An interview with Wellicious founder Heike Petersen Cunza
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Putting on your yoga pants to practice your vinyasa sequences, you probably don’t think much about whether they’ll biodegrade once you’ve finished with them. But the chances are they won’t as the majority of elastane sport clothing is made from polluting and non-compostable synthetic materials. Enter Wellicious who craft yoga and loungewear that you can wear with a clean conscience.
Wellicious have developed a revolutionary fabric which incorporates compostable elastane. This doesn’t pollute the earth when it biodgrades and doesn’t give off damaging microplastics either. Their compostable yoga collection is the brainchild of Heike Petersen Cunza, a passionate yogista who wanted to find a sustainable way to wear her stretchy yoga clothing.
Wellicious’ comfortable and circular yoga clothing is Cradle to Cradle certified. It reduces its environmental footprint further by having production facilities in Europe. As products have shorter distances to travel their transport doesn’t create a huge carbon footprint either.
And not only is the circular yoga wear collection environmentally-friendly, it’s super stylish and flattering too. Revolutionising the fashion supply chain with biodegradable products future generations will take as standard, Wellicious is giving us tomorrow today!
Here is the scoop behind the brand with Heike Petersen Cunza.
Tell us about your sustainable fashion brand, what sets you apart?
Wellicious is unique as it is the world’s first completely circular and Cradle to Cradle Certified® yoga-wear brand.
Our collection is inspired by the ocean and features classic designs in an array of complimentary blues to mix and match. Our flattering modern, minimalist designs are crafted with care and our attention to detail means your sports bras, leggings and tank tops will hold their shape, wear-after-wear, season-after-season.
Our clothes are made from ethically sourced, lightweight yet strong, silhouette-smoothing fabrics that are gentle on the skin, which means they allow you to move freely and with confidence through every pose.
What is your background and what made you decide to start up your brand?
I am half German and half Peruvian, and the Wellicious story began in London in 2007 when sustainability was a vision shared by just a few in the fashion.
I was inspired as a child by my grandmother Maria’s dedication to living a sustainable lifestyle, and it was at a 2006 trade fair in Paris where I found myself immersed in a small crowd of people who shared my dream of shaking up the fashion industry for the better.
And so began my mission to combine my love of yoga with the philosophy that style should not be at the expense of our planet.
Tell us a bit about how you source your fabrics and base materials?
All our suppliers are Cradle to Cradle Certified® and the certification process is quite complex. All our suppliers must guarantee that their products are safe for the environment and that they do not leave any harmful traces on the skin or the environment. Hence the suppliers base is quite limited.
Do you take into account the recyclability of your products?
Yes, it is important that our clothes do not contribute towards the global fashion waste which is produced by non-sustainable brands.
Who makes your clothes/products?
All our suppliers are from the EU and our products are also made in the EU, where standard working rights and environmental law apply.
Are any animals used in the production of your products and if so how do you make sure that they are treated ethically?
No, we do not use any animals in the production of our clothes.
What else makes your brand sustainable/ethical?
All our clothes are Cradle to Cradle Certified® and biodegradable. The Cradle to Cradle certification confirms that the natural fibres used in Wellicious garments are classed as ‘safe’ for biological cycles.
Furthermore, when a Wellicious item is ready to be returned to the earth (thereby closing its materials’ loop), customers can send it back to us in exchange for a 10% discount on their next purchase. In doing so, we will ensure the biodegrading process is optimised with the help of a scientific team so that no trace of the item is left behind.
Wellicious is a proud sustainability pioneer in the yoga activewear industry and proves that style, functionality, and environmental awareness do not have to be mutually exclusive. Women can now dress their active lifestyle in elegant, comfortable, and responsible clothing that aligns with their values.
We help consumers make positive consumption choices and prove that it is possible to look great whilst protecting nature. We believe in conscious consumerism, long-lasting design, and quality instead of quantity. We are continually working to improve our products to make them even more environmentally friendly and our footprint as small as possible.
We care that our products are not disposed of after every season, but rather are made to last for years. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the effect of their purchasing on the environment, leading to growing interest in buying more sustainable products. And as consumer opinion prioritizes social and environmental well-being, it can lead to exponential change!
Choosing compostable yoga wear, while it may seem like a small step, can lead to bigger change and innovation across the apparel industry.
What are the biggest challenges in operating as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand?
At every step during the production, we have encountered challenges but we overcame them with a positive mindset and a can-do attitude.
“Sustainability is not about being perfect, but a journey”, how can you further improve what you do and what plans do you have for the future?
The circular and cradle to cradle concept is quite new, so it will take time to grow our product base, fabrics, and styles.
What one thing could fast fashion brands do to improve?
They should create products that are circular and not harmful to the environment and the skin.
What are your favourite products in your range right now and why?
We love all our products as they can be mixed and matched into so many different combinations. Here are a few of our top pieces (Good Maker Tales readers can take a 10% discount with code GoodMakerTales10):
These Cradle to Cradle Certified® organic leggings are a firm favourite for many thanks to their stylish chevron pattern and smooth shape with a high waistband. They are perfect paired with both light or dark colours, and can be worn everywhere.
Thanks so much to Heike for taking part in this interview and we at Good Maker Tales wish the brand tonnes of success in developing more Cradle to Cradle yoga products for us to enjoy.
For your own certified biodegradable yoga pants, tops and accessories check out the link below and don’t forget about the discount code GoodMakerTales10:
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