Gymshark, the story…

This week, Ben Francis, the owner and creator of Gymshark released the first of his videos about the start of Gymshark. As a wearer of Gymshark and a follower of Ben on Instagram, I was definitely intrigued as how he created the current fastest growing brand.

The video shows that Ben clearly has a mind for business, which would have helped but it shows how he hand produced a lot of the beginning garments to kick start the business. The biggest turning point for Gymshark was after the Body Expo, with support from some of the bodybuilders he admired, the risk of investing in the expo paid off as they then had the most traffic on their website in the history of Gymshark.

The video is inspirational and really shows that if you want something, believe in it and really work for it, you can achieve it.

 

Check it out!

I own the flex leggings and they are unbelievably comfy, whilst really shaping your body and making your bum look fab! I will definitely be investing in more pairs.

– E x

Under Armour looking to open first UK store

Drapers reported that the US sportswear giant, is looking to expand into the UK market. Although Under Armour is currently has wholesale accounts and concessions, it is apparently looking to have a store in London.

In 2016, international sales for Under Armer were strong which is an indicator to why they want to make the move to bricks and mortar in the UK. Along with the huge growth in the athleisure trend – pretty much everyone has bought into this trend as the market grew 26.1% in 5 years.

Although I have heard of under armour, its generally from a male perspective and focused on the technology  but naturally, as a keen athleisure follower, I checked out their stuff. The price range is fairly similar to Nike – leggings around £40 with a variety of style aspects.

Whilst I am mainly an Adidas/Nike wearer in the gym, I am intrigued to try out some of Under Armours gear and watch follow how they break into the UK market.

– E x

 

 

Do you know where your clothes came from and the conditions within the factory?

Before I started studying Fashion Buying and Merchandising, where my clothes were sourced and who made them, wasn’t something I particularly questioned. Yes, when there was an incident in the news or a programme about it, I would hear the stories but when I was buying the clothes, I never thought about what people had to go through for me to have the item. Unfortunately, I think this is the case with most consumers across most age groups; especially with my generation who want an outfit to wear once, pop it on Instagram and then it’s pushed to the back of the wardrobe. I have become very interested where my clothes are from so I am now buying less and looking into companies before hand.

This week, Dispatches, on channel 4 released a half an hour documentary about working conditions and the wages within the textile factories in the UK. Some staff were being paid as low as £3 an hour, which is £4.20 below our living wage. The programme really shocked me as it was big names using these factories (whether they directly hired them or not, the clothes were still made under these conditions), such as New Look, River Island, Boohoo and Missguided. I would not have expected a factory within the UK to be able to get away with this kind of treatment and if this can happen in our country, imagine what is happening in third world countries or China who are churning out more and more clothes by the day.

The problem with ethical trading and trying to ensure your clothes come from a good source, is that although most retailers are signed up to the Ethical Trade Initiative, we continue to hear about mistreatment within the factories they are using. Usually, the response of the retailers is that they did not directly hire the company in question and that it was sub-contracted but should retailers with that much power not be able to make an impact of these people’s lives for the better and protect them?

Yesterday afternoon, MP quizzed leading retail giants on human rights responsibilities. It was queried that, if the company have broken the contract by sub-contracting, why do you not cut and run? Mike Barry, from M&S, replied that it would be the easy option because the contractor will just carry on doing it to the next person, so it is better for the retailer to try and work with the contractor to protect the workforce in the future.  – Report from Drapers.

Ethical trading is something that has become very interesting to me and I am aiming to try and make my generation a bit more aware of the impact of ‘fast fashion’.

– E x