Asquith is a sportswear brand with a difference. Yes, we and our community love this yogawear because it’s beautiful and feminine, feels supersoft and is great quality. But it is also a brand firmly grounded in sustainability and good business ethics - a perfect match for Sheer Apparel. We spoke to Asquith’s founder Alice.
What makes Asquith special?
Our collections are made with the best quality bamboo and organic cotton, which are chemical-free and sustainable. They also allow your skin to breathe naturally and don’t stretch, fade or bobble.
We’re the original athleisure brand designing activewear to live in. Our collections enhance yoga and Pilates practice but are also classic and elegant enough to wear everyday.
Why do you use bamboo for a lot of your garments?
A sustainable and environmentally low-impact fabric, bamboo grows faster and absorbs more carbon dioxide than hardwood trees. It’s ideal for activewear as it’s naturally anti-bacterial, breathable and wicks away sweat. It moulds to the body, providing excellent stretch capabilities and is particularly good for sensitive skin.
Ethical manufacturing is also a big deal to you. Where do you produce and why?
We produce our activewear collections in sunny southern Turkey. The 50-strong team enjoy a lovely, family-run factory – complete with roof terrace where they grow their own herbs for cooking lunches in their canteen.
Established 22 years ago by an amazing Turkish businesswoman, it has now expanded considerably but is still privately owned. They work with an impressive list of clients, including Paul Smith and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Most importantly to us every item of our yoga and Pilates clothing is ethically made there. The factory has GOTS organic certification and is a great place to work. Everyone is very happy; all employees have 9-5 working hours, paid holidays and love working with Asquith.
How do you ensure those high standards are kept up?
I have a brilliant production manager who looks after those standards, and I also visit the factory to see them in person.
You founded the brand in 2002, right as what we now call ‘fast fashion’ was really taking off. Did you ever feel under pressure to do what many other labels did and continually reduce costs of production?
No. I grew up with homemade clothing, made by my mother and grandmother, that I loved and treasured and fabric and quality that lasted. That still stands. I know that customers will always pay for style AND quality.
You have many enthusiastic customers across the world. Why do you think your business values go so well with Yoga?
Asquith is yoga, Pilates AND living in. You can really wear it for every day as well as for yoga. That’s the key. And they’re so comfortable and fee great to wear.
What are your hopes for 2017?
We've got exciting plans with new lines and launching on QVC, in France, selling more to Japan and working with so many wonderful spa, yoga and Pilates teachers and studio partners.
And I’m working on a lot of films for Asquith customers; we are a community and I want to share our amazing knowledge from teachers to chefs to health and nutrition experts.
Shop the beautiful Asquith collection here.
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