Disrupting the activewear industry: TALA
Tala has become a market leader in just over 2 years by providing sustainable women’s activewear and powerful influencer marketing.
Stephen Sunley, Customer Service and Operations Manager, talked us through how the brand has achieved enormous growth in such a short space of time, their stance on sustainability, and some of the challenges the brand has faced.
Like the rest of the fashion industry, the activewear market was saturated with fast-fashion brands, that were not environmentally focused. This is where Tala founder, Grace Beverley, spotted a niche and decided to disrupt the activewear industry by supplying gym wear made from sustainable materials but also ensuring the products were of the highest quality, to reduce the enormous environmental footprint the production of clothes has, as well as satisfying customers.
Stephen Said: “Activewear was one of the last areas to get touched by sustainability and the reason behind that is that it is really difficult to make a sustainable product that can withstand the stretch and strength that is needed in the gym. So we launched in 2019 with our core range of products and they carry a 92% recyclable material and that product is still going out and we have just added to this and built.”
The last few years have been difficult for many businesses, with Brexit and the pandemic causing supply chain issues, product shortages and employee absences – not to mention gyms being closed down for many months! This posed a number of challenges to an activewear brand looking to do things differently, so how did Tala overcome these obstacles?
“We have got quite a specific area in terms of sustainable women’s activewear but that’s a huge market. Through the pandemic, everyone was getting fit at home even though we couldn’t go to the gyms, people still wanted activewear to exercise in so we had a really busy period.”
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From the foundations, sustainability was really at the heart, that was the reason the brand was founded, so that has to go through everything we do. So we have to look at our choice of carriers, how accountable we are with our factories in terms of their environmental credentials and the packaging we’re using. It has to carry all the way through for us to be true to our values for sustainability.- Stephen Sunley, Customer Service and Operations Manager
Sustainability has become increasingly more important and brands like Tala have helped to bring the issue to the forefront of consumers as well as business leaders minds. Tala has shown that creating environmentally friendly products does not have to come at a sacrifice to quality and creating a sustainably-conscious brand does not have to come at the cost of growth.
“One of the problems that comes with being big on social media is that as well as demand that drives the business that’s brought us to grow to where we are now, we are accountable, our customers can share their products and share their experiences online very quickly. From the foundations, sustainability was really at the heart, that was the reason the brand was founded, so that has to go through everything we do. So we have to look at our choice of carriers, how accountable we are with our factories in terms of their environmental credentials and the packaging we’re using. It has to carry all the way through for us to be true to our values for sustainability.”
Sustainability and the brand’s core values has inspired millions of customers to join Tala on their journey of a healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle which has propelled the brand to the forefront of leading activewear products. But Tala has also benefited from their founder, Grace Beverley, who is a social media influencer with over 1m followers on Instagram.
“That’s really where we started, so we started from the influencer base and as we continue to grow, they still play a huge part. I think that’s true for any brand now, they will have influencers, they will have some level of social media marketing but for us it feels even if we didn’t need that it would be wrong not to have it as it’s a true part of who we are. We have a great team of models who we use on the shoots and we have some great affiliates and even the models when they’re not on the shoots will be checking in to see how we’re doing and still buying the products from the launch – we have some great people we work with and helped us.”
Growing your story and focusing on your marketing is so key for any brand looking to scale up and there are few who have done this better than Tala. They focused on what they were brilliant at in developing high-quality sustainable activewear products and marketing.
James and James Fulfilment
It all began in 2010, when James Hyde and James Strachan couldn’t find a modern shipping service for the eCommerce business they ran. Faced with messy warehouses based on out-dated systems, they decided to build their own.
We’ve not stood still since, helping hundreds of online brands scale up – and scaling with them.
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