Workout, yoga and gym wear have come a long since the days of Lycra and legwarmers or wearing big baggy t-shirts and Adidas popper tracksuit bottoms.
Gossypium offers ethical clothing made by hand in Newhaven.
“We are affordable sport tailors,” reveals Thomas Petit, CEO and master cutter at the brand.
“All the clothes you see on our website are handmade in our Newhaven workshop.
“We get our fabric knitted in the UK and turn it into garments when our customers order it.
“It takes less than 15 days to get a garment made.
“Today we make hundreds of products every month from our small workshop, all made individually for our customers.”
The brand was started by Abigail and Thomas Petit, who have championed the use of ethical textiles in the UK since 1998.
“Gossypium was one of the first brands to offer ethical clothing in the UK,” explains Thomas.
“We pioneered it along with a few other companies and demonstrated how it was possible to make clothing ethically and environmentally.
“It has been an inspiring journey, one that has brought positive change to a lot of people.”
With a focus predominantly on yogawear it designs items that allow ease of movement to naturally fit the body.
Thomas’s passion for fabrics seems to be in his blood as his family have been in the textile industry since 1850.
“Because of my heritage I have always been interested in textiles and especially manufacturing,” he adds.
“Textile is a very contrasting industry even more so today both in terms of the type of products that are made and also how and by whom they are made.
“I set up Gossypium to offer a positive and simple solution.
“We are somewhere in between a normal tailor and a small factory - basically making individual products efficiently.
“We have very strong ethics and care about the materials we use and the people we work with and for.
“This is why we exist, it works and it makes sense.”
The idea came when Thomas realised he couldn’t find any simple clothes that were well made, and wanted to make something that people really loved.
“Making the perfect yoga leggings is technically challenging, the fabric and the constructions of the garment has to be perfect,” he explains.
“Yogis want to feel free when wearing our products. Garments have to fit perfectly and be like a second skin.
“They are also more environmentally conscious and thus want to know as to how and where their products are made.”
Thomas and his team are regularly designing new products and because each one is made onsite it can be launched in a matter of days.
“We react to what our customer asks us to do,” he reveals, “and we keep an eye on trends to make sure our designs are fashionable.”
Based in Newhaven Thomas says that the core hard working community means the business never has a problem finding people to work with them.
“It’s well connected,” he smiles.
“Newhaven is one of the only places in the areas that offers affordable space for a manufacturing business as well.”
In the future Gossypium has plans to launch more yoga and dance products and is developing items for other activities such as tennis, running and cycling.
“In the long term we would love to find an inspirational place to work from either in the countryside or an old building,” says Thomas.
“We will soon need more space than we have and it would be great to have a new home.” Whose says you can’t be stylish when you workout?
To view the full Gossypium range, visit www.gossypium.co.uk Gossypium is always on the lookout for people to join it, if you are interested get in touch through the website.
This first appeared in the March edition of etc Magazine, pick up your copy now.