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IN CONVERSATION WITH BENJAMIN HEYD OF SANVT
SANVT is not conventional. Their mission is to develop a collection of high-quality clothing essentials. When designing products, they remove everything that doesn’t add value and invest in what does. They offer true luxury essentials, priced below standard retail pricing. They don’t charge high mark-ups because they simply don’t have to. Unlike most high-end brands, SANVT are committed to offering the very best quality at the very best prices. They have cut out the middlemen, kept their distribution model lean, and by selling online from their warehouse in Germany, they’re able to keep markup at 2-3X rather than the 6-8X industry standard. Each step of their process aims to disrupt the status quo of the fashion industry, bringing you the best of the best, without the inflated pricing. SANVT do not follow fashion fads and they don’t create new designs each season. Instead they offer a permanent, all-year timeless collection. This means that they can dedicate more time to rethinking every detail of their essential garments. Products will not only last through wear and tear but survive the changing tides of fashion trends. SANVT has a vision to minimise the environmental impact of their manufacturing processes, and they offset all production related emissions by actively supporting local forest protection programmes.
In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Benjamin Heyd, Co-Founder of SANVT about how he and his brother started a brand in 2018 with the simple idea of making the perfect t-shirt. After working for large global fashion/footwear companies that were inefficient and profit margin focused, Benjamin had the urge to start his own clothing brand that would be sustainable and inspired by contemporary design. Our host Peter Brooker and Benjamin also chatted about the meaning of the brand name, the challenges of finding production partners, why they're focused on being a lean company, and giving customers their perfect sizing through a dedicated web size finder tool.
Please tell us about your brand and how it started
“I have always worked within fashion and lifestyle, with a strong focus on footwear. I worked for big companies such as Puma and Lacoste, but I always had a mindset that I would start my own brand one day. I saw the challenges that bigger companies have and the advantages that smaller companies might have, especially in this digital age. One of the big drivers of starting SANVT was to have a digital, lean and small start-up business. This is because my experience of bigger businesses was of complete inefficiency and higher prices for the customer. I knew I could offer much better quality for the money to our customers, especially in the apparel sector. Personally, I couldn’t find a brand that reflected my taste such as one with a very contemporary appeal, minimalistic products and a strong link to a sustainable approach. The biggest challenge and obstacle of starting the company was the supply chain and production. When you’re a small brand without financial backing you have to meet minimum orders from production partners which is challenging. It was also challenging for us to find the right manufacturing partners because of our sustainability approach.”
With a focus on being lean, how big is the team at SANVT?
“Internally, we’re a team of four. The focus is to have a lean structure, hiring external freelance talent as much as possible. The internal team is mainly customer service and marketing. We’ve grown faster than we had anticipated so we will take on more staff as we grow, but the key focus will always be to keep the business as lean as possible and outsource things that many other bigger companies often bring in house. I would like to bring in product developers, grow the customer service team in line with sales growth, and strengthen our marketing team.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 78 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Benjamin Heyd, Co-Founder of sanvt.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast player.