Meet Alison Cotton, the founder and designer of cult Australian brand First Base, known for its bold designs, bright colours and edgy gym-to-street style. Bondi-born First Base is also a brand heavily invested in ensuring they are both sustainable and ethically produced. We had a catch up with Ali to find out why this is so important to her, as well as finding out a bit more about what drives her and the best piece of advice she ever received…
Hey there, who are you?
Ali Cotton, I’m the designer and founder of First Base.
What inspires you?
Surfing, the beach, friends, inappropriate things
What is your mantra?
Fall down 7 times, get up 8
Tell us the story behind First Base
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!
Tell us more about your focus on ensuring your brand is sustainable and ethically produced
I’m personally really invested in sustainability and want to do my part to reduce and hopefully reverse our impact on the planet. About 3 years ago is occurred to me that I didn’t really know how our supply chain was working or where things were being sourced etc. So I set about finding out and making changes to ensure that we were doing things the right way.
What do you want women to feel when they wear your clothes?
Just bloody good.
Where do you see First Base in 5 years?
Leading the pack in the sustainable sportswear space.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given to you?
Never take no for an answer and If you try to be everything to everyone you’ll end up being nothing to no one.
Do you have any advice for people starting their own fitness journey?
Just start. Don’t wait till tomorrow because tomorrow never comes.
What’s the one item every woman should have in their wardrobe?
A great white t-shirt
What are your style tips for dressing to the gym?
Make it count and make an effort with your work out outfit. When you look good, you feel better.
I love a good matching crop and legging but I also fall back on a classic black legging and a white tank.
What’s your go-to workout at the moment?
Yoga. It’s been a staple in my life for the last 10 years and has been a physical game changer for me.
How do you motivate yourself when you don’t feel like working out?
To be honest I probably just don’t work out when I feel that way!
Do you have any goals you would like to achieve?
So many. I’m passionate about us getting to a place where we can help other brands make changes to move towards sustainability.
Plus I’d like to swim in every ocean in the world – but that’s a weird personal goal.
How do you start your day?
It varies. Today I was hungover from an accidental party last night so it didn’t start well at all. It started with coffee and a croissant!
But preferably it starts with a swim or yoga before work and about half an hour at home by myself just listening to music and preparing myself for the day before the mayhem sets in.
What do you do to relax?
Sunbaking! Thats my favourite past time. Just hanging at the beach by myself and swimming, and reading and not talking to anyone.
What 3 things would you tell your younger self if you had the opportunity to…
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
You’ve got this.
You look cute in that outfit.
If there was a soundtrack to your life what song would be playing right now?
Frank Sinatra – That’s Life