NEW DISCOVERY: A SUSTAINABLE SPORTSWEAR BRAND, ADRENNA

I love New Year resolutions, making them fills me with determination and focus. Each year is usually different, but there’s always one resolution that keeps recurring year after year: Getting Fit. I used to love dancing and working out, but somehow life got in the way and for the last 10 years sport wasn’t a priority anymore. Fast forward all the years plus one lovely 5-year-old kid and I feel like this year is THE year that I’ll get fit. I’m not seeking an amazing model figure, although to tighten things up would be kind of cool. I just hope to feel more energetic and happy.

I analyzed the reason I failed this resolution year after year and this is my conclusion: I didn’t have the proper motivation. So this year I’m doing things differently in the hope that I’ll stick to this resolution for the whole year: I got myself new workout gear to motivate myself!

NEW DISCOVERY: A SUSTAINABLE SPORTSWEAR BRAND, ADRENNA

My new workout outfit from a sustainable sportswear brand, Adrenna

It was a bit of a challenge to find a sustainable sportswear brand that produces not only high quality but also pretty clothes. And then I found it: Adrenna! I fell in love with their simple lines, quality fabrics and minimalist design. When my outfit arrived, there was no turning back, and I booked my first Zumba (!) class. While you enjoy the pics from my class, let me share with you my chat with the amazing woman behind Adrenna, Julie Ngov:

What inspired the name Adrenna?

“Adrenna” is inspired by “adrenaline”.  While adrenaline is known as the fight or flight response hormone, we adopted the name Adrenna to empower women to achieve their goals and ambitions, no matter their fears and no matter how their body is responding in that situation.

warming up before the Zumba class with the instructor, Anastasia

warming up before the Zumba class with the instructor, Anastasia. Photo: Nooria Shafqat Photography

In what way are you trying to make your product sustainable? How and where are your garments made?

Adrenna tackles sustainability from several angles:

  • Customisable and made in the UK: All our garments are made in the UK, in London.  We developed a system in close cooperation with our very supportive manufacturer where we place orders for small runs, or they will help us make custom garments as and when the orders come in.  Customers place an order via our website – this can be from our pre-existing style range, or customers can customize features such as color combinations and legging lengths to create their unique gym wardrobe – and their garments are delivered within a 10 to 21 day time period.
  • Process: We only produce custom orders (with just-in-time manufacturing) or items in micro-production runs (quantities of 10 or less).  In doing so, we are dramatically reducing our waste and only hold a very limited amount of stock at any one time.
Wearing Core Leggings and Core Long sleeve T-Shirt by Adrenna

My sustainable sportswear: Wearing Core Leggings and Core Long-sleeve T-Shirt by Adrenna. Photo: Nooria Shafqat Photography

  • Materials: We only use quality sports performance fabrics and suppliers that believe in sustainability and we try to source as close as possible to our manufacturing facility.  Our current suppliers are based in Italy (Eurojersey and Carvico), and we only use fabrics that are Oeko-Tex certified, meaning there are no toxic chemicals that may be harmful to you.  We are looking at moving to Bluesign certified fabrics for our next range.

Zero-waste: Our patterns are designed to reduce as much cut-off as possible, but we collect all our cut-offs in any case and are speaking with our manufacturers about developing them into sports underwear, hair ties and sweatbands.  There is also something exciting in the pipeline – we have bought up bolts of sports performance fabric that has been dumped by another brand and we will be repurposing this “deadstock” fabric into a limited edition range for Adrenna at some point in January 2018.

Amsterdam Zumba class has started!

My Zumba class at the “Asics Amsterdam community space” has started! Still full of energy, naively believing that “I can do it”. Photo:Nooria Shafqat Photography

  • Sourcing and carbon footprint: The fashion supply chain is fascinating for several reasons.  One of the issues I have with it is the distances that garments have to travel before reaching the end consumer.  While this cannot always be avoided given the nature of e-commerce, we try to minimize it by sourcing components as close to home as possible to reduce the distances traveled.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

A lot of my design, style and color choices are drawn from my experiences and memories of Australia. I am also a fan of timeless, clean and minimalist designs, because these are the garments that you will turn to, time and time again – another sustainability goal for Adrenna.

Half way through the Amsterdam Zumba class

This was about halfway through the Zumba. I loved the fact that it was an all-woman class and that I felt comfortable to take my T-shirt off. I was wearing the Core Sports Bra, it was so beautiful, but I don’t think I would dare to take my T-shirt off in a mixed class…yet… maybe after a year of working out :). Photo: Nooria Shafqat Photography

What are your dreams for the future of your brand?

I created Adrenna to push the boundaries of sportswear and fashion to create a more sustainable world in an era of finite resources.  My dream is that Adrenna will lead the way in making sustainability and ethical practices the norm, such that it will simply be a part of the process for all brands, not just the eco-friendly boutique brands.

My workout: Zumba with Anastasia

Since I haven’t really worked out in the last 10 years, I decided to start slow and join a Zumba class (because I love dancing, even if dancing doesn’t love me back). Zumba was tougher than I expected, but I loved the energy and the music. Oh, and another awesome thing about this class was that all ages and sizes are welcome. It was like being at a party where you don’t notice how you burn the calories away. If you are ever in Amsterdam I highly recommend that you join this class and experience Anastasia’s energy for yourself. And if you do come, let me know and I’ll join you!

done with my workout: Zumba with Anastasia

Done with my workout! Photo: Nooria Shafqat Photography

My Asics

So here’s the thing about a sustainable workout shoe: there are none (at least that I know of). Sure, there are quite a few sustainable brands that produce beautiful street sneakers (hello Veja), but these shoes are not suitable for any kind of sports activity. I always loved Asics trainers and since venturing into sustainability, I thought: “Man, I’ll have to give up my Asics”. So you can imagine my joy when upon checking up Asic’s website I discovered that they have an array of sustainability and social programs. More than that, every year Asics releases annual sustainability reports that provide open, transparent information about their sustainability performance. This way I can keep track of how Asics is doing, and learn about their most recent sustainable activities. Needless to say, I’ll be enjoying my hot pink trainers for a few years to come!

my pink GEL-QUANTUM 360 SHIFT MX trainers

My pink beauties, GEL-QUANTUM 360 SHIFT MX trainers!

Do you have a favorite brand? Find out on their site about their sustainability status. A lot of brands are taking steps into sustainability these days, maybe your favorite brand does as well. Are you happy with their sustainability or ethical efforts? Let them know, drop them a line on their social media, tell them how we, as a customer, find it important. Keep buying their merchandise to let them know you are supporting their efforts. Did you not find any info on the sustainability programs on your favorite brand’s site? Let them know! Write them an email, comment on their social media, boycott their merchandise. Remember, we are the ones who make the change by voting with our wallets. Knowledge is power.

We are the ones who make the change by voting with our wallets. Knowledge is power.

Do you work out? Tell me about your favorite work out video or program and I’ll give it a go.

13 Comments
  • January 25, 2018

    Very cute. I will need to check Adrenna out and your shoes also. Thanks for the review.

  • January 25, 2018

    Sounds like a fantastic company. I really plan on getting more exercise in this year so I need some more workout clothes. I don’t really have much at all!!

    -Lauren

  • Neely Moldovan
    Reply
    January 25, 2018

    Totally checking this out! The clothes look super cute!

    • February 6, 2018

      Absolutely let me know if you have any questions, Neely.

      Julie

  • January 26, 2018

    Nice!I never heard of them, quite privey but I can live with that if they’re sustainable and good quality…I love lululemon but I’m not impressed with their business sustainability story.

  • January 27, 2018

    Good for you! Zumba isn’t super fun.

  • January 31, 2018

    “a bit pricey indeed, but what I like besides the sustainability (which is so important to me) is that I won’t quickly see another girl wearing the same outfit. Smaller brands do cost more since it’s much cheaper to make a large volume of clothes but I like the “exclusive” feeling I’m getting from wearing them” Love this comment of yours Victoria.
    As a social innovator, who is passionate about promoting sustainability through colourful unique fabrics small slow fashion is beautiful though it sometimes hard to get that visibility. Thanks for your blog and supporting small sustainable brands and expressing that cost alone should not be the ultimate deciding factor

    • February 6, 2018

      Thanks Christy, we love hearing this as well! We’re working hard on collection two and would welcome any thoughts or feedback. Julie (Adrenna)

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xx Victoria