If you’re in the ethical fashion world you may have come across new activewear brand TALA. The brand was set up last year by social media influencer Grace Beverly and has become immensely popular since its first release. The brand is represented as a sustainable alternative to stylish active wear, made up of 92% recycled materials.
Whenever I want to look a little more into a brand my first stop is always Good on You, the app that provides all the info on brands sustainability and ethics. TALA is rated as ‘Good’ on Good on You, which is the second highest rating. It has a lot of great environmental credentials; as I mentioned it’s made up of 92% recycled materials, and it seems that every care has been taken to make the packaging, as well as all the other little bits that come along with a fashion product, sustainable. Notably, the tags that turn into plants!
They also sell a fibre filter bag; acknowledging the huge issue of microfibres and attempting to do their bit about the problem, which is definitely a great step.
Good on You states that TALA’s labour rating is ‘It’s a start’. The garments are made in Portugal, which is medium risk country for labour abuses, they trace part of their supply chain and carry out some auditing. This is definitely a good start and much better than a lot of other brands, but definitely an area where a little more improvement could happen. They do not have evidence that their workers are paid a living wage.
Activewear is one of those areas where you oftentimes end up having to buy new; second hand isn’t really an option here as most people’s old activewear is pretty worn out by the time they’re finished with it. TALA is working harder to be better for the planet than other popular activewear brands like Nike and Gymshark.
Something that’s always interesting to observe with sustainable brands is the marketing, and this is where I always find myself in a real dilemma. A sustainable fashion brand needs to sell well in order to stay afloat and make sustainable fashion more accessible to everyone but at the same time, marketing in a way that makes people want to buy clothing unnecessarily results in damage to the environment.
TALA definitely markets in a way that makes you really want to buy their clothing; but I think it’s impossible for a sustainable brand to strike the balance between having products that people want to buy, but not so much that they buy them when they don’t need them.
On reading a few comments on one of TALA’s Instagram posts, I did see quite a few people stating that they had bought items and they had ripped or broken quite soon after. I haven’t bought any of their clothes myself so I can’t really say anything about the quality, but it did make me wonder if they are prioritising this. I also noticed one commenter saying that the fact that TALA releases new collections around every two weeks makes it look as though it’s acting very similarly to fast fashion brands. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues; as if it does it seems that TALA is neglecting the notion of slow fashion, which in my opinion is essential to be a truly sustainable brand. It doesn’t matter how sustainable your materials are if you’re producing at an unsustainable rate.
On another note, a positive of TALA is that it markets and sells to all different sizes; with the clothes ranging from a UK size 4-20 they are inclusive of a wide variety of shapes. They also don’t shy away from using models that don’t fit the conventional thin fitness model image in their marketing and website images; which is something that is rare to see but really important.
I can also admire that it is run by a young female; it’s concerning how male dominated the fashion industry is, so I always think it’s great to support female-led businesses.
I believe that TALA is having a positive effect, encouraging people who would otherwise buy from brands that have no eco credentials whatsoever to a brand that is making a significant effort. They definitely have a few shortfalls that need to be addressed but I would potentially consider buying from them in the future. I would definitely like their labour credentials to a be a little more cemented before I did make a purchase, and I’d really like to see them truly embody slow fashion.
Have you shopped at TALA or would you consider shopping there in the future?