For many women, activewear is all about compromise: You can either look trendy but lack support, or find items that enhance your body yet are basic and boring.
And if all that isn’t hard enough, then you actually need to get motivated to work out!
One brand that claims to be bridging the gap, however, is KIHT Collective – a Manchester-based group that says it’s creating ‘ethical gymwear for babes who care’.
The ethos of the company is to use fabrics that support performance while creating trendy designs – all-the-while being sustainable.
Danielle, the brains behind KIHT, began her work in the fashion industry as a designer in some of the city’s biggest fast fashion brands. But instantly, she knew it wasn’t the right fit for her.
“Seeing and visiting factories in China and Bangladesh VS the glossy shoots, it just never sat well with me”, says Danielle.
“I just felt it should be different”.
Combining this passion for ethical clothing options and her love for health and fitness, Danielle was inspired to launch KIHT.
She believes that gymwear shouldn’t be a struggle between being fashionable or staying fit, and her brand was formed in response to the lack of affordable pieces.
“At the time, the only things on offer were not very feminine and covered in awful logos, unless you could afford to spend £100 on a pair of leggings,” she tells us.
Danielle is also eager to prove that activewear isn’t exclusive for workout sessions, as their versatile, comfortable pieces – with squat-proof compression fabrics and adorable designs – styled for everyday wear.
But most important to her of all is creating a sustainable, transparent brand that customers can trust – with KIHT aiming for a low carbon footprint, ethical sourcing and using factories that don’t support wage labour.
“[I wanted] to create clothing to withstand a sweaty gym session, but makes you feel so good, you wanna wear it all the time!” says Danielle.
“And I wanted to try and give more people the choice to make a sustainable decision.”
You can shop the entire collection of stylish sportswear over on the KIHT website.
KIHT is also collaborating with TreeSisters to plant a tree with every purchase that is made.
A two-day sustainable fashion event is coming to the Trafford Centre
A two-day sustainable fashion event is coming to Manchester shopping complex the Trafford Centre this month,
The leading shopping and leisure destination will champion circular fashion, environmentally conscious fashion and new season trends with a selection of pre-loved fashion sales, ticketed live expert talks and spectacular fashion shows.
Aiming to inspire shoppers to reinvent their wardrobe whilst championing brands that are taking more steps to adopt greener practices, Trafford Centre will come alive with spectacular fashion shows and dance fusion performances whilst showcasing key A/W trends from the centre’s vast array of fashion retailers.
The public can also expect pre-loved fashion sales from We Are Second Life, whilst ticketed live expert talks will be hosted in-store by Selfridges. Meanwhile, styling sessions will be hosted by John Lewis, with support from charity partner, Smart Works, championing sustainable initiatives.
Zoe Inman, Centre Director at Trafford Centre, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting a 2-day fashion extravaganza at Trafford Centre; an opportunity to showcase the incredible range of fashion brands on offer, whilst highlighting brands that are championing sustainable initiatives.
“The centre will come alive with fantastic entertainment, inspiring shows, and informative talks, whilst also giving the public the opportunity to purchase pre-loved items – we are looking forward to delivering another huge-scale event that continues to escape the ordinary.”
Across the two days, specially-choreographed fashion shows will take place in The Main Dome, championing the themes of re-wearing and restyling whilst also showcasing the latest A/W trends.
A team of eight young dancers from troop Dance Fusion will also be on hand performing a high-energy routine to entertain shoppers alongside the diverse fashion shows.
Elsewhere, Selfridges will host X3 ‘in conversation with’ live talks focused on its Materials, Models and Mindsets pillars as part of the wider ‘refashioned’ event.
And Smart Works, a UK female employment charity that dresses and coaches women for interviews and job success, will partner with John Lewis to offer styling sessions in the department store’s dedicated styling lounge.
Tickets for the Smart Works styling are priced at £10 per person. As part of the experience, customers will be treated to a glass of prosecco on arrival, a John Lewis goodie bag and an interactive session of styling from both Smart Works Greater Manchester and John Lewis, with all funds going to support the Smart Works Greater Manchester charity.
Smart Works Head of Wardrobe Trustee, Kay Barratt said: “We use fashion as a force for good, with our dressing room stocked with pre-loved and new clothing to dress women in preparation for their interviews.
“Shopping your wardrobe, learning how to take pieces from one season to the next and mixing pre-loved and vintage has never been more in fashion. We look forward to sharing styling tips and tricks at Trafford Centre’s refashioned event that will not only save the planet, but also your pocket too.”
A huge new luxury trainer and menswear store has opened inside the old Paperchase
High-end men’s fashion retailer END. Clothing has just opened a new store in Manchester, taking over the old Paperchase site with two stories of luxury streetwear, high end sneakers and sought-after labels from Japan.
The stationery retailer closed its doors here in 2020 after the company collapsed into administration, leaving its old home vacant. Now END. has moved in, and following extensive refurbishments, it opened to the public this weekend.
Gone is the old mezzanine and the reams of wrapping paper. In its place, the store now boasts triple-height ceilings and a monolithic pallete of premium marble, concrete, stainless steel, glass, mirror and maple.
Inside, shoppers canl find a range of high-end menswear brands including Carhartt, Moncler, Rick Owens, Gucci, Off-White and Balenciaga, with selections spread across two floors.
With a large footwear section offering everything from high end sneakers and casual boots to sliders and sandals to high-end accessories, clothing and lifestyle items, this is the place to get your winter fits.
The ground floor houses END.’s contemporary menswear brands alongside a selection of sought-after Japanese labels. It will also feature an extensive lifestyle section alongside a ‘wellbeing space’ filled with premium skincare, fragrance and cosmetic products.
Upstairs, the first floor will house END.’s largest sneaker offering to date alongside a wide array of luxury, streetwear and skate labels, and a dedicated ‘launch zone’ events space.
The new opening is the first site in the north west for the brand, which already has two stores in Newcastle, one in Glasgow and another in London.
“Manchester has been high on our list for a long time.” Commented Parker Gundersen, CEO for END.
“We have a very strong community here already who have been asking us to build a physical store for many years.
“When we finally found this building, we knew we had an amazing space that would allow us to create a concept that would match the high expectations of both our customers and brand partners.
“To finally see the finished product has been really thrilling for our team and I’m so proud of what they have achieved.”
In addition to the Manchester opening, END. will open its’ first dedicated Women’s concept in Newcastle later this month, followed by a ground-breaking new flagship in the heart of Milan at the end of the year.