exist.

Since today is ‘Earth Day’ I thought I’d better delve into the whole of eco-chic. The problem I have with this, is that consuming, no matter how you put it is bad for the environment. Gosh, even existing is bad for the environment. However… since we already exist, and we must consume on some level… we might as well talk about people who are working on solutions to create a more sustainable community.

SANS insists they aren’t an eco-brand. They use organic fabrics, they even have patterns from their collection available to download to cut down on shipping costs and over production waste.  Design duo Allessandro is an expert with sourcing organic fabrics and Lika, born in Russia and lives in NYC has an artistic vision of fashion pushing the the collections and forms of her pieces beyond the expected, like a scarf that doubles as a  handbag, or  pair of trousers with cup holders, or my personal favorite skirt/trousers. Lovely. I particularly was inspired by Lika explain her work in this video by SMAC…

If I relied on my own skills to make my clothes I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be writing a fashion blog, I’d be wearing something resembling a potato sack.

People are making a fuss about them for doing the downloadable patterns, yet I have to say it’s part of a trend that’s been going on for a while, with sites like BurdaStyle being one, FreeNeedle, and Viver Design and I know I’m forgetting several other examples of patterns you can get for free or cheap over the internet (wasn’t there a designer that offered a pattern for free recently? OH yes… Show Studio’s Design download… Galliano Pirate Jacket thanks Danny!). Either way, I have to wonder if this is something we can really consider as a future business model. I’ve tried sewing, I suck at it. I don’t really have the time right now to really learn how to do it as well as some other people. If I relied on my own skills to make my clothes I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be writing a fashion blog, I’d be wearing something resembling a potato sack. Heck, i do that anyway. However, I’m liking more and more the idea of localized communities and made to order concepts, it’s certainly a step away from the faceless fast fashion that’s become such a driving force in how we relate to our clothes (and bodies).

While the download pattern concept isn’t the most ideal solution, the step is really important in terms of rethinking where our clothes come from and the energy it takes for them to get from idea to the clothing mounds in Africa.

(thanks PaperFashion for the tip!)

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December 19, 2009 at 7:42 am

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tierra M Wilson April 22, 2009 at 9:26 am

Great post and I learned something new…I’m happy to see one of my fave blogs acknowledging Earth Day. Love Ya Jennine and Happy Earth Day.


2 hauteworld April 22, 2009 at 9:56 am

Thanks for posting this. I think eco-chic is such a trend, a lot of brands don’t really want to be labeled as such anymore (even if they are). I do like the idea of certain pieces doubling as something else… I’ve always tried doing that with existing clothing I already have, but it doesn’t always work. Like you, I’m not so sure about the free patterns. I admire anyone who has the talent, but unless I quit my job, I’m not going to be doing this anytime in the near future (sewing on buttons is as far as I go). So I’ll just continue trying to use a t-shirt in 5 different ways…


3 violetville April 22, 2009 at 10:15 am

i hadn’t heard about the downloadable patterns companies! shame on me.

i was a shoe-in for project runway until i told them i couldn’t sew…

but i have friends that do!
so i’ll pass this on to them!!


4 Lani April 22, 2009 at 11:40 am

i absolutely loved this post! thanks, jennine!

happy earth day :)


5 Natanya April 22, 2009 at 11:41 am

OMG you did! How did we both write the same thing! Ha ha great minds think alike!


6 jennine April 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

❤ hauteworld… yeah,i agree… i even have a few buttons that need sewing.
❤ violetteville… omg! i would have loved to see you in PR. ah man…
❤natanya…see? ;)


7 SarahPersonae April 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Lika’s amazing. She’s also having a sample sale this weekend for those who are in NYC.
here’s the info:


8 Kathryn Elyse April 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Awesome post :) .. Happy Earth Day!


9 Grace April 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Extremely innovative and inspiring. Thank yo for sharing this!

Love. Gracie.


10 Fashion Speaks April 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm

The great thing about Sans is that she is inviting people to take back ownership of their personal identity by allowing them a fairly easy option to make unique clothing. I believe her concept is really more of a social experiment than one that will actually have an immediate impact on the fashion industry, but it is always nice to see someone reaching outside the box:). Thanks for sharing with your readers.


11 SwanDiamondRose April 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm

i think this is a beautiful idea, from them and the other company’s offering this. and it has it’s place, and does cut down on waste. i believe this designer mentions somewhere that creating too much of your product is a problem for the industry and the environment. another way of dealing with this is what i and many many other designers and makers do [not to mention publishing houses and i can't think of how many industries] and that is you create the item when the order is placed. no waste. no storage problems. this is an option that is coming directly from our internet focused society now. but also has an old world charm to it because it is being made just for you.

also, i can’t remember exactly what it is but there are companies that will or will be giving you files to download and machines that will create other types of 3-dimensional objects from them.

but! ya i agree Jennine, sewing takes a while. after sewing my little heart out all the time, sometimes i just want to buy something. and now, back to sewing… xo Swan


12 SwanDiamondRose April 22, 2009 at 7:03 pm

oh and re eco-chic trend. i think with the recession it’s harder to push organics, because they are expensive. i do my best to use them or use thrifted fabrics. but it ain’t easy.


13 Lennon May 6, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Excellent article


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