ALAS

 

alas
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About the creators of ALAS

Betony and Kelly first met on their first day of class at university in Brisbane. At the time they both shared  a common interest both obsessed with the 60’s and gravitated towards each other. Soon after they fast realised they both had grown up in the same area of north west NSW, and had even competed in the same regional drama events as kids without officially meeting each other. 

 

Over the course of their fashion design degree they discovered a shared aesthetic and approach to sustainability, which led to their collaboration in designing their final uni year collection. The range attracted interest from local boutiques from there they started their first sustainable womenswear brand. However their brand was developing quickly and less likely to stop they decided it was best to travel while they had the time. The besties packed their bags as to only assumed what they thought was only to be a year holiday but instead it ended up being a two year life changing stint in London designing for numerous labels, from one off garments for London Fashion Week to mad up-cycling projects for Topshop. 

About ALAS

ALAS sleepwear allows you to sleep and dream in complete comfort, with peace of mind. Made in india where The range is made of hand loomed wovens and supple organic jersey. The cotton is grown in india as well as spun,woven and dyed.

The designers at ALAS have endeavoured to create a brand that is socially and ecologically responsible, allowing the wearer to sleep and dream in complete comfort, with peace of mind.

Their garments are constructed with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or Fairtrade accredited cotton, meaning that the cotton has been farmed without any dangerous chemicals,pesticides and fertilisers. The fabrics are then dyed and printed using methods that avoid harmful AZO's and formaldehyde! As well all their packaging,swing tags and business cards are recycled and recyclable. Keeping it all eco friendly. 

 

Why you created ALAS/why ethical fashion is important ?

 

For us, it just seemed like common sense. If you are going to create something, why not make a positive difference, minimize your negative impact and connect with the whole production process on a holistic level? As designers, we have a responsibility and we feel that for a product to be truly beautiful it can’t have an ugly past saturated in exploitation of the environment or people. Farmers, dyers, spinners and sewers are all integral parts of creating a garment and we all need to respect them.

 

Our hope for the future is that ethical fashion will become more prevalent, and, with this mind, we are determined to heed the lessons we have learned along the way and continue to champion ethical fashion.

Meaning of ALAS?

ALAS is an acronym for All Light, All Shadow. This concept is the basis of inspiration for the all-organic Australian sleepwear label, whose colourful,comfortable garments take the wearer from day to night, waking to sleeping. 

 


What inspires Betony and Kelly?

Cherishing the tiny aspects that make up our world, the designers are inspired
by a myriad of things..the beauty of hummingbirds, the colour of coral,
natural symmetry and practical simplicity.


Difficulties
Some of our greatest barriers have arisen from their manufacturing process, which mostly takes place in India. By basing our operations in India, we source some of the world’s best-quality organic cotton from local growers, and also provide new employment opportunities. But the initial search for a manufacturer that could produce quality garments proved harder than we had imagined - we aren't after cheap prices, we want quality. 
It can be a long process finding our ethical makers, and we travel to India to meet with them directly. We literally get a handful of contacts, hop in a rickshaw and after about 10 stops (asking for directions) we find the places! Sometimes it leads us to beautiful women’s co-ops in the middle of slums, other times we end up in large industrial facilities with state of the art machines. We need to visit the factories first hand to be sure they are genuine and share similar ethics, it’s not as black and white as “oh this factory has this accreditation”
As well as producing quality garments, another ongoing challenge is ensuring that every step of the process is transparent and fair. This involves considerations such as visiting our factories and suppliers in India, using certified-organic cotton and ensuring that dyes don’t end up in rivers


ALAS recently won the 'Pure Spirit Award' - a category of the

UK based Ethical Fashion Forum's Innovation Awards.

 

Betony and Kelly have a beautiful studio as well 
we were lucky enough to have these photos for an insight to you all of their studio! 
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Their new collection Telescope 
 The prints and colour schemes in the ALAS are not only unique but colourful as well.
A large amount of energy goes into the after care of clothing, so please be mindful. You can machine wash your ALAS garment in cool water, and drip dry to reduce energy consumption. 

T-shirt & track pants Sweatshirt & leggings Lavender PJ set Butterfly shirt & bloomers Butterfly raglan & jersey pants

 Special thanks to Betony and Kelly & Kate from Pistol PR 
http://shop.alasthelabel.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

University Apparel

University ApparelBy LeBlondeFox "This is a direct and unedited transcript from a recorded interview"

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It’s every fashion grads dream to create and launch their very own fashion label. These two passionate fashionista’s did just that, but without a fashion degree. Their desire and exploration of ideas were the foundation elements for succession. Life doesn’t always work out the way one plans it, and unexpectedly we are lead to a different path that awaits us, let’s call it DESTINY. (It’s a little bit girly, but c’mon sometimes things are out of our control!)

 

Meet the creative brains behind University Apparel; Jesse Gaarenstroom and Mark Jensen.

 

It all started for them just chatting away at Uni, conversing about how they both wished they could wear something comfortable and stylish rather than your typical boring trackies and hoodies. BANG! University Apparel was born, six months in and business is booming!

These guys are Melbourne based and not in it for the money, but for students by the students. We all love a local Aussie brand at an affordable price tag. I was able to score a one to one interview with Jesse, with the man himself and discovered more about his up-coming Melbourne label.

A) Hi Jesse, thank you for taking the time and coming for a coffee to chit chat about this exciting new brand you’re currently working on with Mark?

 

J) No problem, let’s get started!

 

A) What do you currently study Jesse?

 

J) I’m currently studying Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), Accounting, Finance & Financial Planning and working two jobs. It’s been a bit tough to juggle everything but, I love what I do!

 

A) How did university apparel come about?

J) Well Mark got me into this! It was his idea/brand first. We were at uni one day speaking about how we want fun and stylish comfortable clothing for university because when you go to uni you just want be in the best stylish comfortable clothing as possible especially after a big night out!

A) What is your role at University Apparel?

J) I control all the marketing and finance side but as well as coming up with ideas. There is more than two of us, actually about 4-5 people in the brand that also work behind the scenes like with the media/ pr and sourcing.

A) Is your clothing made in Australia? Are they pre-made or made to order?

J) The clothing is made in the states but is brought over from there and printed in Australia in a factory in NSW which then shipped to Melbourne The designs are done by Mark down here in Melbourne.

It’s printed by a method called DTG direct to garment, its basically like a big printer which prints very high quality onto the clothing.

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A) How do you go about designing the clothing and the different pictures you have on your Uni and Street wear?

J) Since we are only a new brand at the moment, we brainstorm ideas in a group to come up with the latest designs. Mark sometimes, on occasion  sources designs and prints to purchase.

 

A) So how does one go about creating their own fashion label or brand? Any advice?

J) It’s not as easy as I’d love to make it out to be. Part of this industry is working with copywriters for the purpose of advertising or marketing your business. Another fundamental step to protect your ideas is to patent the product. This grants the creator (us) of original work and exclusive rights to use and distribute our brands, logos and other designs. A consulting contract is beneficial to the client- consultant relationship as this protects your project – this is a must and can be costly, but worthwhile. Once you figure out everything and get things into order, it somewhat gets a little bit easier from there on.

A) What are your future plans for University Apparel?

J) Eventually, we want to expand and create more designs and venture into jeans, hats, shorts, and create more unique choice of prints and designs. Just everything and anything! We just need to get our name out there, we have another forty to fifty designs which haven’t been made yet. So stay tuned!

If you are interested in purchasing some of your own cool threads from University Apparel then check them out here

www.university-apparel.com.au. A pop up store will be held at Deakin University for O-week!

It was a pleasure to sit down with Jesse, it really goes to show if you have an idea or dream, pursue it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. ;)

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