In March this year, I visited our wonderful factory in Izmir, southern Turkey to say hello to the staff, watch our next ethical activewear collection in production and have a look at all our operations. As you can see from this photo, taken on the roof, we brought the British weather with us…
Asquith shares the same values as our factory. We always put people and the planet first. We have a great relationship with our team and we have been working together for nearly five years. They love our sustainable yoga clothes and our ethos and they have proudly framed photos from our lookbooks on their walls.
Sahika, a wonderful Turkish businesswoman, established the factory 26 years ago. She has a passion for fashion and wanted to do things differently -creating a fantastic environment for workers and producing top quality products.
Many of the 50-strong team have been working at the factory between 10-25 years and I can see why. I’ve never experienced such a friendly, family atmosphere in any workplace. There’s no hierarchy. Everyone is treated equally, from the helpers in the kitchen to the production manager.
There’s an in-house production and accounts manager, a fabric and trims sourcer and manager. The factory aims to work with local producers and sources trims and fabrics in Izmir for Asquith so that there’s less impact on the environment. They always work with local people they’ve known for years whose quality they can trust.
We also work hard with the factory to ensure that we pioneer sustainable methods of production to minimise environmental impact when producing our sustainable activewear. Our cotton is certified organic and all our clothes are dyed using safe dyes. We source as many products as we can locally, choosing natural and recycled products over synthetic and non-biodegradable materials in terms of our swing tags and polybags.
At Asquith I strive to give customers an alternative to fast fashion. Our ethical activewear is made with quality fabrics that last: organic cotton and bamboo. And no detail is too small.
We cut, sew, steam, trim and pack all the garments on site in the factory. Our fabrics are all tested for washability, wear, pilling, shrinkage and fading. Quality is key!
When I visited, the factory put on a special lunch for me in their canteen, where all the staff eat freshly made nutritious food with Turkish yoghurt every day. It’s great for digestion and delicious with strawberries!
The chef always cooks and prepares food using organic herbs and salad grown on their own terrace.
All the fresh produce for the factory workers is bought from the local market daily.
The team treated me to some special family dishes that they made especially in my honour for our lunch.
They serve traditional dishes, many of which have been passed down through the generations, and mostly contain produce grown by them or their family – including fresh olives. Dolmas, Kisir, Manti, Celeriac Salad, Stuffed Aubergine, Baklava – we had a feast!
I hope my tour has given you a flavour of where our sustainable activewear is made – in a great, clean, well maintained and organised environment by a really special, happy group of people that we feel very lucky to be working with.
Now when you wear your Asquith you can think of sunshine, olives and smiles.
Find out more about our ethical yoga clothes here…
Shop all of our ethical yoga clothes here