Today we’re thrilled to introduce you to Olivia, head designer at Jilla Active, a women’s activewear brand based in London.
Created from a passion for movement and simplicity, their dedicated team focus on comfort and laid back style. Everything is ethically made featuring soft fabrics including bamboo and modal, to ensure all pieces are effortless and feel like a second skin.
They consistently deliver exceptionally comfortable and high functioning garments, all in a calming and versatile colour palette. Comfort and feel are at the core of what they do and they are always striving to make the company as sustainable as possible from the products right down to the packaging.
“Jilla is part of a new generation of activewear – it’s our interpretation of what activewear is missing”
You can learn more about Jilla Active and browse their products here:
We took 5 minutes to chat with Olivia, pull up a chair and grab a cup of herbal tea……
Why has your company chosen to support our global campaign Yoga Stops Traffick?
We were inspired by the amazing work of Yoga Stops Traffick, so we wanted to use our position in the yoga industry to support this fantastic charity in March. It is exciting to be using yoga, a global language, as a collective force for good to fundraise and bring awareness around the issue of trafficked women and children.
What is your role within the company?
I design the clothing for Jilla Active, this starts with the research and design process which leads to the sampling process – we may do two rounds of samples following a fitting. Then I’ll work with the factory through the production process, plan the photo shoots and marketing materials for each season with the rest of the team.
What does your typical ‘work day’ look like?
I cycle into the office in East London where I work closely with our small team. Daisy works on the e-commerce, wholesale and marketing side of the business. Together we plan and research for the upcoming season, along with social media, working on the website and general day to day tasks.
How did you come to the practice of yoga?
My mum used to take me to her evening yoga class after school when I was much younger however I didn’t really appreciate it as a teenager! After university I rediscovered it and now I have a regular practice.
What impact has regular yoga had on your mind & body?
Yoga is so essential to get out of my head and into my body! I love to stretch my body and I am always trying to incorporate yoga poses and stretches into my day even when I’m not in a yoga class, like when cooking dinner! I definitely feel stronger in my body through yoga, the effect is gradual but suddenly a pose that seemed difficult becomes doable which feels very motivating and encouraging. I love the sense of calm that a yoga class brings.
Which is your favourite yoga pose?
I’m a big yin fan so pigeon (or swan) is a personal favourite, I am loving wheel at the moment and I like to do balances as well!
How else do you practice ‘self care’ in your life?
I love a long bath with essential oils, candles and a good podcast! I think it’s good to be aware of screen time, I try not to look at my phone late in the evening, it’s turned off and stays in the kitchen overnight and then I won’t look at it again until after breakfast. I think we often use social media out of boredom which just wastes time, so I have started learning Italian on Duo Lingo to put that time to better use. Gardening is good for the soul, I enjoy spending time outside to feel closer to nature and in touch with the seasons and of course watching my plants (hopefully) grow!
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the global yoga community?
Yoga is a wonderful practice, which can be enjoyed by anyone no matter your background, gender, race, age or physical fitness. However looking around in yoga classes, I often notice the fellow students are middle class white women. I think we should be working on making yoga more accessible to all, the expensive class prices (especially in London) can be a real barrier to entry. I think yoga studios can be an intimidating space to beginners and those who worry that they won’t fit in. Community classes and free online yoga are both helpful at attracting more people.
What’s on the horizon for your company?
We are working on new product ranges and looking to move to more eco-friendly fabrics and packaging.
What message would you like to give to everyone taking part in Yoga Stops Traffick 2020?
It is great to see the collective good that Yoga Stops Traffick can bring by uniting people. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are stronger together.