One of the many things I took away after finishing Marie Kondo’s “The life changing magic of tidying up” is that what we wear at home, relaxing or sleeping, should especially be pretty and comfortabel. Read: we should not demote our old clothes to ‘lounge wear’. Get something nice , something that ‘sparks joy’, something from ALAS for example.
“ALAS is an acronym for ‘All Light, All Shadow’ which represents the nature of change; day to night, sleeping to waking. (…) The acronym also alludes to the idea of transparency in the supply chain, as we wish to shine light on our manufacturing practices and organically grown cotton” Alas about Alas
The last few years I’ve been buying more and more sustainable produced clothing. Having watched and read numerous documentaries and articles on this topic, I learned that having your designs fully sustainably produced is by no means an easy task. Hence my excitement when finding ALAS, and reading that the two Australian women who started this label, made sure there colourful designs were fairly produced from organic cotton.
I reached out to Betony to learn a bit more about ALAS and to find out who the handsome bearded fellow is.. (she proudly shared the answer, so keep on reading!).
First things first though, how did ALAS start?
“When we (Betony and co-founder Kelly) returned from our travels overseas, we noticed that there were no options in Australia for sustainable sleepwear” Betony shares. They dove straight into the business opportunity, and designed a colourful collection of sleepwear. The duo then travelled to India, and search of producers that could make their designs become reality.
They found the ‘big-hearted, but small-sized production unit’ they were looking for, in Jaipur, India.
Producing in a country on the other side of the world, comes with its own set of challenges. An example: “In our early stages we produced too many of certain things and not enough of others. Because it takes many months for us to get things made in India it is not usually feasible for us to re-produce things a second time. But this is something we are getting better at now!”
Sustainability is a key component of ALAS. They share on their website exactly what their sustainability philosophy entails, and what the factory standards are. The staff who makes the ALAS loungewear have benefits such as paid holiday leaves and a pension plan, and they always get paid their over time. Benefits that are basic rights in parts of the world, but sadly in the garment production industry is still far from being standard.
Being on top of things when wanting to produce along sustainability guidelines, is very important. Something she wish to share with others, who are looking to start a sustainable fashion brand. “Learn about the fabrics you use, and the people who make the garments. Be active in the process and be aware of any potential damage you are doing to the environment, or people throughout your supply chain. And avoid it as best as you can! You will then be able to sleep at night, and your customers will value this information, too.”
Visiting India and seeing the craftsmen and women sew the garments they designed in Sydney, is one of the major highlights for Betony. “Visiting our producers in India is always a rewarding experience. Seeing the care they put into making the clothes, and how proud of their work and craft they are”.
ALAS’s latest collection is called ‘That Sunday Feeling’, and Betony’s cat Wilbur plays a big role. “This collection was also inspired by the natural world, the patterns in leaves and flowers, and the colours in the paintings by Nicholas Roerich.”
ALAS values collaborations with other artists, and added a funky mushroom design by London based artist Chrissie Abbott to this collection (check out the dreamy accompanying video!).
All their sleepwear is made from the finest organic cotton and looks incredibly comfy. Betony, of course, has her fair share of ALAS pyjamas. “In winter time, I sleep in one of our all-in-ones (I have a few different ones!) and in summer I prefer singlet and shorts.”
Boyfriend Dan, who she convinced to model for their latest line, can now also sleep in ALAS wear, as they recently launched a men’s collection with pyjama bottoms and cotton shirts.
ALAS has worldwide selling points, and next to the new men’s line there are more exciting plans this year: “We have some really cool colourful stripey things coming out in August! And we are planning some more pillowcases, and slippers too!”
To keep an eye out on all things stripey, or to get your hands on your own Wilbur pyjamas, visit the ALAS store. Find more pictures of Dan in his pyjamas over on Alas’s instagram feed, and Alas is on facebook, twitter, pinterest and vimeo too!
On a scale from 1-10, how happy does this cheerful loungewear brand make you?