Gen Z-orientated sustainable activewear brand TALA has raised £4.2m in funding with Active Partners and Venrex.
Founded by social media influencer Grave Beverley, TALA aims to offer consciousness gym goers an affordable alternative to fast fashion rivals.
Participants in the oversubscribed round included venture capital trust Pembroke VCT, as well as angel investors including Deciem CEO Nicola Milner, Peanut CEO Michelle Kennedy and Rapha founder Simon Mottram.
News of the funding comes amid a huge boom for the activewear category, with social media savvy brands like Gymshark seeing sales soar as shoppers turned to e-commerce firms during the pandemic.
In the wake of scandals highlighting supplier failures at big name fashion retailers such as Boohoo and H&M in recent years, young shoppers are increasingly interested in the provenance of clothes.
Through social media, TALA takes its customers into its factories in Italy, China and Portugal, among other locations.
“We have nothing to hide, we want to share,” Beverley told CityA.M. “The feedback we have is that it is what young people want to see and especially post-pandemic, it is what everyone wants to see. It’s been rewarding.”
“We’re never just about hype, it’s about producing leggings you are going to want to come back to again, whether it’s for going to the gym or uni or wearing to work,” she said.
“With people spending more time online, it is going to facilitate faster exchange of that information [about suppliers]. We’ve become more aware of how things that happen in far flung places affect us and the planet. That’s been a real key change we’ve seen,” she added.
Jason Mahendran, investor at Active Partners and new addition to the TALA board, told CityA.M. that Covid lockdowns had inspired consumers to want to be more sustainable in their purchases.
“The pandemic made people so much more aware, it gave people the time to reflect,” he said.
When asked about the possibility of moving production to the UK, YouTuber and entrepreneur Beverley said: “We’re always looking at new factories and ways of working. We’d never say never.”
“The really important thing when sharing our factories has been taking the customer on our journey with us. It’s been about sharing, often trying to tackle biases about factories outside of the UK.”