Our Product/Service

The purpose of Alessa’s Boutique is to merge sustainable Western and South Asian fashion, so it becomes accessible and affordable.

We source our products via private sellers, vintage shops, markets, charity shops and online marketplaces and suppliers. 

Each item of clothing sourced is inspected to ensure the highest standards and finished accordingly. This includes removing loose threads, improving loose and unfinished stitching, repairing gaps or tears. All clothing is cleaned and steamed. Some of the items are handmade or hand-stitched, making some of them absolutely unique one-offs.

Alessas’s Boutique includes providing a personal shopper experience, this means we will provide a personalised and customised service. Our customers can inform us of their preferences and we will then find that perfect item for them. We also provide a fitting service where customers can have their clothing tailored to their needs, ensuring an excellent fit. You can sit, drink tea, and chat with friends or connect with other shoppers as well. We want to create a joyful and meaningful experience that you can take away with you and share that positivity with others.

Our Community

Sunderland and the North East are culturally diverse and we value this diversity and celebrate it through fashion and community. We want to reach women from all walks of life, from those who rarely go out or have language and cultural barriers, who lack confidence in engaging with others, mothers, wives, stay-at-home parents to those who are upwardly mobile, have busy careers or run their own businesses and are independent and confident. The clothing and accessories we wear, often forms part of our cultural identity and we want to share and celebrate those differences.

We want to engage individuals from all backgrounds, to allow for discussions on fashion and body confidence. We want to be a conduit to dispel misconceptions of what individuals can and cannot wear and to provide a place to seek advice and support from like-minded individuals.

We love our planet and everything that’s in it. We preserve that, we preserve ourselves. 

With that in mind we could perhaps start by purchasing preowned products, especially clothing and jewellery.

We love our environment which is why we are not precious about where our customers go, to buy preowned products as long as you are purchasing them, you are playing your part in reducing our impact on the environment. However, to us sustainability means looking after people as well.

So how are we doing this?

We are collaborating and networking with local businesses, CICs, Charities, Colleges, Universities. We are promoting services and products ranging from the health and wellbeing sector to education, food, fashion, hair, animals, and everything else in between. We want to empower and support the community as a whole. By doing so we strengthen individuals, groups and ourselves. We want to operate within the community rather than be a bystander business. We want to be involved in everyday practices of the community. We began this business as we identified a gap in the market in Sunderland. On our journey in developing these ideas, we identified a number of other social aspects of the community that we felt we could deliver through our business. However this became too big a part of the business and so we decided to split the main social aspects of our business off and created a social enterprise Women’s Community Boutique.

Our products are either recycled, reused, repurposed, reclaimed, or a combination of all those things. Most of our preowned products such as People Tree, Anita Dongre, Anokhi are already sustainable brands, We also have handmade and unbranded products, and clothing that have been adjusted by hand. As a result they may not have fabric content or care labels. 

Our target customers are women. Our role in all of our upcoming projects is how we support women with body positivity and body confidence through our sustainable fashion range. Through our western infused south asian clothing we want to bring out the creativity in women with all our array of colours and designs. We want to create a space where discussions can be had, about embracing all fashion as their own and valuing the origins of all fashion items. Our boutique is a space where women from all backgrounds can get together and try on clothes that will enable them to feel good about themselves. Our customers model our clothes. Through photoshoots and fashion shows and opening them up to other services and products, we are empowering them to reach their full potential and they help others in the process. 

Alessa’s Boutique provides a base for Women’s Community Boutique CIC. The Community Interest Company will play a key part in the physical and psychological wellbeing of our customers which will benefit the wider community. By being a conscientious business, conscious of our impact on the environment and people, we believe our products will sell themselves. We believe if we also support and empower individuals, we will create conscientious consumers who will continue to support our business to remain sustainable. This means we continue to sell at an affordable price, that’s sustainable for the customers. We continue to sell our products, that’s sustainable for the environment. We continue to generate revenue that’s sustainable for us as a business. In order to be truly sustainable we as a business recognise the value of working and supporting one another in the community. We do this through Women’s Community Boutique because we recognise the power in empowering others helps us to be successful in all our endeavours. 

Our Environment

Our aim is to contribute to a sustainable and ethical fashion industry. We don’t want our environment to continue to pay the price for our fashion choices. We want to work with the environment by recycling and sourcing our products responsibly. We value each and every one of our products, we care about where they come from and where they are going. We want them to be appreciated. Because our products are mostly pre-owned, they have stood the test of time and because we have carefully selected them, there is no compromise on quality. 

Our Label ‘Alessa’s Boutique’ on garments and other items is to create provenance. If you see an Alessa’s Boutique label on an item, it means we have recycled, reused, reclaimed, repurposed and then redistributed it. We want to create a timeline for our products through our customers sharing their experiences with our clothes and then either passing them on or returning them to us. We want our items to be used to their maximum potential.

We will run and identify workshops that will contribute to reducing and minimising wastage, such as ‘Make Do and Mend’, to help customers maintain, or repurpose their clothing to get full use out of it.

Our packaging will be kept to a minimum. Customers will be asked to bring their own bags. Bags we provide will be biodegradable. Hang tags and stationery will be made out of recycled paper with seeds embedded into it, which means once the customer has finished with it, they can place it into soil and grow flowers, rather than add to landfill.

The environment is not ours to use and exploit, it’s there to be embraced and loved. We want to show respect to our social and physical environment by sharing and minimising production of new clothing. We want everyone to embrace every type of clothing as if it’s their own. To show it off as a valued item, to appreciate its full potential and cultural history. We want our clothes to be thought provoking, to be a conversation point exploring the cultural side and the origins of an item or discussing the environmental impact of our love for fashion.

Our aim is to align the shared positive values that many of us are now choosing to live by, with our material items. We want to be transparent with our customers and we want our customers to know that we are not just selling a concept. Everything we do, from sourcing to selling, to engaging and interacting with customers and businesses has our values and concepts imbibed in them.

We are continuously reassessing our business to identify where we can improve on sustainability, our environmental impact, social  and community engagement.