As Stevie Grehan and Nadia Tucker of Active Truth repeat over and over – healthy is an outfit that looks different on everyone.
Women who are a size 16 or more also like to don their lycra and move. This shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone. But they’re largely ignored in an industry flooded with brands focussing on the small end of the market.
So like a breath of fresh air, they launched Active Truth in Australia earlier this year, and are gaining significant momentum and admiration from women of all shapes and sizes.
Whether you’re a size 8 or a size 26, you can wear an Active Truth piece. No discrimination. Just inclusiveness.
I love this, don’t you?
I caught up with Stevie and Nadia to find out more.
First of all, massive congrats on the early success of Active Truth. Have things turned out as you hoped and planned?
We won’t lie, it was scary launching an inclusive activewear brand. To us it seemed a no-brainer but then why was no one else doing it?
But we got traction almost immediately, and it was apparent there was demand for a brand that celebrated all women, and gave women who had previously been ignored by the activewear market an option that was both high-performance and stylish.
When you started the brand, was it a conscious decision to be an inclusive activewear brand?
Yes, very much so. We met when both our first babies were a few months old. We both experienced a big mind shift during the first few years as mums, from pre-kids. In our 20s, our approach to exercise was to lose weight or to ‘fix this’ and ‘look like that’, to exercising for a myriad of other reasons like more energy, making friends, feeling strong.
Basically we went from feeling like exercise was an all-or-nothing chore to feeling like exercise was something to be enjoyed. Or at least enjoy the endorphin rush afterwards!
We wanted to create a brand that celebrated the benefits of being active that didn’t focus on looks or weight. It’s rare to see a non-fitness model selling activewear, particularly for sizes above a 16 where it is assumed that women want to hide in black, don’t care about the performance of a product and are exercising to lose weight.
It must bring great satisfaction that you’re allowing women of all shapes and sizes to feel confident in great looking activewear.
Absolutely. Women get bombarded by so many messages every day that they are not enough. We are helping in a small way to give women confidence that it’s okay to be you.
Our purpose is bigger than selling tights, but we know that feeling great in your activewear leads to a better workout and more confidence, and makes exercise and activity accessible to more women.
Everything we do is about helping women feel great about themselves and incorporating healthy habits into their lives. We’re building a positive Instagram community of women that support each other and celebrate being healthy in a way that works for each individual.
What’s been your biggest ‘pinch me’ moment so far?
The best part about what we do is the feedback from our customers. We were amazed when we started receiving emails that said how happy people were with their purchases, or thanking us for making inclusive sizes. We were (and still are!) touched that people will take even a few minutes out of their busy day to let us know we’ve made them happy.
We even had emails from our customers saying we have literally changed their lives, which has led us to crying in public places on multiple occasions!
And most epic fail?
There hasn’t been an absolute ‘epic’ fail yet but we have certainly made lots of mistakes (or as we like to say ‘learnings’) along the way.
The hardest one was when our factory was cutting the fabric on one of our prints and they noticed that there was an error in the printing. It was ever so slight but it meant we had to dispose of all those rolls of fabric and start again.
This put production back by a good month or so which was devastating for us. But neither of us like to dwell on the mistakes. We just look for the best solution, pick ourselves up and keep going.
Loved your runway shows – how much fun was that?
The runway shows at Melbourne Fashion Week were the best. We are still on such a high from them!
We were lucky enough to have been able to spend some time in the previous days with the wonderful girls from Bella Models and together concocted some fun ideas to inject a bit of life into our show, and make it reflective of our brand.
So we had big smiles, cartwheels and gorgeous, happy, healthy models representing us on the runway!
My favourite feature of your tights is the waistband – it’s the absolute perfect rise, doesn’t budge and is super comfortable and flattering. What is your fave Active Truth feature or print, and why?
Definitely the waistband. There’s nothing more frustrating than clothes that look good but you have to adjust and pull to keep them in place properly.
No-one has time for that when they’re working out! A nice firm and high waistband looks great and keeps your tights exactly where they should be.
Where’s the most unusual place you’ve been in your activewear?
We arrived at Melbourne Airport in our activewear with our jeans in our carry-on bags ready to change into. But we were so comfy that we thought we would try our luck at getting into the airline lounge in our (printed) tights, despite their no activewear policy.
So the sneakers were swapped for heels, and the hoodies for blazers – the staff didn’t bat an eyelid and we spent the rest of our trip in comfort!
You have lots of little men to run around after, what’s your top tip for juggling motherhood, business and exercise?
Think hard about what’s important to you, not just what is expected of you – whether it is ideals imposed by yourself or other people.
This makes it easier to prioritise your time. We try to strike a balance between motherhood, business and exercise, and that usually means we aren’t doing any of them as ‘perfectly’ as we would like, but we are giving each of them enough that they are all still thriving.
It’s important to be flexible and kind to yourself. Life rarely goes as planned!
And finally, ladies, what’s next for Active Truth?
We are currently expanding our product range. We have just launched our maternity tights, which was something we both just couldn’t find a few years ago when we were pregnant.
Stevie had resorted to wearing her husband’s shorts and Nadia opted for sizing up, and bunching the waistband under her growing bump. Our tights are designed to perform just as well as the activewear you wore before pregnancy, and look as good too.
We also have new crops and tops in the works which will be released in the new year.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER – Make an order online with Active Truth before 30th November and get 10% off with the code CHOCOLATE at checkout, hurray!