Brand story: Jilla Active!

We are so excited to have collaborated with Jilla Active to create our new collection of Beattitude branded activewear! We love that their pieces are designed right here in London and offer the perfect combination of quality, comfort and style.

To celebrate the launch we chatted to Olivia Mcguire, the creative force behind Jilla Active, to hear more about their story as a brand so far.

  • Q: As the creative force behind the brand, what inspires you most at Jilla Active?
A: I’m always looking at what people like to wear in yoga and fitness classes or when they are out running. I’m then inspired to create clothing which can slot into your activewear wardrobe as functional pieces but I also like to also offer more designed pieces which are unique and expressive. I want the quality and functionality to be the backbone of every piece so women enjoy wearing our clothing and keep coming back to it.
  • Q: How big is the Jilla team and what are your roles?

A: We’re such a small team. There are three of us working full time and then we often use freelancers to help out with graphic design. Being such a small team means that we have to really pull together and get involved in everything!

 

  • Q: What has been the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far in the journey of starting a new activewear brand?
A: It’s hard to choose just one so I’m including a few… Always be open to feedback and learn from it, taking the time to give excellent customer service is fundamental and don’t sweat the small stuff!
  • Q: What’s your favourite piece you have designed for Jilla so far and why?
A: I love it when you have honed in on a certain style over the season and have tweaked it to improve the fit or the functionality to create a really reliable item of clothing- they are my favourite pieces. I get very excited when we do lots of research and development into a new fabric or design and it finally launches.  Then you just have to hope people get behind it and love it too!
  • Q: What has been your proudest moment for the brand to date?
A: Seeing our collection in store in John Lewis was a very proud moment, if a little nerve wracking! We are now stocked in 5 John Lewis stores as well as online. Also finally seeing our new website up and running after a long build was very satisfying and reading such positive customer reviews is always so lovely and really makes a difference to how I feel about things.
  • Q: How important is sustainability and ethical standards in the activewear industry and what does Jilla do in particular to support this?
A: Incredibly important! Sustainable options and high ethical standards are now rightly expected from consumers as awareness has increased in this area. We make all our products from one medium sized, family run factory in China, which has very high ethical standards and I’ve visited the factory many times to work directly with the technicians to develop the range. We also consider the carbon footprint used in transport and always ship by sea rather than air. We’ve been looking into more sustainable solutions from our clothing to our packaging over the past couple of years. However, this doesn’t come without it’s challenges and in the past I’ve got very excited about a new material or fabric and then discovered that it’s not commercially available or suitable for seamless clothing. We now use recycled Polyester and Polyamide in the range, along with bamboo and organic cotton. In terms of packaging, we have reduced our packaging so that items are not individually wrapped and we use a paper envelopes. We are also transitioning from e-commerce mailing bags to kraft paper bags at the moment. This is a constantly evolving area and it’s so positive to see more sustainable options available now, which helps increase choice and supply for us when sourcing the raw materials, which can be a challenge for a small brand!
  • Q: You are a London-based brand at the moment, is this something that is important to you?
A: This is a really interesting question to reflect on in current times. Being a London based brand felt crucial to us as a start up. We have done so many events in London such as Fashion Revolution’s ‘Who Made Your Activewear’ or hosting yoga and fitness classes in London based studios, along with attending consumer shows (like Om Yoga and Balance Festival) or trade events. However, after this year with everything that has happened with Covid, those events have been cancelled and are happening less. So, whilst being in London is still part of our DNA, the office location feels less significant as more things move online.
  • Q: What is your favourite way to work out/ favourite fitness class?
A: I love vinyasa flow and yin yoga classes! During lockdown I’ve also been doing some strength focussed workout sessions that are struggle at the time but I know they are doing me good!
  • Q: What do you do to maintain a good work-life balance?
A: I have found that spending more time working from home has allowed me to maintain a good work-life balance as we gain so much time back from commuting and other general runnings around. I’ve found that life has become simpler with less travel and more exploring of our local areas. I know I have much more energy and have loved driving or cycling out into the countryside or coast for some much needed fresh air and open space! I’m quite good at switching off from emails in the evening and weekends, when you’ve been looking at a screen all day and I’m always keen to get outside to unwind.

You can shop our Jilla Active X Beattitude branded collection in the Beattitude club from w/c 19/10/20. 

Competition time!

To celebrate the launch of our new branded activewear collection, we’ve teamed up with Jilla Active to give you the chance to win a pair of their amazing leggings AND 10 class credits to use for our online live stream classes! Click here to be taken to our Instagram where you can find out more about how to enter.

Competition closes Friday 23rd October 2020.

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