Innovation That Matters

Shirt sold out? Make it yourself


Last summer, SANS–a small New York fashion label–launched an intriguingly simple shirt known as the Square Shirt. It made the rounds on fashion and design blogs, and subsequently sold out. The label has moved on to new collections (including socks with carefully placed holes), and no longer sells readymade Square Shirts. Instead, they’ve released the pattern so that customers can make their own. The straightforward pattern means that anyone who can use a sewing machine can fabricate one. After buying and downloading the digital pattern, customers print, cut and sew their own. SANS, which is known for creating cool clothes from organic materials, suggests using a worn garment or remnant piece of fabric. The pattern is priced at USD 6, which includes an original SANS label sent by post to add that branded finishing touch to the shirt. We like the notion of a brand taking one of its iconic pieces and instead of retiring it after the season is through, recycling it as a DIY project. Which appeals, of course, to the growing number of consumers who like to make things, and also gives anyone a chance to own something that might have previously been out of reach (SANS sold its Square Shirts at around USD 85, and in limited edition runs). While few products are as easy for consumers to reproduce as SANS’ simple shirt, the notion of releasing a product’s design is definitely worth exploring.



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