Founder of First Base Active Wear label, Alison Cotton talks with Bondi Beauty on her sustainable fashion label and how she dreams of living in a carbon-free environment in the near future.
Creating a fashion label wasn’t exactly the dream Alison envisaged for herself when she was younger.
Born in Perth, she dreamed of being a pro-surfer. So much so, she lived and breathed it and travelled for hours in order to get to the local beaches where she could surf the waves as often as possible.
Her obsession with the ocean ran so deep, she even began studying marine biology before she finished high school.
But at the age of 17, these hopes and dreams were shattered, when she broke her back in a car accident. After 2 years of rehab, unable to obtain her divers licence in order to complete her marine biology studies, Alison had to make the decision to move on.
It was then, she made the choice to embrace the only other passion she had; fashion.
After spending years working in the fashion and textile market, at the age of 27, Alison left Perth for Sydney and made a home for herself at Bondi Beach. And by 2013 she was ready to launch her own fashion label: First Base.
‘First Base was born out of my life transition and very relevant to my life at the time, as I turned 30, and wanted to start something new.
I was going back to first base. And by creating minimalistic designs that are simple, with clean lines and based on a neutral colour palette, the label doesn’t date as quickly as other brands.’
First Base has quickly become the embodiment of a sports luxe clothing label in Australia and is the embodiment of beach culture and city chic.
The laid back label has not only become a favourite in Australia, but overseas as well. With a massive cult following of over 150k on Instagram.
But it’s how the fabric is created that makes First Base so unique in the Australian fashion industry of active-wear.
Committed to be being part of a more sustainable planet, First Base have sourced ethically based factories who recycle all their materials. This means, all the material offcuts from clothing made, are gathered up, melted down and re-used to make more clothing. Leaving no wastage to be thrown out.
80% of their high-performance active-wear is made from recycled materials, where the remaining 20% of their material is made from spandex, which unfortunately can’t be recycled.
‘Our Goal is to develop ways to better support the environment and to also spread the word in the Australian fashion industry, that you can be more sustainable. This is something not so new for Europe, but is very new for Australian industry. And something I really want to change.’
First Base also unveiled its new look website on the 27 July by introducing options for customers to reduce their carbon footprint.
By providing an option for their online shoppers to donate a small amount of money that will go towards the planting of trees.
“We hope to raise awareness with our shoppers and make them feel like they are contributing to this community effort. And all it takes is the minimum donation requirement of $2.00 on top of your purchase. It costs $3.03 to plant a tree. So to show our commitment, we will match all donations made by customers.
So if someone donates the minimum $2.00, we then donate $2.00 and you have your tree. Whatever is left over goes towards the next donation. Currently, we have successfully planted 190 trees. We are aiming for 1000 by the end of the year.”