Near-death experience leads to launch of sustainable customisable activewear brand

Stephanie Hoole

A Yorkshire-based activewear brand that is defying traditional mass-produced manufacturing has launched following the founder’s life-changing experience.

Leeds-based Grit & Grace, which manufactures its garments in the UK, sources high quality recycled fabrics from European suppliers has launched its activewear range via a Kickstarter campaign.

Founded by Stephanie Hoole, Grit & Grace allows women to get directly involved in the creative process of their sports bras and leggings by allowing them to customise their activewear, so they can tailor it to their needs and preferences.

After being diagnosed with autoimmune condition four years ago, Stephanie was forced to change her exercise regime to gym-based strength training. This made her more aware of what she was wearing and the limitations of the activewear available. Unable to source the quality or style of activewear she desired, she was inspired to design her own range and began sketching her designs and researching manufacturers and suppliers. 

A near-death experience two years ago which resulted in an emergency blood transfusion was the catalyst for finally starting the business.

Following two years of research and development, Stephanie learnt of the detrimental impact that the clothing industry has on the environment.  With vast quantities of clothes being produced and thrown away each year the sector is deemed to be the second most polluting industry on the planet.  This inspired Stephanie to provide a sustainable business and as a result Grit & Grace was born.

Committed to only using environmentally friendly fabrics, the start-up firm sells a small core-range as well as made to order customised items, ensuring Grit & Grace only produces what is needed and unnecessary waste is not created.

Stephanie said: “Grit & Grace exists out of a desire for high performance garments, improved consumer choice and sustainability.  Whilst setting up a business model like this has been no mean feat, I am very excited to finally launch Grit & Grace and share it with likeminded women.

“I am a firm believer in seeing the positives from any situation and my near-death experience gave me the push to realise that life is too short and gave me the confidence to launch my own business.”


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