We met at work and bonded over a guilty, secret love of fizzy fish sweets, a not-so-secret love of yoga and a shared sense of humour - which in truth, has been the key ingredient for success so far. Very quickly we began to hatch out plans for starting a business of our own.
The idea for Flip The Dog came about organically. After trying and failing to find a pair of coloured yoga leggings for a yoga retreat that looked and felt good, we decided to explore making some ourselves.
Sweating and downward dogging in a variety of pants was part of the course. As were inspections of various bodily assets from groins (yup!) all the way down to ankles and toes. We marvelled out how unique every woman’s body is and how EVERYBODY has bits they don’t like.
The more we learned, the more our confidence grew that we could produce something that women loved and would feel inspired to wear.
However, our candy striped prototype pants were swiftly parked to one side as we uncovered some unsavoury truths about the fashion industry.
- Staggeringly, it’s the second largest polluter behind only the oil industry
- Millions of women and children are exploited with minimal pay and working conditions
- 36 million people live in modern slavery today - many of whom work in the supply chains of brands and retailers
- Basic health and safety measures do not exist for huge numbers of people working in fashion’s supply chains. The Rana Plaza factory collapse is the most extreme and familiar example.
- Last year the worldwide consumption of textiles reached approximately 73 million tonnes and is expected to grow nearly 4% a year through 2025 (APIC, 2014), 80% of that ends up in landfill. (Soex, 2014)
- An estimated 17-20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment and an estimated 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used throughout the world to turn raw materials into textiles, many of which will be released into freshwater sources (The Guardian, 2012)
Pretty dark stuff.
Whilst we’d always wanted to ‘give back’ in some way, it no longer felt enough just to donate some of our profits to charity. Furthermore, as a start-up, we felt very strongly that we had a responsibility to provide an environmentally and socially responsible product. Our business and processes had to be sustainable and create a positive impact throughout the supply chain.
We sought out likeminded suppliers and travelled the length and breadth of the country to find a way to manufacture sustainable yoga leggings that could still perform. And we have pretty high standards.
Being fresh-faced to the industry has meant we’ve had a very steep learning curve but it has also worked to our advantage as we don’t have legacy ways of doing things. We’ve been able to make decisions which benefit people and planet (not entirely forgetting profit!) and provide a genuine, sustainable alternative for active-wear consumers.
Thank you for being part of our journey