Interview with Alana Sorokin, Founder of Joseph & Alexander

Australian-born, London-based Alana Sorokin is the founder of Joseph & Alexander, a quirky, sustainable, durable fashion brand, laced with imagination. Having previously worked in estate and property at Knight Frank London, Sorokin credits elements of real estate specifically landscapes, architecture and interiors that she has drawn from and used as inspiration within the launch of the brand. She operates the brand consciously using recycled fabric from ocean plastics, eco-friendly ink and reusable packaging, each collection depicts awareness-raising narratives of minimising our environmental footprint, and having fun whilst doing so.

Let’s meet Alana Sorokin…

What is the story behind the brand Joseph & Alexander?

I grew up in Sydney and lived close to the beach for most of my early years, so I developed a deep appreciation for the environment. I felt compelled to launch a brand to make a “true difference” after learning of the devastating effects plastics have on our oceans. Through tons of research and study into the adverse effects of plastic pollution, I felt it only right to sustainably produce swimwear pieces from recycled bottles that have been found in the oceans. 

What inspired you to make consciously colourful swimwear derived from ocean plastics?

The most important thing for me was to create talking points on the problems plaguing the environment, especially around the younger generation and what better way to do so than with colourful, quirky pieces that can help start the conversation.

How are you able to share environmental consciousness in the region and among your customers? 

Every piece we create is done so, not just for style but with the intention to spark conversation among people on the many issues currently affecting our world. I make sure to align myself and the brand with like-minded groups, individuals etc that can help spread the message of sustainability. Earlier this year, I collaborated with a Middle Eastern artist and Environmentalist, Saif Chilmiiran, who shares similar views on how we as human beings need to improve our habits in order to live better lives and preserve the environment.

We know every Joseph & Alexander piece is made with the intention to spark conversation, what stories do the pieces tell? 

Even though each Joseph & Alexander piece tells a story – from “heavyweight”, which begs the question of who will carry the weight of the consequences from our garbage to “planting a seed”, which discusses the effects of deforestation, our main focus still remains spreading knowledge on plastic waste.

What can parents do to ensure kids live in a more sustainable world?

Knowledge is key – as we all become increasingly aware of the issues affecting our world, it is important to make changes to our daily lifestyle. Now, more than ever, parents need to educate themselves and their children on these issues and how best to combat them, even if just in the family unit.

How can kids get more involved in sustainable practices?

Having the kids apart of the change process in your household can help imbibe the necessary skills essential to better living. Try coming up with fun activities and creative games to get them involved. In my home, we have a rewards system – for every recycling chore done, my kids earn a bit of pocket money. With this incentive, they are more likely and willing to help out with tasks such as assisting with separating items for our home recycling centre. There are so many ideas out there, parents just need to find what works best for them and their kids.

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