4 min read time
Cheap, manufactured, unsustainable fabrics have long been the focus of the sportswear industry,...
4 Minute Read
Written by Weavabel, published 27/11/23 08:00
From its inception in May 2019, TALA has exploded on the sustainable sportswear scene. Generating £5.2 million worth of sales in its first year alone, offering a point of difference to the modern consumer has driven its success.
But how sustainable is TALA sportswear? And what initiatives does the brand have in place to change the landscape of fast fashion for good? We explore all in this blog.
Created by influencer and entrepreneur Grace Beverly in 2019, TALA has one clear mission that drives the business — developing sustainable sportswear that doesn’t compromise on performance, fit, quality and style, while still being affordable for the masses.
It’s generated from an understanding that fast fashion isn’t — and can never be — sustainable, so it’s time to offer realistic, attainable alternatives.
When considering sportswear, it’s not something you’d necessarily buy secondhand for hygiene reasons, which can limit the sustainability and circularity of many sustainable sportswear businesses.
TALA has capitalised on a gap in the market for a younger consumer making conscious purchases who wants to invest in quality clothing without harming the planet.
The brains behind TALA understand that in today’s world, you must do everything possible to prove you’re sustainable and not simply brandish broad greenwashing claims.
Here are some sustainable sportswear initiatives TALA is developing and investing in to become a business championing industry-wide change.
The biggest part of the sustainability equation is the product itself. Mass-produced apparel is inherently unsustainable, so how is TALA combatting this?
The products are versatile, made to last and far from as trend-driven as most fast fashion ranges. TALA sportswear garments are investment pieces, with basics in multiple colours to suit everyone. You’ll often find its products in capsule wardrobe trends aiming to limit hyperconsumerism.
TALA also develops products driven by data. As a social-first business, it has a large community it can draw insights from to create a range that meets the needs of its consumers, reducing the risk of poor selling products and waste.
The brand has a ‘no stock to landfill rule’, meaning it’ll never produce products specifically for a discount or promotional period. If products aren’t selling as well as expected, they’ll be discounted instead of wasted.
Sustainability starts right at the beginning of the supply chain, with the used materials. With sustainable sportswear, the performance of the materials is paramount. TALA has worked hard to develop materials that are eco-friendly as well as high-quality.
All the products always contain recycled content or naturally sourced materials, whether that be recycled nylon or a Tencel modal fabric made from beech tree pulp sourced from responsibly managed forests.
Recycled materials can often be vague, so TALA categorises its materials into post-consumer recycled fabrics from recycled clothing and pre-consumer recycled materials from factory offcuts and surplus fabrics.
While reusing sustainable sportswear isn’t to everyone’s tastes, TALA acknowledges that there's a market for it that should be recognised and opened up to deal with the issue of apparel waste.
That’s where the ReTALA initiative comes from. Customers can return their TALA items they no longer need or wear. TALA has partnered with Reskinned to resell, repurpose or recycle unwanted items, keeping them out of landfill. It’s an easy process for customers to follow and incentivised with discount vouchers.
Initiatives like these help facilitate the circular business model the brand aims to achieve.
Outside its product range, TALA also invests in initiatives that minimise waste and unsustainable practices throughout the supply chain.
In terms of packaging and trims, there are plantable swing tags on all of their products. They removed paper packaging slips in their parcels, eliminating 150,000 pieces of wasted paper annually.
It’s also open to exploring new packaging options, acknowledging that simply choosing a ‘biodegradable’ option that still takes hundreds of years to disintegrate isn’t good enough.
Other small wins that make a bigger impact include 100% renewable energy use at the TALA HQ and partnering with sustainable laundry services after product shoots.
While TALA has the right intentions, it’s entered a world filled with greenwashing claims and criticism, so how does it combat that?
It starts by acknowledging that it’s part of the problem by developing and selling products. Yes, it’s a product-driven business, but the ethos is to provide an alternative to traditional fast fashion brands and start giving realistic, sustainable solutions.
What’s more, it backs up its claims with stats, proof and traceability. TALA offers sustainable sportswear in an industry where it’s often difficult to find the truth.
So, what does the future hold for TALA sportswear? Although the brand has started on a good foot, there's still a way to go and its ambitions are impressive.
It’s continuously investing in new ways to become a truly circular business, eliminating and minimising waste at every opportunity. It’s doing this by always keeping sustainability front of mind in all the decisions made.
New packaging options are also on the horizon to further develop its sustainable polybags and paper packaging range.
In short, TALA is headed in the right direction. As long as it keeps carrying on the same path and always prioritising the planet over popularity, the brand can change the perception of fashion for good.
Are you interested in learning more about sustainable sportswear brands? Then head over to our sportswear page, where you can find out everything there is to know.
Want to keep up to date with industry developments, trends, product launches and more? Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest delivered to your inbox.