Sanct, an Australian-based slow-fashion label, is basically the girl we all want to be: she is firm in what she wants, she knows what she doesn’t, and she is impeccably dressed in ethically-made goodness. Goals.
Danielle Abery-Miller, the founder of Sanct, left her 9-5 in commercial fashion with a sewing machine and a vision, and boy are we glad she did. Not only has she crafted an environmentally and socially responsible ethical fashion brand, but she is unwavering in her values, and her commitment to transparency in each aspect of her business is completely commendable.
GOTS certified organic cotton, Tencel, natural tree rubber elastic, and deadstock cotton, linen and wool are included in the list of Sanct-approved fabrics, while synthetic materials like nylon and elastane, and animal products such as conventional wool, fur, and leather have never and will never make their way into the Sanct studio. As for wastage, Danielle controls this by initially producing only 3-4 garments per size, cutting and making everything in house, and keeping any scrap pieces of fabric in order to eventually craft smaller items with.
Each and every single Sanct piece is carefully crafted by Danielle in her studio on Wurundjeri Country (East Melbourne), and although there are plans to outsource some of the manufacturing as the business grows, Sanct will always be an Australian-made label. The Sanct patterns are given the big old tick of approval by ECA accredited pattern-making extraordinaires RB Pattern Making, and every manufacturer Sanct has ever and will ever work with will hold the ECA (Ethical Clothing Australia) accreditation as well.
When we say Danielle has thought of everything, we actually mean it. Even though great care is taken in making the garments, and “a Sanct piece is intended to outlive us all”, Sanct offers lifetime repairs on their clothing within Australia, and the company is looking into potential textile recycling partners in order to eventually offer a garment recycling program. Pretty groovy, huh?
So, next time you’re in the market for a black skirt that will see you from bruch with the in-laws to dancing on the bar at your local pub, look no further than Sanct.
Want to know where Sanct sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.
Sanct is incredibly passionate about reducing plastics and only using natural materials. Our garments are all plastic free, made from natural, biodegradable materials from our fabrics in GOTS certified organic cotton or deadstock cottons/linens/wool, to our natural tree rubber elastic, tencel or organic cotton sewing threads and cotton brand/care labels. All garments are manufactured to the highest standard to ensure they will last. Our packaging is also 100% plastic free! Our swing tags are made from FSC certified paper and attached with a natural, un-dyed cotton cord. Your purchase will be posted in an 80% post consumer recycled cardboard box, carefully wrapped in FSC certified, acid free tissue and sticker. Our care cards are made from recycled paper and printed with soy inks and our boxes are tapped up with water activated paper tape!
All Sanct pieces are lovingly made by my own two hands in the Sanct studio on Wurundjeri Country (East Melbourne). When we source new fabrics (not deadstock) we ensure we purchase from factories who are independently accredited by certifications that ensure workers maintain certain rights. We look for certifications like GOTS (fabrics, cotton threads and the cotton component of our natural tree rubber elastic), Cradle to Cradle Gold Standard (our Tencel threads). These independent certifications all audit factories to ensure workers are protected by; the right to association, living wages, freely chosen work, no excessive hours or forced overtime, regular employment and freedom from discrimination and harassment. We are working to encourage our elastic supplier to offer a more rigorous certification for the natural tree rubber component of our elastic.
We love using quality deadstock fabrics because it allows us to take responsibility for some of the textile waste produced by the garment industry. We produce super small runs of everything (usually a max of 3-4 pieces or less per size) and produce more as demand arises. This allows us to avoid overproducing. Cutting and making in house also allows us to control the cutting efficiency. We offer lifetime repairs to keep our styles in circulation and out of landfill. Our off-cuts and scraps are all kept and not thrown away. We will produce smaller items with our off cuts and are looking into using textile recycling companies like TerraCycle or Textile Recyclers Australia to regenerate our smaller scraps into new fibres. Our packaging is all made from part post consumer waste materials. In our packaging I use a strip of scrap pattern making paper, secured with a sticker to hold the tissue around your parcel, this means the sticker won’t rip the tissue when opening your parcel and you can reuse our beautiful custom print tissue again and again!
Sanct is passionate about supporting local. We will always select local businesses, even at a higher price point if it means we can support the local garment industry in Australia. This includes our care cards (Sustainable Printing Co), Australian made cardboard boxes (PackQueen), Tissue and stickers (No Issue co) as well as working with Australian and NZ textile agents like Wall Fabrics, Melman, Saspac and Australian based fabric mills like MTK. As Sanct has just launched we don’t currently work with a selected charity but give personally to charities we love and feel passionate about.
We are really passionate about traceability and transparency. With so much misinformation out there, ’sustainability’ has become a bit confusing. We like to do our research and give you all the info so you can decide if our pieces fit your values. Our garments each have a transparency section where you can see where we source each component. Generally, we like to use components with certifications that ensure traceability from plant to product. Due to their nature, we can’t always trace recycled/deadstock fabrics in this way, however we try and gain as much information as we can and only source through trusted local agents. We can currently trace where our new fabrics (not deadstock), threads and elastics materials have been grown and manufactured. We are working on improving the traceability of our cotton brand/care labels by moving these to GOTS certified organic cotton rather than standard cotton.
“The current, standard fashion model is not set up to support sustainable, slow fashion practices. So gaining detailed and transparent information about materials can be difficult, because it’s not the norm to ask and the information isn’t often on hand. Accessing minimum order quantities for materials or CMT is difficult because it’s not the norm to produce slowly, rather than mass produce”.