What happens when you see a gap missing an in industry that you excel at, that meets with a personal vision on how you would like to see environmental change happen? You start your own thing. That is exactly what Iris Alonzo and Carolina Crespo did after they left a shifting American Apparel. Clients from wholesaling asked Iris and Carolina how they could continue to get their shirts after AA changed their internal structure, still wanting to work with an ethical company, so Iris and Carolina founded Everybody.World. Creating the brand has been unique to the fashion industry. When they wanted to produce clothing with a completely recycled cotton fabric, and found that there was no such option, they made their own. The Trash T is by far my most favorite T shirt I have ever worn, it's incredibly soft, fits me well, and leaves my conscious feeling amazing. The collaborations that they do may be my most favorite part. It could be a stranger on the street with great style or Michelle Obama's stylist, it doesn't matter. When they find someone who inspires them, they curate a piece together and sell via a profit share model. I love that there has actually been collabs with old dudes who have amazing old dude style that hang out on their street and have since designed pieces for them. To me, that's community. I sat down with Iris to hear her side of the story and get the details on what she wanted to be as a child, as well as why she does what she does.
Who are you and what do you do ?
I am Iris Alonzo
Co founder and Creative director of Everybody.World.
What is Everybody. World?
Everybody.World makes ethical, eco friendly, and useful things for all kinds of people.
Why do you make your work?
It started at survival and ended up being because I really felt that there was a gap in the market. There is a lot of improvement in the industry. We saw a lot of these companies like Titanic’s headed toward the same iceberg. We felt that now was a time to try something different.
What do you believe in?
I really believe in equality for all human beings and I really believe in protecting the planet.
One thing you say Yes to.
Spontaneous weekend trips.
One thing you say No to.
How would you describe your personal routine?
I would say it’s consistently inconsistent, but : I meditate in the morning when I wake up, I floss my teeth ( three times a day ), I make a pretty good homemade almond milk, so I make a really strong French roast with that and honey mixed in each morning.
What did you want to be as a child?
First I wanted to be an executive. I didn’t even know what it meant to be one, I just knew that my dad was - but when I evolved out of wanting to be what my parents were, I told my mom that I wanted to work in fashion and I wanted someone to pay me to have good ideas. She was like, okay fashion is one thing but paying you to have good ideas is not a job. I was like well, that’s what I want to do. Later, I found out that was a creative director - and now that’s what I am! Your subconscious knows if you can envision where you kind of want to be, I think we send ourselves in that direction.
Can you remember one solid piece of advice that you’ve gotten for the growth of your business.
Yes, a good one was “fake it till you make it”. Even in the beginning, a big company would come to us and tell us they wanted to manufacture a large amount of something. Caroline and I would look at each other and and wonder how we would make it. We had to keep reminding ourselves that , first of all YES we can make that, and secondly if they came to us it’s because they want us to make it for them. So , fake it ‘till ya make it.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
There’s someone that I haven’t reached out to and that’s someone I would love to do something with. That’s Doctor Sylvia Earle.
She’s an oceanographer, I think she’s about 90 now. I have dreamed about doing a swimsuit with her, where we can utilize using waste from the ocean. I think she’s just a really cool lady.
Who is one person in culture that you feel is making positive and inspiring change?
This is a tough one to narrow down because there are so many people speaking up for what they believe is right. I am a big fan of Aaron Philip, the rising model who is also trans and disabled. I love her style, humor, and outlook.