When founder Grace Beverley shifted from fast fashion to more sustainable options in her everyday clothing, she found a host of responsibly made options in every category other than activewear. The activewear industry - despite booming - was completely underserved when it came to responsibly made alternatives, especially at a price point that wasn't eye-watering.
That's the idea that started TALA: If you could buy the same quality activewear at the same price, but made in an environmentally and socially conscious way, wouldn't you?
TALA is a female-led brand on a mission to make consciously-made active and off-duty styles accessible and inclusive, without sacrificing performance or fit. We exist to show the industry that better options are available, if and when you choose to shop.
The notion of sustainability in fashion itself is an oxymoron, which sparks complex debate entwined with systemic issues around privilege, consumerism, and capitalism. This means that sustainability is nuanced, and should be viewed as a fluid concept rather than one with black and white yes or no. That's why we limit the use of this word - whenever we can, we try to be more specific about our actions instead of merely saying we're sustainable.
For us at TALA, sustainability is a progressive journey; not an end destination. It is about making choices that demonstrate we can do better, as an industry.
Part of the Problem
Worldwide, the average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017).
It is estimated that more than half of the fast fashion produced is disposed of in under a year (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017).
Existing in the fashion industry, we recognise we are both part of the problem, as well as trying to be part of the solution. As a product-driven business, we rely on creating items that are profitable to disrupt the market to deliver options that are made responsibly, compared with industry alternatives. If we don't do this, it gives more space for unsustainable options to thrive as the only options in the marketplace. Given that people will shop, we want to be a better solution. We know that recycled materials aren't the perfect solution and we know there are complexities and multiple barriers to living more sustainable lifestyles and accessing sustainable products. But merely finding sustainable products you can trust shouldn't be so difficult.
Part of the Solution : Product
Our talented product design team and our trusted suppliers work together to create pieces that are versatile and made to last. We pride ourselves on creating wardrobe staples, to be thought-out investments to wear not just for one season.
At TALA, we release collections that are data-driven, and responsive according to what our TALA community wants. Being a social media-focused brand, we can understand Team TALA's likes and dislikes, and with every launch, we have learnings along the way to better inform our buying practices.
Our collections are carefully conceptualised and created, and made with recycled and naturally sourced materials. This is intended to reduce strain on the environment utilising pre- and post-consumer 'waste', turning this into valuable materials such as in SkinLuxe, DayFlex and Sculpt Seamless collections. Our 365 basics are made from wood pulp-based fibre sourced from sustainably managed forests, all of which are certified under strict guidelines.
You can read more about what all we’re doing with our design, fabric, and factories in section III. Product below.
Part of the Solution : Beyond Product
Packaging: We removed packing slips from all website orders in 2022- this removes 150,000 pieces of paper per year (and even our clothing tags are plantable!). We also have some exciting packaging updates happening in 2023. There are lots of options that look better optically, but might create more waste even when they say they’re better for the planet (eg: biodegradable packaging that actually takes thousands of years to biodegrade, and recyclable packaging that you can’t put in your home recycling). In our packaging refresh, we are considering each element to ensure that they are better in practice - stay tuned!
HQ: Our London office is run on 100% renewable energy and everyone at HQ uses public transport, walking or cycling to get to work (shout out to the cyclists). We work with a local eco-friendly dry cleaning and laundry service to clean clothing for all of our photoshoots. They use an innovative laundry process that recycles water and prevents over 95% of plastic microfibers from entering our oceans (they even collect and drop via bike!).
Circularity: We are continuously learning and striving to support driving a global shift, from the linear 'take, make, dispose of' economy, to a more circular economy. We believe circularity will be the future of fashion, and have some very exciting things happening in 2023 about circularity - more to come very soon!
That said, we also recognise there are practical barriers to making this industry shift. Some people may not want to rent or buy pre-owned activewear (shoutout to those that are happy to!). While we’re making strides towards offering a circularity option, we want to give people other options that help prevent people from having to switch back to less responsible alternatives. By creating items that consider our sustainability values right from design stage to end of life, we are working toward industry solutions that our community can stick to. We are incredibly grateful to our TALA community, for giving us the opportunity to push industry barriers; today and everyday.
We're always open ears to new ideas from our TALA community, so if you think we can do things better, please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org