My relationship with eco-friendly clothing has been somewhat dubious since my dad gave me a green hemp t-shirt emblazed with the words “Chill out” a few years ago. Since meeting Alex Trimmer, the man behind Sosume, I’ve completely changed my tune.
Sosume is a Melbourne-based brand leading the way in socially responsible fashion. Their base collection features classic, refined women’s silhouettes, with sheer, trans-seasonal pieces in a timeless colour palette of black, white and grey – no green to be seen.
When we meet, Alex is wearing the typical Melbourne uniform: skinny jeans, suede boots, a plain white t-shirt under a stylish leather jacket, together with a relaxed charm that makes him immediately likeable. But this is not just any plain white t-shirt. It’s a Sosume t-shirt. Made from 100% micro modal, certified for the controlled use of substances, it feels like cashmere, will never lose its shape and it’s environmentally friendly in numerous ways.
The fashion industry doesn’t have a good reputation when it comes to sustaining the world we live in. “The two main issues are water wastage and the end use of the product,” Alex says.
Every year galleons of water are used to create clothes that ultimately end up as landfill. “Particularly in Australia where we’re still coming out of a drought it’s important to minimise water wastage,” says Alex, noting that being environmentally friendly means being conscious of your decisions and the greater effect they have on others.
“Being socially responsible is about minimising your carbon footprint as much as possible. No one can be zero but you can try to be as close to that,” he adds.
Alex has spent a significant amount of the last two years immersing himself in the world of fabrics, and sourcing the highest quality materials with the lowest impact on the environment. He has been to tradeshows and fabric seminars both here and in the States, sampled countless materials and worked with mills to develop a final product that he truly believes in.
“I’ve spent so much time developing this product and it’s here for a reason. It's not just another product on the shelf,” he says.
Micro modal is the staple fabric for the Sosume base range. Exceptionally light and not liable to shrink or stretch like cotton, it’s made from pure beech tree wood pulp and is 100% biodegradable so won’t end up in landfill. It comes from an environmentally friendly French mill. “They use a closed cycle so there is almost no run off,” Alex explains. “It can take up to 40 litres of water to create one cotton t-shirt whereas a modal t-shirt will only use four.”
Only two years old and Sosume is firmly grounded. Alex has taken over as head designer and pulled back on overseas sales to focus on building the range. Having established a good reputation in the fashion industry and a solid client base, he is keen to build and expand the Australian brand.
So what’s next for Sosume? “I’ve found some amazing fabrics that I’m really excited about,” Alex mentions. These include raw silk modal from Japan certified by PETA, tencel/cashmere jersey blends and emu’s leather – an incredibly soft, luxurious material. As Sosume expands on its base collection expect to see more detail and a move towards outerwear including cropped jackets and knits.
Fervent about unique fabrics, a commitment to classic cuts and dedication to producing environmentally friendly garments, Alex and his brand Sosume are forging their own path in the fashion industry.
Being green is looking pretty good.