Written by Dancer Vanessa Vince-Pang

As artists and creators we have never been singular creatives, but versatile, necessary and powerfully influential. Alice Williamson (founder of Design by Alice) is undoubtedly one of these multidimensional creatures that swims fearlessly forward towards her own compass, the core reasons to why reconnecting with Alice felt kindred, inspired and unquestionable.

We first connected 14 years ago as hopeful young dancers in training. Since then we have both successfully gone onto creating and performing works across the globe, working with some of the most renowned choreographers of our time. Over a decade later, I found myself in a mask, on a train and sat opposite Alice once more. We had much to share and were deep in conversations on route to a location to shoot ​Design By Alice’s launch of the ​‘Somefish’​ bodysuit. 

The shoot ran with fluidity, as we collaborated with generosity, honesty and without egoic preciousness. I quietly observed Alice continuously morph from director, to designer and photographer with ease. When reflecting on the success of the day, the moment reminded us of how crucial collaboration was to the continuing expansion and innovative thinking of artists. How this essential part gives life to sustaining the arts and cultural sector. Alongside this, the thought that had landed the most was just how similar our fundamental visions and missions were as artists. We shared principles that had roots in our passion for our home - Earth, its inhabitants - creatives and creation - art. We were both certified scuba divers with a conscious drive for the importance of conservation. 

8 million tons of plastic are thrown into the world's ocean every year and scientists estimate that there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans worldwide. The World Economic Forum projects that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. The DBA bodysuit is carefully crafted for the studio and sea, from fabric made from 78% recycled bottles, bottles recovered from our frighteningly polluted oceans. Alongside this, the watercolour, hand-painted, wearable art is digitally printed allowing for minimal waste to be achieved, and finally DBA is a UK based company, meaning short transport journeys and ethical fabric production. 

We as artists, creators and innovators, are ever evolving thinkers that have the power to influence perspectives. With a wider understanding into the urgency of conscious consumerism, let’s allow ourselves to reflectively question what we are buying into and who we are supporting practically, artistically and ethically. Everytime we choose to wear something as unique as the DBA’s bodysuit we are creators in the process of creation. We are wearing art, supporting artists, contributing to positive environmental change and the sustainable future of all of them.  

With a single bodysuit DBA has created sustainability for art, artists and the Earth. It is a joy to be sat here writing to you and sharing my memories of the the launch of the ‘somefish’ bodysuit, supporting sustainable environmental and ecological change. 

// On location with Alice in Kent //

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November 06, 2021