This post was sponsored by Asquith London, a brand I already loved! All thoughts my own.
That title, my friends, is no exaggeration. Having recently won the Asquith Adores Blogger Award for ethical/sustainable blogger (can you believe?!), and having been a wearer and lover of this brand for a while now, it seemed only fitting to finally shed some light on the wonderful world of workout gear from Asquith London.
Because I trained in contemporary dance, nearly all of my workout gear has been leotards and cycling shorts for most of my life. While these may be perfect for an arabesque or some Graham floor work, they’re not exactly suited to the gym. Over the past year I started expanding my exercise schedule to include a whole variety of new classes beyond dance, which also meant I really needed some gym gear that was actually appropriate to what I was doing. I had some secondhand running shoes from a friend who wasn’t using them, plus a couple of secondhand pairs of leggings, but it wasn’t enough when I started upping my game.
It was at this point when Asquith London first came into my life. Established in 2002, they’re an athleisure brand with ethics and sustainability at their core, who prioritise creating activewear that can be worn every day, from the studio to the street. As a company they’re passionate about promoting a holistic approach (my favourite kind), and moving to a more gentle and ethical way of living. And here are the reasons why my love affair with them is likely to last a lifetime.
organic cotton and bamboo pilates leggings available here, bras available here, shoes secondhand
Ethical & Inclusive
All Asquith London’s collections are made in a family-run factory in southern Turkey. The factory was established 22 years ago by a Turkish businesswoman, and has since gone on to work with an impressive client list. Over the years it has expanded, but is still privately owned, and the 50-strong team work a 9-5 day, receive paid holiday and are treated well. You can see photos of Alice, Asquith’s founder, alongside the workers here, which is always a sign that a brand isn’t greenwashing and is committed to transparency and ethical production.
The factory also has GOTS organic certification; a thorough certification which both guarantees that workers are treated well and there’s no slavery in the supply chain, alongside requirements that the actual textiles, dyes and packaging are all eco-friendly, low impact, organic and post-consumer recycled or FSC certified. The factory building even has a roof terrace where they grow their own herbs for cooking lunches in their canteen! Additionally, Asquith London don’t use animal products and don’t use products tested on animals.
Beyond the ethical treatment of workers, Asquith London also think about the treatment of their customers too. The availability of plus size options in sustainable fashion (and the fashion world in general) has been hotly debated, but it’s abundantly clear that the demand is there, if the supply would meet it. Asquith specifically addresses the need for more plus size options; their XXL sizing can fit up to a UK size 20, and their designs are also perfect for maternity and post-partum bodies too. Their clothes come with looser, supportive options and in fabrics that have excellent stretch capabilities, making them ideal for normal humans with bodies that change and fluctuate over time. Plus their organic and non-toxic credentials are the perfect way to avoid chemical laden fabrics during pregnancy too.
camouflage yoga clothes available here, shoes secondhand
top my own (secondhand of course), trousers sold out but other organic cotton and bamboo pilates pants available here
Non-Toxic, Breathable, Super Soft
This creation without pesticides and synthetic chemicals is also extremely important to me. Pesticides are democratic in the damage they cause: they poison up to 25 million farmers per year and cause a range of issues including cancer, harming reproductive and immune systems, hurting fetal development, damaging the nervous system, neurological problems, and respiratory issues. They don’t simply disappear once your clothes reach you, Greenpeace has found toxic chemicals including phthalates, Azo dyes, PFCS, and heavy metals such as lead and chromium, in the products of multiple mainstream brands. These chemicals can be absorbed through our skin (also known as dermal absorption), and our absorption rate can increase by 50% when sweating. This basically means that, whatever toxic chemicals we absorb from regular clothes from mainstream brands, we absorb twice as much from our gym clothes. So it makes sense to opt for sustainable and gentle fabrics instead, fabrics that won’t harm our planet, won’t harm workers, and won’t carry toxins to be absorbed by us either.
When it comes to their fabrics, Asquith London have also developed a specifically trademarked performance fabric that blends organic cotton, sustainably sourced bamboo and a small amount of elastane for stretch. Alongside their cotton being GOTS certified their other fabrics are also Oeko-Tex certified, which means they have a low carbon footprint and biodegradable fibres. They’re also designed to be much more durable and long lasting than high street options, making them more sustainable as they last for longer too. Their fabrics are naturally anti-bacterial and breathable while also wicking away sweat, providing brilliant stretch without losing shape, moulding to the body, and not fading or bobbling.
But, on top of all of that, they just feel better.
organic cotton sweatshirt available here
So far I’ve worn Asquith London’s pieces for yoga and pilates (of course), HIIT, boxing, dance, weights, cardio, and my driving lessons (because I get stressed and having comfortable, easy clothes gives me one less thing to worry about). When past workout clothes may have led me to overheat or feel uncomfortable, Asquith’s designs really are the most breathable I’ve ever come across. I normally get so hot when I exercise, and I used to find leggings restrictive and uncomfortable, but their form fitting designs breathe and move so freely that I’m able to just focus on what I’m doing. They fit the form incredibly well, never slipping or causing problems, and they support and hug the body with ease. I no longer arrive home overtired and boiling hot, desperate to get my leggings off. They just breathe so much better than anything else I’ve owned or tried.
Most noticeable of all is how soft these clothes are. They’re so incredibly comfy that you don’t mind having them on all day, which has actually led to me wearing them around my house most of the time. The feel of their clothes is such a marked difference from synthetics of the past that I honestly don’t think I could ever go back. They’re certainly a little pricier, but they’re also more effective, more durable, and kinder to the earth, its inhabitants, and our bodies. And with pieces this versatile and so well performing this brand just make sense for me. I love exercise, it’s a really valuable part of my life, and I want to make sure I extend that value to what I wear and how I treat myself. So Asquith London truly are the ones for me.