Designing the Alex Fleece: Nostalgia with a sustainable mindset
What inspired us to make this awesome retro style fleece? And further to that, how did we make it super sustainable...read on to find out!
The Alex in it's home...the great outdoors!
Welcome, fellow adventurers and nature enthusiasts, to an exclusive reveal of our latest triumph: the Alex Fleece. Join us as we embark on an insightful journey, diving deep into the very soul of this exceptional garment. Inspired by the spirit of exploration, the Alex Fleece embodies more than just warmth and style; it encapsulates the essence of adventure.
Through this blog, we'll give you a sneak peak into it’s creation – from the nostalgic inspiration drawn from founder and designer, Jess’s fave 'Calange' fleece, to the meticulous design elements that harmoniously blend durability, functionality and flair.
But it doesn't end there; we're proud to unravel the sustainability ethos woven into every fibre of this fleece, championing our commitment to the planet.
So, let's delve into the vibrant narrative behind the Alex Fleece – a tale of inspiration, innovative design, and sustainable craftsmanship.
The inspiration for the Alex: Calange
The Inspiration 😍
The back story? Oh, it's a medley of ski vibes and retro charm, adorned with a quirky inside pocket design that adds a delightful touch of fun. And the prints? Bold, yet exquisitely balanced to infuse a splash of colour into your adventures.
Picture this - the eighties, Derbyshire, a brand named 'Calange' illuminating the fashion scene. It was a world adorned with vibrant prints and unique shapes, a nostalgic era of fashion that caught our eye and sparked inspiration. Fast forward to the present day; that same essence, that nostalgic Dad-core vibe, was ripe for a revival. Thus, the Alex Fleece was born - a fusion of the past with a sustainable, modern twist, and a bonkers pattern of course.
Jess bringing the alex to life!
The Design 🎨
Bringing that nostalgia into the present wasn't just about replicating; it was about reinvention.
The Alex Fleece marries recycled polartec polyester with androgynous lines, transforming vintage prints into a contemporary, unisex design.
The fleece isn't just about style; it's about practicality. From the meticulously constructed zippers, designed for durability and ease of replacement. Oh, and that tiny garage at the top? That's our thoughtful touch to protect your neck during zipping adventures. Every detail was meticulously crafted for comfort and endurance.
The Alex isn't merely a cosy garment; it's a utility-packed delight. Boasting a spacious fit for unrestricted movement without compromising on style, it's your go-to attire for every venture. And the front pocket? It's not just generous; it's your personal treasure trove for all adventure essentials - maps, climbing shoes...snacks!
1 very happy Jess!
The Sustainability 🌿
Crafting the Alex Fleece wasn't just about creating another piece of clothing; it was a commitment to sustainability.
Crafted from 100% recycled polyester, every stitch was sewn with a dedication to minimising the impact on the planet. The fleece fabric used to create the Alex is made from recycled plastic bottles (nearly 50 bottles per fleece based on our maths!). But it doesn't just stop at plastic bottles; this fleece is also made from remnants of flooring, matts, insulation and furniture, and vastly reduces the amount of plastics that will end up in landfill polluting our planet.
But sustainability didn't end with the material; it was woven into the design creating a durable and easily mendable fleece that will keep going until these babies go out of style and come back in again when our kids are buying your vintage Alex off whatever the 2053 equivalent of Vinted will be.
Creating these fleeces wasn't a walk in the park. It took dedication, time, and a dash of creative magic to bring these vibrant pieces to life. We’ve been working on these babies for a long while to bring you the fleece of your dreams.
The Cost 💰
In the spirit of being as transparent as humanly possible, let’s talk about the money. One of the biggest comments we get is “your prices aren't accessible, there’s a cost of living crisis on. Why are your clothes so expensive?”.
The cold hard truth is that our clothes aren't expensive. Our prices reflect the true price of what it costs to ethically make sustainable clothing in our current climate. It is the rise of fast fashion that leads many people to believe that a pair of jeans should cost £12, when the reality is that if you're paying that little for your clothing, someone somewhere is not being paid.
We’ve written a whole blog on this subject if you want more details (you can read it here), but for now, let’s break down the price of the Alex.
The retail price of the Alex Fleece is £95.
20% of the sale is tax, that’s £19.
It cost us £23.50 in labour and materials. At this point, have about £52.50 left.
We need to get it to the UK before getting it to you - which costs £11 + duties (another £14.29). Now with all the peripheral costs described above, there's another £5.75 to get it you your door.
Finally, 3RD ROCK’s Operating costs (logistics, marketing, development, storage rent bills etc): £14.50.
Which leaves us with a modest 7% profit which we reinvest in the business. A whopping £6.96.
Here at 3RD ROCK Our goal is to redefine active and outdoor style through movement orientated activewear, using the highest quality sustainable fabrics, produced on a small scale to minimise over production. We want to make sure we provide you with that extra value that comes hand in hand with our operating style and ethos.
So there you have it, the Alex. The zippers, the fit, the thoughtful additions - each element was chosen for its durability, ensuring the fleece stands the test of time. It's not just a garment; it's a statement of sustainability, a cosy reminder that fashion and sustainability can go hand in hand, and you new favourite fleece that will keep you warm for years to come.