We all know that exercise has the potential to make us happy (endorphins, anyone?) but after a long day at work, or at the crack of dawn, the motivation to get moving is often nowhere to be found. So, what better than an excuse to indulge in stylish sportswear? The right look can inspire even the laziest of us to trade an episode of our favourite Netflix series for a long run in the park. Throw in the knowledge that your new outfit is not only pretty, but has also been produced under fair conditions and the highest standards in Portugal, plus that about 5 percent of sales will be donated to the charity project Water for Kids, your happiness hormones will certainly brim over.
We recently stumbled across ethical sportswear brand Sundried, which offers a unique way of uniting your shopping with a giving action. Every piece of activewear comes with a tracking code – simply enter it into the “donate” website indicated on the label and explore the whole journey of your garment along with the purpose of your donation. Pretty cool, right?
Sundried was launched by Daniel Puddick, a personal trainer, triathlete and father who wanted to leave his children a company that would elate them one day. He is profoundly convinced that we can’t just sit back and wait for the next generation to fix things, so he decided to become active himself. From the very beginning, he was supported by the Low Carbon Innovation Fund and audited by GEP Environmental, whose consultants are accredited by the Carbon Trust, CIBSE (Low Carbon Energy Assessor), the National Energy Foundation, BRE and BREEAM, to ensure continual improvement of the brand’s environmental credentials.
What makes Sundried even more authentic is the fact that all their staff are personal trainers, knowing exactly how sportswear needs to move and understanding that an athletic garment has to be comfortable, functional and stylish at the same time. And of course their collections are not only vegan and sustainable, but also ethically produced.
“How can you possibly call yourself a fitness brand if people in the supply chain can not afford a proper meal?“ Daniel asks. True words! I wanted to know more about this responsible label an his owner and met him for a virtual protein shake.
When did you launch Sundried?
I started working full time for Sundried in 2015, although the puzzle had been piecing together long before that. After exiting Sunglasses Shop when it was Europe’s largest online sunglass retailer, I thought that what I do for the next 15 years needs to be something I am personally into with strong ethical values.
There are so many activewear brands on the market today – what makes Sundried unique?
What makes Sundried different is that we deliver quality and substance. I wanted stylish clothes that would enable an active lifestyle all day, and a business whose products and operations were ethical through and through, so Sundried is produced with complete transparency. We are as ethical as possible from the supply chain to the office and donate to charity Water for Kids with every purchase made.
Can you explain what exactly Water for Kids does?
Water for Kids’ aim is to preserve and protect the good health of children and communities in the developing world by providing clean water and teaching them about water and health sanitation. Water for Kids are currently working in rural disadvantaged communities of Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. The charity is run by volunteers with only one paid member of staff. The projects start by sourcing safe drinking water, which will either be by protecting a polluted village water source, rain water harvesting or building a new borehole for a large community.
What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem with mainstream sportswear or fast fashion in general?
I think the biggest problem with mainstream sportswear is a lack of knowledge. We simply don’t know where our activewear is coming from, so how can we know if we are being ethical? That’s why we’ve started the #questiontheethics, how can you be a health and fitness brand if you don’t support a healthy lifestyle throughout your supply chain?
What can we as customers do to help save our environment? How can we combine fitness and sustainability?
Research before you buy. Look into where your activewear and kit is coming from and how the staff are being treated. The majority of the damage a T-shirt causes to the environment comes after it’s purchased, so choose wisely, high quality products will last and therefore reduce your carbon footprint. We also encourage all our activewear to be washed cool and sun dried.
It’s incredible how big the fitness community is on social media. What are your favourite Instagram accounts to follow?
@Sundried (obviously), @Huubdesign and @RichardBranson.
What are your favourite power foods?
I believe a well-balanced diet should provide all the superfoods you need. If you eat organically and you eat healthy, your body will thank you.
What would you recommend as post-workout meal?
You can’t beat a banana post workout, it’s simple and does the job.
What are your brand goals and dreams?
For me, it’s building a brand that my children will be proud of and happy to work for in the future. When I created Sundried I wanted to deliver a stylish and superbly functional collection, which was ethical through and through and our pilot collection, I’m happy to say, does just that. In the future I hope for us to be successful with all our future collections, grow as a brand and encourage as many people as possible to be more ethical.
Check out Sundried activewear here.
Ready to workout, ladies? The collection can be purchased here and via some personal trainers in the UK.