Saturday, October 3, 2009

For Australia’s Sosume Clothing, 4 Eco-Designers Are Better Than 1

by Jasmin Malik Chua, 10/03/09

Sosume Clothing

Not one but four designers man the helm of Sosume Clothing, a nascent Australian eco-fashion label that started with one Melbourne chap but grew to include another Aussie and a pair of New Yorkers. Designed with its native environment in mind, Sosume—a play on the phrase “so sue me”—comprises easy, tissue-thin basics made from Modal (derived from beechwood) and Tencel (eucalyptus pulp), both of which impart a breathability that is vital during Australia’s oppressive summer months.

Sosume Clothing


Having four opinionated voices isn’t the easiest of arrangements, admits Alex Trimmer, the brand’s director, who works with Paulina Petkoksi, Rachel Kozub, and Wil Fry. “It can be very difficult at times,” he says.

Eventually, however, it all comes together. “I outline how I think we could utilize the fabric through different forms and shapes,” says Trimmer. “The girls and Wil come in at this point with their knowledge of design and garment construction and together, the four of us sketch up many silhouettes as we desire, and we piece together the collection.”

Sosume Clothing


The decision to use manufactured cellulosic fibers over organic cotton was very deliberate, and considering Australia’s widespread water woes, incredibly apt. Modal requires only a tenth of the water used in cotton production, according to Trimmer.

Modal requires only a tenth of the water used in cotton production.

“Some people are skeptical of the chemicals used in producing these modern fibers and rightly so,” he says. “I was skeptical at first but soon realised that if you choose the right mills then you are free of burden. I use mills that have closed looped cycles and use naturally occurring chemicals in the process.” Another plus: 3 percent of proceeds go to donated to two Australian land-conservation organizations: The Bush Heritage Fund and The Wilderness Society.

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