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Do perfect essentials exist? SANVT approach to elevating ethical style

Do perfect essentials exist? SANVT approach to elevating ethical style
By Antonia Vasile

How many times were you in search of a plain T-shirt or hoodie but the fit was way off? We’re not asking for the world, just for the essential pieces of our wardrobe to look decent – at least. The founders of SANVT felt the same frustration and decided to create their own responsible essentials brand. See how they dealt with the problematic fit of essentials while contributing to the betterment of our planet 🌍

Read more interviews with responsible brands: MUD Jeans: completely circular pain of jeans, Laara Swim: swimwear that respects and enjoys nature, Vestella: accessories brand that combines style, tradition, and ethics, Zoom Bags: responsibility meets functionality

We sat down with Lesley Krijan – Social Media Marketing Manager at SANVT – and chatted about the brand’s ethos, SANVT’s commitment to sustainability from measuring their impact to undertaking partnerships to offset their carbon footprint to building a community, and more.

SANVT was born in 2018, in the aftermath of two brothers’ (Benjamin and Felix Heyd) endless search for the ‘perfect T-shirt’. So, they decided to build a minimalist clothing brand with a mission to create perfect essentials. “We simply offer an innovative sizing system that allows our customers to vary the length and width of their essentials. This way, we can offer a perfectly fitting garment for every body type and our customers feel like they are wearing a tailor-made product – but for a lower cost“, Lesley explained. She went on to say “Our mission is to rethink the way the fashion industry works by living up to our brand name SANVT, which derives from “sanft” – the German word for soft or gentle. We stand for long-lasting essentials that are produced with minimal negative impact on humans and nature.”

ethical sustainable German fashion brand

“Our products are 100% climate neutral”

Together with experts from ClimatePartner, SANVT calculates the CO2 emissions that occur in the entire value chain for every single essential in their collection. “Here, we calculate not only product-related emissions such as material procurement, production, or shipping, but also general emissions, such as for necessary business trips or electricity in our office. We focus strongly on innovation and therefore continuously try to improve ourselves through new processes.”, Lesley explained. 

SANVT tries to minimize its carbon emissions by making educated choices such as doing business with suppliers within Europe and ultimately compensating for them by supporting environmental initiatives. One such initiative is Bergwaldprojekt e.V., a local association dedicated to preserving forests in the Allgäu Alps, to which the fashion brand is making annual donations. 

Lesley told us “In addition to being climate-neutral, we want to have a positive impact on the planet while supporting some of the poorest regions in the world. By collaborating with Eden Projects, we can plant one tree for every essential we sell. Thanks to this project, we can not only give something back to our planet but also support the provision of jobs in poor areas. If you want to know, how many trees we have already planted, please take a look here.

ethical sustainable German fashion brand

“From the beginning, we established strong personal ties with each factory”

The fashion brand is currently in the process of implementing a written code of conduct – including a checklist for all production partners. “It goes without saying that we select suppliers according to their alignment with our sustainability values (e.g. carbon reduction, minimizing plastic, reducing waste). We also personally visit each supplier at least three times before the start of a long relationship and any bulk production.” Lesley explained. She added that the brand pays frequent visits to the production partners to maintain this relationship and inspect the working conditions. This is possible because all of SANVT’s producers are based in Portugal. 

 “The topic of sustainability is always a high priority for us”

The brand’s corporate communication places a lot of emphasis on transparency whether on their website, social media, or in their newsletter. “It is important for us to communicate the negative sides of the fashion industry just as strongly, to make tangible to consumers why sustainable fashion matters. Also, on days like Black Friday, we consciously speak out against discounting and communicate why overconsumption is harming our planet.” Lesley told us. 

ethical sustainable German fashion brand

Lesley talked to us about how “greenwashing is a big problem in the current times. A brand can always show itself to be transparent, but we can understand that many customers are uncertain about how credible that information is. However, we believe that consumers have a right to receive transparent and verified information. Therefore, it was important for us to verify our values at Renoon.” She went on to say “We also know that consumers place a high value on the experiences of others and usually look at the reviews of other buyers before making a purchase, so Renoon can help us to reassure our consumers of our credibility and authenticity – from customer to customer.“

“We are convinced that sustainability goes hand in hand with innovation”

Lesley shared with us her belief that in the future, there will be more and more materials and manufacturing processes that enable brands to produce in a more resource-efficient way. She went on to say “At SANVT, we are already using innovative materials, such as lyocell, which allow us to balance the advantages of synthetic fibers in a natural way. Furthermore, our essentials have a timeless design and are particularly durable thanks to their quality. That way, they will still accompany us and our customers for a long time.“


responsible sustainable fashion brand Germany
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