Ariana Whittingham Interviews Audrey Freeman, CEO of SportiveAF for Ecocious
Funny story actually.... Audrey and I met at a modelling job and after a champagne (or two) we realised we shared a mutual passion in business and preservation of our environment. It was only natural when I then discovered she had just launched her own sustainable athleisure wear brand to sign SportivéAF up to ECOCIOUS. Audrey is not only an inspiring young businesswoman she is also a full time professional Ballerina, and was pursuing her career of full time dance in London before the pandemic... Fast forward a year and she's just launched her newest innovation - a body sculpting leotard. Perfect for "any body" as it essentially molds itself to your figure... impressive, right?
I had to get Audrey's Q&A for you guys as I know you would love to hear more about her, and in true Audrey style she talks from her heart and gets real with you guys....
Ariana: Let's start with the basics... what does "sustainability" mean to you?
Audrey: For me, sustainability is the future. But in order for it to be the future, we need to start making changes now. You don’t need to live an 100% sustainable lifestyle, to contribute to a better planet. You make small changes, which contribute largely overtime. When thinking about sustainability, there are many different viewpoints on the concept and how it can be achieved. A great author John Elkington argued that companies starting up should be as sustainable as they can, so that they can thrive in the long run. This is a first-hand example that sustainability is the future. Today, sustainability is also often spoken with regard to climate-change too. This is a whole other topic of which I could talk hours about.
Ariana: What is something you wish more consumers knew about the fashion industry?
Audrey: I’m personally an empath, and when I heard about the workers in Bangladesh it really made me change my ways of living. Basically, nine out of ten workers who work for big fast fashion companies like Fashion Nova, H&M, and so on, cannot afford enough food for themselves or their families, forcing them the skip meals and eat inadequately, or go into debt. Besides this, there have been traumatic events of buildings collapsing killing more than 2,000 workers at once.
Ariana: Do you think (as a community) we can make changes towards a more sustainable future? How?
Audrey: 100% Start with yourself. Keep it simple. I think in the era we live in people are more interested in telling people what they are going to do & how how they are going to do it, rather than actually just doing it. When we complicate things, it's never easy. So don’t! Start with shopping with a sustainable company, eating one vegan meal a week, donating unused items, and the list goes on. These are not groundbreaking things to do, but they most certainly make a difference to our planet.
Ariana: Do you have any favourite sustainable businesses & why do you like them?
Audrey: Probably Reformation. The way they market sustainable living and shopping, makes it very easy for the general population to understand the benefits of choosing a sustainable brand. They do it very stylishly, and sexy. I love it!
Ariana: Tell us your plans for SPORTIVÉaf and why you are so passionate about this business and about being sustainable.
Audrey: My plans for SPORTIVÉaf are extremely exciting! They honestly keep me up most hours of the night as I am so motivated and inspired by what I have created. We have some exciting collaborations with some incredible people, who are doing amazing things. As a brand who has unisex sizing, it allows us to include all! We size from XXS-XXL to include all body types, as we are all beautiful, and all deserve to feel hot af in our own skin! When I was launching SPORTIVÉaf I had a criteria of values I wanted my brand to endorse and support. That being, sustainability, body positivity, supporting all ethnicities, and most of all empowering all genders to feel as confident as they can, while wearing comfy, cool and stylish outfits. I love having an extremely supportive community who are starting to understand the benefits of shopping sustainably. Being sustainable we make sure to use sustainable fabrics that are either recycled, or 100% organic.
Ariana: If someone reading this decided to start making changes and wanted to start living a more sustainable life TODAY, what advice or tips could you give them?
Audrey: I feel like I touched on this above, but start with yourself! YOU can make a huge difference to the world we live in. Start by trying plant based meals, over meat. Turn your lights off when you don’t need them on. Donate things you no longer use. Recycle! There are endless steps you can take right now that will lead you to a more sustainable lifestyle. I believe in you… go change the world!