Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Simply put, Sosume is a label for the future,. With refined collections, high quality products and a transparent sensibility, we can easily see the reasoning behind each process and decision. Alex Trimmer, founder of the Australian based label offers his thoughts on the legality of careless creation, carpooling to work and the benefits of supporting local manufacturers.
Why fashion? How did SOSUME start?
It all started over in NY when I was finishing my degree as an exchange student. I felt there was a gap in the US market for “non-hippy” styled eco-friendly clothing. Everything I was seeing was fairly unimaginative when it came to colour palettes and fabric content. SOSUME was born to show that you can still wear cutting edge designs with amazing fabrics that actually wear and feel better than conventional fabrics. I launched the collection back home in Australia in late 2008.
What’s your opinion on contemporary fashion production?
If you’re referring to fast fashion, I think it’s awful and laws need to be made to stop it happening. Think of what an eighty-nine dollar nylon “leather” jacket does to a landfill and what it did to the local environment to get to the finished product.
How do you start a new collection?
A combination of what I see on the street mixed with traditional cuts and tailoring and ultimately, the fabrics I find. I’m limited to what I can use so I really have to find the fabrics first then think of the best ways to use them. The market for modern, sustainable fabrics is very small but growing so it’s a long process but well worth the effort. There are some remarkable materials out there.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
As above. The biggest source is the fabric. I’ve always like men’s aesthetics but cut for a woman. I love traditional, timeless pieces and a quality make. When I find a fabric that I love, I try to think of all the different ways that it can be used to bring it to its fullest potential.
How would you describe your latest collection?
Easy, simple, breezy summer. I wanted to extend the jersey basics and introduce woven shirting. I like to build on previous collections and progressively add more and more complicated pieces. Its what makes me look forward to the next season!
Going back to the more ethical side of things..your label seems to have a sustainable element, why is this important?
Because it’s the only way forward. SOSUME proves you don’t have to wear a potato sack or sacrifice your style in order to wear something that is sustainable. The whole basics line uses micro modal, which only uses a tenth of the amount of water to produce each item than its cotton counterpart. The fabric feels sublimely soft, doesn’t effect the skin, will hold shape twice as long as cotton and also will hold its colour for twice as long too. It also is biodegradable so won’t fill up the dump at the end of the product life. This is a major concern with “fast fashion”.
You mention you garments are both organic and natural, roughly what percent is organic?
Actually, it depends on seasons. Some seasons I use organic cotton and organic wool among other natural or man-made fabrics while other seasons we just use man-made and natural. These new, modern man-made fabrics are actually the greatest thing the industry has seen as far as I know. They are created with the environment in mind and are designed to replace their harmful cousins such as rayon, viscose and others. The entire collection, doesn’t matter which season, is always made from only natural and organic fabrics. I just hope that the mills out there keep developing unique and beautiful fabrics to use!
Why produce in Australia? Why is this important and how does it affect your process?
Quality control. Simple as that. I also think it’s vital to support the industry that supports you. The manufacturing industry in Australia seems to be ailing but there are some great makers out there and it feels good to support them. It makes the process much quicker. If there needs to be an alteration, it’s easily done through a phone call and a visit. I couldn’t imagine the drama one would face when working with overseas factories. I like to work closely with my makers to develop the very best product.
What do you hope for the future of fashion?
For all labels to try and minimise their impact on the environment, whether it’s through their fabrics, their supply chains, their stock management, or even their employees’ carpooling to work! Every change for good makes a difference. It’s simple.
Check out Alex's website here, you can find out all his collections,fabric and production info..truly the way it should be...