ALAS fans, rejoice – the super-cool sustainable sleepwear brand has turned its dream of making daywear into a reality with the launch of its most recent collection WAKE MOVE SLEEP. Featuring their much-loved bright and beautiful pyjamas, nighties and robes, plus a brand-new range of activewear and gorgeous garments that’ll take you from day to evening – think chambray dresses, stripy pants and basic tees – WAKE MOVE SLEEP gives you the chance to deck yourself out in ALAS threads 24/7, if you so desire.
Started in 2011 by Kelly Elkin and Betony Dircks, ALAS quickly made waves in Australia’s ethical fashion scene with their range of organic cotton sleepwear made ethically in India in fair trade, sweatshop-free factories. Moving into daywear and activewear came quite instinctively to the duo, and has been an opportunity to discover new fabrics and garment-making techniques. “We always wanted to venture out of the nighttime and into the daytime,” says Kelly. “It seemed like a very natural progression, especially as many of our customers already wear some of our pieces to do yoga or relax on beach holidays and the like. We also wanted to be able to explore other sustainable fabrications, different forms of printing and alternate weaving techniques that we had come across on our travels in India, and expanding the range enabled us to do this. After five years of being in business, it’s a very special time; our loyal customers have really supported us each step of the way and the response so far has been very heartwarming!”
We wanted to be able to explore other sustainable fabrications, different forms of printing and alternate weaving techniques that we had come across on our travels in India
ALAS’ first steps towards creating activewear began with the pair’s own search for exercise gear that complemented their personal styles without compromising the environment. “We struggled to find activewear that was both sustainable and interesting; we aren’t huge fans of fluro!” explains Kelly. “We searched far and wide for a fabric that was suitable for the most flexible ladies around. Cotton is good, but even with elastane it doesn’t retain its stretch, so after careful consideration and research we sourced a two-way-stretch recycled polyester from an accredited manufacturer. It is very durable and easy to care for too, which is ideal for sportswear.” Each piece in their MOVE series, which includes geometric-panel leggings, a wave-print sports bra-and-leggings set, and retro running shorts, uses 70% less water, energy and heat than the usual methods for processing polyester.
When it came to designing their WAKE pieces, classic and comfy was the ultimate goal, with the creation of a small collection of relaxed tees, dresses, pants and shorts in chambray, black, stripes and burnt orange. “Our daywear was very much inspired by our lifestyle; we prioritise comfort and versatility in our clothes but we still like to look good. We wanted to create clothes that you could really live in and, in true ALAS form, we wanted to do it with a twist,” says Kelly. “Launching into basics was a challenge for us as the print- and colour-obsessed designers we are! We wanted to make sure we covered the staples but added a little pop of colour – we’re inspired by our sunny surroundings, the beaches we so frequently visit and even the tiles of our Greek fish and chip shop with its blue and cobalt colours.” WAKE garments are made from organic cotton jersey and organic cotton fleece, as well as a handwoven organic chambray that’s made in a small weaving workshop in Kannur, India, using GOTS-certified yarn.
“We have always wanted to create quality products and ensure that our customers don’t have to compromise their style for their ethics,” says Kelly. “With our expansion into daywear and activewear, we wanted to give our customers the opportunity to wear ethically made clothing in every aspect of their life – to feel comfortable, look good and know they are helping communities and supporting an independent brand. We need to keep up the fight against fast fashion!”
WORDS EMILIE GUILLEMAIN