Alison Cotton is the face and person responsible for getting the amazing Australian brand, This is First Base, off the ground and into wardrobes of thousands across the globe.
A journey she continues to grow and improve, while remaining humble and true to herself and her vision.
We chat to her on the industry, First Base and how it all began.
How did First Base come about, what inspired you?
I wanted to create product that really resonated with me and fit my active but simple lifestyle.
I love the classics and I wanted to put them in a sportswear context. So I took that small idea and worked bloody hard, and here we are. Simple really!
For those who do or don't know you as the face behind the brand and it's beginning, what are three things we may not know about you, or misconceptions?
Most people don’t know that I am originally from Perth and that I have a penchant for hiring people also from Perth!
I love to swear. But anyone who knows me knows that.
Also, people often perceive the brand to be a huge company, which is flattering, but we are still an independent brand, with a team of 6; although I think our output is more like that of a team of 20!
Has your vision and reason for starting the brand changed from the start, to now?
The vision was always to build something that was rooted in surf and skate culture that lasted longer than a season. An elevated take on sports inspired basics that become part of your day to day.
"We wanted to create a lifestyle."
So that is very much still intact now, however, the vision also includes being a sustainable sportswear brand which speaks back to our original concept of creating products that you can wear again and again.
First Base is one of the leaders in Australian activewear, in terms of environmental change and footprint, why is this important to you?
I think we are at a point where it should be important to everyone and I feel we are in a position to affect some positive change and hopefully be an example for other brands to show them that it is possible (although it is not easy).
Once you understand how garments are made and those processes, you become acutely aware that there can be a significant negative impact to the environment in getting clothes into the market… so to just do nothing about that and to profit from that is not really cool.
Photo credit Chris Mohen
As a consumer or fan of the brand, where would I see First Base' environmental values applied?
We were able to recently launch an app on our website which measures the environmental impact of our garments Vs their non-sustainable counter parts, so our customers can see the positive impact they are making when they shop with us.
Where do you see the direction of athleisure in Australia moving to, when looking at fashion or function?
When you know, let me know would you?
Athleisure is certainly moving, as a category, further into sustainability which is such a great thing to see and be apart of.
I think that we will continue to see this category broaden and redefine what athleisure really as. Leggings in boardrooms? It could happen. Anything is possible.
If you had to choose one workout/style of exercise to do, what would you choose and why?
That is tough! If we are talking for long term health then I would have to say yoga. It’s transformed and healed my body.
But if we are talking about fun then I’m going with surfing. Because that is the ultimate in fun.
What is in store for First Base in 2019 - any upcoming collabs or collections you can share with us?
We are excited to be launching some new sustainable fabrications later in the year as we continue our journey into reducing our impact.
We also have a new product line in the works but you’ll have to stay tuned for that one.
Photo credit: Chris Mohen
You can read more about First Base and their incredible journey and environmental shift here.
Otherwise, browse their collection to get yourself an item (or two) of their beautiful products, online now.
Image credits: Chris Mohen