Thanks to the pandemic, the transition from working from home to working out there has been just that for many – a mind-body transition. Many of us and it’s been a challenge to find clothing that speaks to our newly discovered need to be comfortable absolutely all of the time. If you’re looking for sublime yogawear that turns into “everywear” look no further than Asquith Clothing – a favourite brand for yoga teachers and non-yoga teachers alike thanks to its superb quality and fashionable fit. The brand makes comfortable-chic look easy and that’s because the brand doesn’t stop at creating clothing. We chat with Alice Asquith about building a dimensional brand that is passionate about fashion and people.
What does creativity mean to you? How do you define it? What inspires you to be creative?
“Creativity to me is to design something that will be beautiful, useful and of value for somebody else. And sustainable. A great design always lasts the test of time.”
Nature inspires me. Constantly. The changes in the seasons, colours, beauty.
Where do you live at the moment? How has this changed over the pandemic if at all? What does your city offer to you as a maker?
“I live In Notting Hill. I have done for 30 years. I love it; all the bars and restaurants, the cinemas and theatres and the nearby parks (Hyde, Holland) and Portobello Road is a quick walk away. I love the market and its people, diversity and energy. And I’m constantly inspired by vintage pieces that I find. During the pandemic it was eerily quiet. London constantly inspires me, parks especially. And the V&A – my favourite museum. My grandmother always took us there as children. It never ceases to delight me. Full of treasures. Morocco inspires me; the vibrant colours, the spices, the noise, energy.”
How did you get into this industry? What was your first job?
“My first job was in television. Music. Working for the Jimi Hendrix estate. My last job before I started Asquith I was working as a researcher for the crime writer Lynda La Plante. It was a fascinating job. I was working with wonderful actors, directors, on set, on scripts, but I didn’t feel it was my passion. Then my grandmother passed away very suddenly and left me some money and I thought, ‘Right now is the right time to make a change.’ Back then, I was practicing yoga but didn’t find any clothes to wear. All sportswear was very synthetic and I hated the fabrics and styling. I decided then and there to start my own clothing label for yoga, Pilates and living in and in natural fabrics. It was considered quite odd at the time! I knew absolutely nothing about the fashion industry but I had a past and a family steeped in fashion and a love of fabrics and styling. So I went on a very interesting journey.”
Why is it important for consumers to continue to seek out mindful and inclusive brands?
“Respect. Respect for each other and the planet. It’s the way we need to live our lives. With grace, kindness and care. And people can be further supportive by asking questions. Interact with the brand. Make demands. Ask yourself, ‘Who made my clothes?’ It filters down throughout a company and includes who makes your products. It’s important show the world as it is. We’re all real people in all shapes and sizes. Thankfully the days of perfect size 10 UK models are long gone. We’ve always been an inclusive brand, and always will be.”
Why is mindful and sustainable manufacturing important?
“We need to look after our planet. And we all need to take responsibility. At Asquith this means our entire supply chain. Responsible manufacturing is hugely important at Asquith. Our factory receives regular audits which cover major issues such as health and safety of workers in the factory, environmental conditions, no slave labour, good working hours and practices, safe working conditions, fair pay. Our factory is GOTS certified – meaning it’s approved by the world’s leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including social and ecological criteria. We also use natural fabrics (bamboo, Bambor and organic cotton) which are better for the skin and our farmers. All our packaging is plastic free now. And compostable and biodegradable.
Finish these sentences: “Always …” and “Never …”
“At Asquith we live by: Always respect your neighbour and our planet. Never put people and planet before profit.”
What does yoga mean to you? What is your favourite pose? What are your other favourite ways to move or create movement on your own or with family/friends?
“Yoga is a way for me to switch off. To unwind. To connect with my breathe. To calm my mind. I also meditate twice daily and have done for over 12 years now, but yoga is a flowing, calming physical practice for me. My favourite pose is a seated twisted. I feel energised, strong but also relaxed by it. I also love Reformer Pilates. I love spinning. And I really love to dance.”
Favourite Yogamatters product(s)? Why?
“The new Eco Flow yoga mat. I love the Coral colour. And the way it feels when I practice. Supportive and with a great grip.”
What’s your work uniform? What do you wear when you’re not at work?
“Asquith. Obviously! I wear head to toe when I’m working because it’s so comfy. Usually our Be Grace Batwing (if its warm) and Long Harem Pants or if it’s cooler a Base Layer and Live Fast Pants. They are super comfy but also quite smart and I can just pop out and do a class in them then come back and work without having to change. I literally do live in my Asquith. When I’m not at work I wear all sorts; skirts, jumpsuits, jeans, dresses, I have no uniform. Depends on my mood…and the weather! I wear what makes me feel good. I don’t follow trends.”
What gets you energised and keeps you recharged?
“Life! And great food. Great company. And if I need a recharge…a walk in nature.”
Favourite movie, book, app, podcast, game at the moment?
Movie – “There are so many. I love Pulp Fiction and Room with a View, off the top of my head.”
App – “My Ten Pilates app.”
Podcast – “I love Happy Place by Fearne Cotton. Insightful and inspiring.”
Game – “Backgammon.”
Discover Asquith’s essentials and shop your way to comfy basics for yoga and beyond on Yogamatters.com
The post Meet the Founder: Alice Asquith of Asquith Clothing appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.