Two Minutes with Alex Trimmer

By Pip Jarvis
6th Aug 2013

Young, cool, and considered, Melbourne designer, Alex Trimmer, is the man behind popular sustainable womenswear label, SOSUME. Designed and made locally, with a focus on quality eco-friendly fabrics, the brand is best-known for their easy-wear, super soft modal staples. 

SOSUME pieces lend themselves perfectly to relaxed layering, a skill Melbourne women are particularly adept at.

TUL talks style and sustainability with Trimmer...

TUL: So, Alex, how did you get into the fashion game?

A business idea that came about throwing round ideas in a bar in New York. I saw a niche for sustainable fashion that wasn't always about organic cotton. I wanted to use fabric that also considered water usage, which I think will be the big game changer the coming decades. 

TUL: Tell us about SOSUME—what's your design signature and what fabrics do you use?

As I design basics, the main point of difference is in the fabric. I strive to provide the best, most superior fabrics that feel incredible on the skin and are also good for the environment. In summer, I use a Modal/Silk blend that comes from Japan and, during the cooler months, I've started sourcing a Modal/Merino Wool blend and 100% Merino Wool from New Zealand. I would buy Australian fabric if we could provide it, but I'm yet to come across a supplier.

TUL: Why are you so passionate about sustainable fashion?

Because everything comes to an end; at the rate we're consuming fashion, that end is closer than ever. The idea behind SOSUME is to provide products that are made slower than the rate the Earth can replenish them, if that makes sense. For example, some of the fabric SOSUME uses comes from a tree that grows in non-arable land, therefore rendering that land useless for all other farming and livestock requirements. We have to think about land use, as arable land is only going to shrink more and more.

TUL: What are some easy ways we can all make more sustainable fashion choices?

Buy locally-made products and buy quality products. Simple, logical.

TUL:  So just who is the SOSUME girl/ woman?

She is definitely a woman. A smart, intelligent, independent woman. One that cares about her purchases and how they impact her environment. She cares about the way she looks but can definitely walk out of the house in a few minutes by throwing on some skinny jeans and a loose, comfy top and feel amazing. 

TUL: What would you be doing if you weren't a designer?

Hmm, I guess something in product management or development. I like creating and managing products, whether they be in the fashion field or the food industry, or any other industry for that matter.

TUL: What's the best part about your job?

I love hearing feedback. As a wholesaler, I never heard much direct feedback from consumers; rather it would come from sales assistants in boutiques. Since SOSUME is also available online, I can now get some direct feedback and it's great to hear why customers buy it, what they love (or don't love), and also how they wear it.

TUL: Favorite season in Melbourne & why?

Autumn—it's the best weather and it starts to permit people to layer up!

TUL: As a Prahranian, what are your favourite local boutiques?

I'd have to say Torsa. I obviously don't shop in there (I'm a guy, in case you didn't know) but I love the labels, the layout, the interior—perfect. 

TUL: Best way to spend $50 in Melbourne?

Design A Space is always good as it's usually well priced, local designers and is a great way to support them. Or at Brighton Bazaar, as there's always some decent second-hand finds from top European designers.

TUL: And the best way to spend $500 in Melbourne?

Hit up Marais in the City. Although you might need even more…

TUL: What would you request for your last meal on earth?

Shanks, lamb shanks. Easy.

TUL: 3 places in Melbourne you couldn't live without?

Prahran Market, Flinder's Lane, and the MCG.

TUL: Favourite Melbourne coffee spot? 

Dukes Coffee Roasters, Chapel St.

TUL: Favourite Melbourne restaurant?

Aka Tombo—tiny little Japanese on Greville Street.

TUL: Place for a drink?

Prahran Hotel recently got a refurb and it's been packed ever since. 

TUL: Latest Melbourne discovery?

Tonka. Modern Indian . . .

TUL: An old fave?

Claypots in St Kilda.

TUL: Best way to while away a lazy Sunday in Melbourne?

Golfing! Or head to the wineries in the Yarra Valley or Mornington.

TUL: Biggest Indulgence?

Overseas travel, non-work related. Best way to spend hard earned money!

TUL: Fave city, other than Melbourne?

Digging Hobart, lately. Amazing food and scenery at a nice slow pace.

TUL: My last holiday was . . .


TUL: My next holiday will be . . . 

If everything goes right, France.

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