Fashion is about care, care for ourselves and the world that we live in. Care for good design and quality. This requires time and attention. We design garments in our own pace and produce them ourselves as limited editions made from left over stock fabrics. The cutting waste is used to create our fabric covered brooches. This way we hope to create lasting products with as little impact on others as possible.
Take a look at our garments or read the full story below [...]
about / by Sanne Jansen
By Sanne Jansen is a one-woman-show ran by me, Dutch designer Sanne Jansen. Growing up, I was surrounded by my mother who created the complete wardrobe for me and my 3 sisters, already showing me what skills and creativity can become. Though becoming a fashion designer was never really on my mind until I was in art school. My love for textile, design, drawing, photography and art drove me towards fashion, since fashion was the best way for me to combine all of these disciplines and it still is! It became my way of communicating. Many years later I am still managing all the different aspects of this job. From designing and producing the garments to taking pictures and designing the website. It’s a lot to handle, maybe even too much, but the variety keeps my engine running.
Over the past decade it has become tragically clear what the devastating impact of our current fashion system has on people on the other side of the globe and on our environment. Fashion has become a destructive machine, just to feed the consumer new options every day. Money has become the driving force. Off course there’s nothing wrong with selling garments, but the industry is completely out of balance. People are being underpaid for making our garments under poor conditions. The fabric industry and the transport of materials and garments is highly polluting and has a devastating impact on our environment. And once the final product has reached the shops in the West people buy garments, wear it a few times and throw it out for being no longer in fashion. A disaster waiting to happen and already happening. These days most people know about these problems, but it’s not easy to do something about it on our own.
When we talk about sustainable fashion it’s often about organic fabrics, lowering carbon footprints etc. All important aspects that have to be challenged in the near future, but also difficult issues to change as a consumer. I believe that the biggest impact we can have as consumers is being sustainable in our own closet. We should all become much more aware of our own buying behavior. We don’t change our personalities every season, so why should our wardrobes?
For me fashion is about care. Selfcare, choose outfits that suit your personality to help you get through the day the best way possible. Care for good design, take the time to properly select the garments that you buy. Do they fit your identity, your body and does it suit you in the long run? Prevail your own taste over ongoing trends. Taking care of your garments to make them last in your closet for a long time. And finally taking care of the world we live in. Or like Vivienne Westwood said: “Buy less, choose well.”
These thoughts were part of the reasons why I changed my way of working years ago. Within the fashion system it was once common to make two collections a year, but over the past decade it became normal to make four, or eight and sometimes even sixteen collections a year, and for fast fashion labels even that isn’t enough. Being a one-woman-business that is impossible and more important undesirable. When I started my brand I did start making two collections a year, doable, but not necessarily my way of working.
After I few years I realized that my work wasn’t changing that much over time, more like gradually evolving. I also decided that, being a small business, it’s unnecessary to create all garments in a collection. Good basics are available on all levels of the industry, so no need for me to design them. From making collections I changed into a system of making “parts” of a collection, almost like a product designer.
My ideas usually start with finding interesting fabrics. I have a soft spot for beautifully textured fabrics, usually not the most common ones. The type of fabric demands a certain garment and that’s where the design process starts. Since I buy left over stock, the number of garments I can make is dictated by the amount of fabric available. Once the design is fully developed it’s ready to be produced as a limited edition in my own studio. The cutting waste that is left over from the production process will be used to create fabric covered brooches. (check out ‘a part of…’) So all waste is used wisely!
To complete the process, I do stand behind the camera to photograph my work. It gives me the opportunity to tell a story complementing my designs. The outcome can vary from a portrait, to a minimal still life, depending on the atmosphere.
I hope that the personal attention to my work is adding value to my garments in a way that customers will add these pieces to their wardrobes for the long run. It would be great if these pieces will survive time, in both taste and quality, like the adored vintage gems in my own wardrobe.
A part from my work as a fashion designer I do collaborate every now and then with artists as well. (see projects) From showing my more autonomous work in an exhibition to collaborate on making costumes. It’s an inspiring way to charge my batteries and broaden my horizon. Art is a driving force and a big source of inspiration to me. Something that will never stop!