What ‘Sustainable’ Means to Us


“There is no such thing as ‘away,’ writes Annie Leonard. "When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.” The environmental activist’s words unspool onto our hearts, giving gravitas to all that’s tangible. Everything, in some shape or form, leaves an impact.  

This truth also makes us think of a common word in our lexicon: sustainable. It is used abundantly, tasked with conveying the message of something that lasts, that is sufficient, that can be upheld. Yet in many ways, we feel ‘sustainable’ has been shorn of its meaning. Potentially eroded by overuse and abraded by waning consideration. These days, we often see the word gracing a package or emboldening a title and we wonder: What does ‘sustainable’ truly mean?

Indeed, that answer varies with each of us. It weighs on our values. At Lan Jaenicke, sustainability is an essence and an ethos. It is a reminder that the things we make carry on, as Annie Leonard says, and impact our future. That is why we must create with intention, integrity, and beauty. 

We believe that sustainability is a push to reinstate the need to nourish what’s humane. What we bring into our lives should allow us to fully be us—no matter where we come from, what we look like, or who we love. We are all worthy, and our items need to celebrate our uniqueness and honor our wellbeing and that of the Earth.

In this light, we felt inspired to repatriate ourselves with the word ‘sustainable’ and all its nuance. To us, it’s more than a definition of being continuous. Sustainability is also about how our tangible items make us feel so we can best show up for ourselves and those we love.  We hope what we reveal here, in this manifesto of sorts, will bring a deeper understanding of what sustainability means for us—and for you.

At Lan Jaenicke, 'Sustainable' Means...  

Incorporating Quality Materials

Pure. Natural. Raw. Every material we choose, from our cashmeres to our linens to our silks, is synthetic-free and of the highest quality. It will always keep you warm and protected, and airy and free. 


Following a Zero-Waste Design Approach

Taking an approach that is equally mathematic and holistic, we strive to waste nothing when creating our pieces, most often using the entire swath of fabric and leaving minimal-to-no cutting waste on the Atelier floor.  

Imbuing a Timeless Aesthetic

Our pieces belie trends. Rather, every design boasts a classic aesthetic and a multitasking character to carry you through all your days. We want our pieces to be there for you, decades to come, so you feel compelled to buy less but with greater intention and satisfaction. 


Honoring Inclusivity

“My goal in you wearing these pieces is for you to feel good,” Lan always says. We want you to feel seen, understood, and protected by clothing that amplifies you. We want to enhance your individuality and invite you to wear your pieces however it feels right. That is why we don’t pay attention to conventional sizing. Rather, we lean into forms that are complementary, inherently comfortable, and never prone to malfunction. Every design detail is made with an intention to flatter, honor, and ease.


Elevating the Everyday

Beyond clothing, we seek to enhance your lifestyle with daily essentials that make you feel good, from elements for your home to items for self-care. “These are the experiences that enhance your lifestyle,” says Lan. “It’s the little simple pleasures. It’s the whole experience.” 


Shop the story (from top to bottom): Golden Linen Tank; Linen Pleated Wrap Skirt; Stone Linen Tank; Cashmere Unisex PantsStamford Coat; V-Neck Pullover in FuchsiaCashmere House Cardi in Grey