Stella Heng, Founder and Creative Director, Sports Philosophy

16 January 2017

I met Stella recently and we instantly clicked over fitness, our love for activewear and F45 training! Sports Philosophy is not your average luxury activewear brand, they are the first truly ethical brand dedicated to fighting child labour through supporting the charity Freedom for Children Foundation with every item sold. After her and her boyfriend worked in corporate industries they wanted to do something different, make a difference, and with that the brand was born. They constantly strive to push the boundaries and encourage creativity. 
I caught up with Stella for a coffee in Chelsea to hear more about the brand, how this lovely lady stays fit and how she recovers from all those F45 Training sessions!

Why did you decide to start your own brand and what do you love about it? 

We started Sports Philosophy with the idea of combining both for profit and non-profit as a business model to encourage corporate responsibility. Child labour is an issue that is close to heart and one that is widely known to affect the fashion industry, so it made sense to have a brand that would tackle this problem. And then activewear was a natural go-to as sports and fitness has always been a key part of my life and we could really see it become a key trend in the UK. 
It's been quite an adventure but I have loved every part of it, particularly seeing our creations look amazing on so many people, being able to encourage and inspire others to keep fit and healthy, and more importantly, being able to bring awareness to the issue of child labour and take steps towards finding more and doing something about it.

Stalked: Mary Moran, Founder, ILU Fitwear

8 January 2017

I was introduced to ILU Fitwear through a previous stalk of mine, the lovely Ashley Yeater, founder of DEFINE. Mary Moran, the brains behind the brand, is an inspirational character, having once worked in the City she left that behind to do something she really loved. Her activewear is a must check out, affordable and fits the body to perfection!
It just shows that if you follow your heart you can do something you love every day!

Why did you decide to start your own brand and what do you love about your job?

It was while I was still working in the City as a lawyer that I started to think about ILU. I had started to realize I wasn’t passionate about the whole City lifestyle….I was much more passionate about health and fitness and I even trained as  a PT, but I wasn’t sure I could build a business from that. Then I noticed that almost every woman in the gym/classes was wearing Sweaty Betty and thought- I could do better!

I actually love the creative process and the joy of seeing a design idea come to life…..but I also enjoy the practical aspects- making the timeline work and thinking about sensible ways of combining fabrics/factories/designs (this is quite similar to some of the work I did in the City!). Talking to customers (business and personal) about the product and their lifestyles. And the interaction with my team. It is stressful financially, going from a City job to running a start up (currently without external investment) – and I work very, very hard- but every day I realize how lucky I am to have this amazing opportunity, and I relish it!

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