Two sisters from the UK. The need to transform the ordinary into something amazing. The dream of empowering women by creating comfortable, high performing and stylish activewear. Sophie and Charlotte Wilson are the minds behind Yana Activewear’s mission, working to encourage the, in their words, ‘everyday warriors’, to unite as one community to support the achievement of each other’s goals. And they are getting there.
Yana Activewear garments are all multifunctional, meaning they can be used for numerous fitness activities such as running, HIIT workouts, weightlifting, yoga and more. Some key pieces are specifically engineered for running and yoga, but the brand tries to keep the products multifunctional so consumers can get as much use out of them as possible, regardless the occasion. This is the mindset embedded in Sophie and Charlotte Wilson’s mission – to empower the multifunctional women they call “everyday warriors”.
Nowadays, it is important that women find meaning in their choices. It comes from choosing carefully what to eat, and also from being picky about what goes in one’s wardrobe. The Wilson sisters’ commitment to position their brand as a women’s empowerment hub is building on very fertile ground. Yana Activewear is a brand that is designed by active women who know the real motivation that drives them to make an easy decision about buying something — the combination of high performance tech and versatile design. In this, Yana Activewear’s mission is powerfully set and clear.
A good example of how the brand is having a positive impact among users is the technology behind the design. What really makes the difference in delivering a unique feeling of well-being? Yana garments are made with SENSIL® Innergy fibers – a tech feature using Far Infra-Red (FIR) rays that gently warm the deeper layers of the skin. The gentle heating contributes to the shaping of fat cells and smoothing of the skin, invigorating and energizing the body and helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite. A small detail that could really make the difference in a woman’s routine!
In the following interview, we hear from the women behind Yana Activewear’s concept, what drives their mission and how choosing SENSIL® Innergy was important for the brand‘s positioning in the fashion industry.
– Tell us briefly how your brand got started. What spurred the inception of YANA™ Active?
It started on a holiday in Ibiza! Whilst we (co-founders and sisters, Charlotte and Sophie Wilson) were on holiday, we thought it would be a great idea to start a swimwear brand but following some further research and development, we decided that activewear would be more viable as we are both into keeping active and didn’t feel there was an activewear brand that we loved or were loyal to. YANA™ had to fill the gaps in a brand that we couldn’t find in current activewear brands. We knew we wanted to make our products in the UK, ensure they were high quality, be meticulously designed, offer style as well as function and create a sense of community within our brand.
– The activewear world is rather crowded. What is the formula for getting away from the crowd?
For YANA™ Active, we don’t want to be like other activewear brands, we’re just trying to be YANA™! We love that 85% of our products are manufactured in the UK and we aspire to make this 100% as soon as possible. The Nilit® technology used in our products and other specialist recycled materials helps us to offer our customers something unique. At YANA™, we also focus on our community, and our ‘Everyday Warriors’, are at the heart of the brand. We try to make YANA™ engaging and exciting to offer our Everyday Warriors something different – most recently we’ve collaborated with local fitness studios to run bespoke events and social events.
– In what way can textile technology support the creation of a collection?
Textile technology helps us with the initial process of planning and designing a garment based on the appearance and qualities of the fabric. The Nilit® technology is a Unique Selling Point (USP) but also a Unique Selling Benefit (USB) for our customers. This meant our leggings had to be designed in a way to ensure the technology could offer the most in terms of style, fit and how it worked with the body to get the most from the temperature control and reducing the appearance of cellulite.
– Has Sensil Innergy, with its certified and tested technology, contributed to the success of your brand?
When we explain to our customers that our leggings contain a multitude of specialist technologies their eyes light up! To have Nilit® team with our British manufactured leggings really helps them stand out from the crowd and offer something different to other activewear brands on the market.
– What mid to long-term future projects do you have brewing?
We’re currently in the process of adding more sustainable materials to our collection, therefore more recycled materials will be introduced over the coming months as this is something our Everyday Warriors really look for in their activewear.
– Based on your direct experience, has the demand for activewear grown?
From our launch in December 2019, we’ve seen the demand for activewear grow, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and the home workout movement. We find that more people enjoy the comfort activewear offers. Activewear is so versatile it’s not just for working out in; it can be stylised for a shopping trip, coffee, dinner or simply relaxing in. After a tough 18 months with Covid-19, we’ve found consumers look for comfortable garments over anything now so the rise in activewear and lounge wear has certainly increased.
Consumers are looking for fashion and functionality, and today it is easier and easier to combine these two aspects. How can they balance each other out to get to a winning formula?
At YANA™ we believe that a capsule collection is all you need. A few key pieces in your wardrobe that can be combined together with your existing wardrobe to offer fashion and functionality. We’re not a fast fashion brand and we never will be, we believe in launching small, limited edition pieces that stand the test of time and fit in with our existing styles. Consumers shouldn’t have to pick between fashion and function, that’s why our garments are all carefully designed to make the best of both with added benefits in the process.
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