Just two years old, the Spiritgirl label was born of a passion for yoga, a love of design and nature, and spiritual awareness. And these are exactly the threads that run through every aspect of the yoga wear that Rochele le Roux and Leigh Sarembock produce. They use a technical fabric made of PET, or polyethylene terephthalate – obtained from recycled plastic bottles – woven with spandex. Rochele says it is similar to fabrics made from virgin polyester yarn, ‘but product performance is equivalent or even superior to virgin products. The result is the ultimate collection of workout pants and tops that are breathable, comfortable, moisture-wicking and quick-drying.’
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Rochele and Leigh say their aim is to reduce the heavy impact plastic bottles have on the environment. And their yoga wear certainly does that: it reduces the amount of waste going into landfills and reduces the demand for oil, dyes and fixing agents to produce new PET yarn. But their consciousness of their footprint goes even further. Spiritgirl uses local manufacturers to produce all their garments. ‘Our latest project is quite exciting,’ says Rochele After several months of work, Spiritgirl is proud to have launched a collaboration with Ndebele painters. We designed a limited edition in partnership with four women from the village of Verena, in Mpumalanga. That incredible adventure was not only a partnership but a real cultural experience. ‘And the women will receive 25% of the sales, which represents R375 for each pair of pants sold and R237 for each top,’ adds Rochele. People, planet, profit.
ROCHELE AND LEIGH’S TIPS: Live the lifestyle. It might not be the key to a successful business, but it helps if you’re immersed in the lifestyle and love your product – it makes for an authentic sell. For us, it was crucial to create a brand we could live. This not only makes it easier to understand your customer, but also helps you to know what’s trending. Cross-pollinate or collaborate with ventures with similar interests. This enables you – and the industry in general – to flourish. We rise by lifting others.
Heed good advice. Once we create an idea, we have a vision of the outcome. At the time we’re so excited about it that we’re happy to share our dream with others. Many have negative stories or their own ideas of how we should be doing this or that. If your experience is similar, listen to good advice – but don’t be discouraged. Stay focused on your true story.
It’s your journey. Don’t be afraid to grow. Blazing new paths may seem daunting, but by embracing multiple ideas you’ll leverage unique thinking and the opportunities that come with it. Invest in marketing. Don’t underestimate the value of marketing: advertising campaigns, collaborations, giveaways, brand ambassadors… the list goes on. Added to that, a few great photo shoots go a long way towards creating the image of your brand, so it’s imperative to not adopt a DIY approach. Beautiful, highquality pictures are at the heart of every great website. Your brand and imagery are the most straightforward way to translate your story for others.
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