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Fashion

This Singapore Slow Fashion Brand Wants You To Rethink Wardrobe Basics

Sustainable womenswear label Sans Faff is the well-timed reminder that conscious style is a way of life. Here, founder Brandy Dallas gives us the low down on how she's making the case for eco-friendly (and trend-defying) fashion in Singapore.

There are no two ways about it. The current state of the world has forced a change of pace in the way we live our lives – from the things we choose to consume to the clothes we put on our bodies. This state of re-evaluation is not only bringing small businesses to the forefront, it’s also bringing to light the up-and-coming labels that are championing slow fashion as a means of conscious and responsible consumption during these turbulent times. One new label that’s joined the ever-growing ranks of sustainability is homegrown womenswear brand Sans Faff.

Launched this February by former luxury marketing manager Brandy Dallas – the Canadian native has been in Singapore for six years and worked for big players such as Tiffany & Co. and Marina Bay Sands – Sans Faff seeks to redefine the preconceived notion of conscious fashion as modest and cookie-cutter. “I founded Sans Faff to disrupt the traditional aesthetic that is commonly represented by eco-conscious fashion brands in the region. Our signature bamboo fabrics have connected us with a broad audience of women – from how they dress to how they live their lives. As a result, we have been able to show customers that they no longer need to sacrifice their personal style to step up for the environment,” she said.

The debut collection –  which goes for $60-$232 and is available on the label’s website – comprises body-hugging and minimalist essentials in a monochromatic colour scheme which include T-shirts, midi dresses and jumpsuits that followers of labels like Bottega Veneta and Helmut Lang will approve of. As of press time, there are 15 designs available – all of which are produced primarily from bio-degradable and renewable bamboo viscose. The brand also uses recyclable packaging, reduces its carbon footprint by sticking to local production and supports environmental charities.

At the end of the day, Dallas hopes Sans Faff can help make buying conscious fashion a way of life. “My past experiences have given me the opportunity to learn how to run a business that can also be a powerful voice of change. It’s taught me that brands not only need to stand for something but that they can provide an extraordinary platform to engage their customers to drive positive change and awareness.” Here, Dallas gives us the lowdown on how Sans Faff is championing slow fashion in a period of immense change.

Items to shop from Sans Faff

 

Photos Amberly Valentine

This interview has been edited for brevity 

On cutting the waste produced by the fashion industry
“The fashion industry is responsible for 92 million tonnes of solid waste dumped into landfills globally each year. That’s the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes being dumped into a landfill every second of the day. With ‘throwaway garments’ contributing more to climate change than air and sea travel, Sans Faff’s classic wardrobe essentials are the antithesis of these disposable trends because of our fabric choice.”   On implementing sustainable practices mindfully and effectively
“Sustainability is at the core of everything that we do at Sans Faff. When it comes to our fabric, our first collection is primarily made from our signature soft bamboo viscose – a 100 per cent biodegradable material and resource. We have also carefully considered every detail of our pieces. For example, all of the hardware in our designs that would typically be made from plastic are actually made from recyclable metals or biodegradable shells.”         On defying trends and future-proofing her designs
“After years of being bombarded by fleeting trends in fashion, people are starting to reevaluate the lifespan of their clothes. Our Future Proof Essentials collection directly addresses this emerging zeitgeist as it provides quality pared-back wardrobe staples that will live beyond one season. From our Yvette midi dress to our crew neck T-shirts, the collection is inherently future proof as it will never go out of style.”     On extending sustainable practices beyond clothes
“This extends to our packaging and mailer bags as well. As a member of 1% For The Planet, Sans Faff also donates one percent of our total sales to non-profit environmental organisations annually. It is our goal to be fully accountable for the entire lifecycle of our products and raw materials by 2021.”     On supporting local businesses by way of producing locally
“The quest for cheaper and faster production of clothes continues to exploit vulnerable workers through long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions. I want to work towards making a difference when it comes to the way fashion is produced. By manufacturing the collection locally in Singapore with a workshop of women, I have full overview of our production while working closely with the owner of our factory and her seamstresses. Investing in our local community is also a part of Sans Faff’s mission and it brings me great pride to know that we are supporting another woman’s business in the process.”     On creating a platform for consumers to make a difference
“My dear friend and holocaust survivor Dr. Peter Gary once shared a quote with me that had a profound impact on my life: ‘If you’re not a part of the solution you are a part of the problem – there are no innocent bystanders’. I believe this quote to be true in the case of most things, including the critical state of our environment. As consumers and business owners we have the ability to not only buy more consciously, we can also drive ethical business practices that create positive change. This is what I have implemented with Sans Faff.”     On creating a platform for consumers to make a difference
“As a slow fashion brand that is made in Singapore, when a customer makes a purchase from us they are also indirectly supporting over ten other local businesses and their employees. Whether it’s the local paper supplier that we use for our hang tags, printer seamstresses, delivery teams or packaging manufacturers, our eco-system genuinely works to empower our local community. I think this matters now more than ever – not just to the suppliers but to consumers as well.”     On how to start an eco-conscious wardrobe
“Adopt a less is more mindset and begin investing in quality wardrobe essentials that can be worn year after year. When your top go-to pieces are at the end of their life cycle, replace them with better more sustainably made alternatives.”