Sam & Alex, The Same But Different


Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world? For styled readers such as ourselves, this can be tough to hear. Thankfully the founders of The Same But Different , Sam and Alex, are well aware of this and are using their platform to bring a fresh perspective to up-cycling. Not only is their spin to the classic, white button down an elevated one, but their process is saving the world, quite literally. Read along to learn how these incredibly talented women design, think through sustainability and waste, and plan to bring this digital experience to a store near you.

The Same But Different is so incredible. Why upcycling?

We’ve never been into shopping “new”, and have always loved the treasure hunt of shopping second hand! Up cycling is also, hands down, the most sustainable way to source fabric and a guaranteed effort to use less resources and repurpose materials that we already have too much of. 

Many people's minds go immediately to patchwork and second-hand when they think of up cycling, yet your collection is so elevated. How do you draw inspiration and what is your technique?

We’ve always had a love and appreciation for luxury goods, we take a lot of inspiration from today’s most sought after designers. Simone Rocha, Cecilie Bahnsen, and Rejina Pyo, are so inspiring to us. The end goal of The Same But Different is to be positioned next to some of today’s most aspirational brands and have the consumer not be able to tell the difference between new and upcycled material.

Why do you think it's important to up cycle, especially in today’s politically and environmentally crazed world?

Simple; we have WAY too many products, garments, etc....on this planet as a result of extreme consumerism, and need to start using what is already here before creating new. 


Your brand doesn’t have a ton of competition which makes you so unique. But, is it difficult to market without using buzzworthy words that are so oversaturated?

One of the biggest struggles we’ve had in marketing ourselves is determining what our “keywords” are. It’s easy to call yourself sustainable, but what does sustainable really mean? You’re using organic cotton, great, but how are you shipping? You’re up-cycled, fantastic, but what’s happening with your scraps. So we’ve decided to avoid categorizing ourselves by keyword and in 2019 hope to start the process of simply just educating people on how to be better consumers instead of following a specific marketing trend or category. Instagram is a blackhole of keywords and I think consumers are really gravitating to people who are simply just transparent. We’re not experts, we’re still figuring out what sustainability means to us and our brand but we’ll be damned if we’re not honest. 

Let's switch to some more personal questions. You two are best friends, roommates and business partners. What aspects drew you both so closely together and how do you make it all work?

We met when we were 20, when we’re both just starting to come into the women we were going to be. We’ve always joked about how different we are in this stage of our lives but how very much the same our 15 year old selves were. Simply put, were cut from the same cloth. We both came from loving and supportive families, we view the world the same, we have the same aspirations and goals and we both really love Panic at the Disco. Most importantly our strengths lie in two completely different places–I cant sew a dress and Sam can’t pay our taxes, I cook dinner and she does the dishes. We compliment each other extremely well, as business partners and as friends and we are stronger women because of that.

What is next for you both, individually and as a brand?

Ideally, we would love to take everything we’ve soaked up in NYC and bring it to an emerging city. The goal in the next couple of years it to open up The Same But Different Shop, a multi-faceted brick and mortar shop! A physical space that celebrates community, young artists, and sustainability, what could be better than that? 

Upcycle with Sam and Alex by following on social @samebutdifferentshop. Shop now.

Interviewed by Emily