From apps like Vinted and Depop to shows like Love Island breaking up with fast fashion, it’s fair to say that when it comes to our relationship with clothes, we’re all trying to make more sustainable choices. And one brand that is helping lead that charge is Asquith.
Founded back in 2002, the company looks to empower women with its sustainably made activewear. You’ll find no synthetic fibres or polyester here, just all natural fabrics like super soft bamboo, organic cotton and the brand’s trademarked performance fabric, Bambor – but more on that later.
Though Asquith originally started as a home for pilates, yoga and loungewear – a concept that pre-pandemic meant something quite different we’re sure – the brand has since grown exponentially and now offers a varied capsule collection of everyday lifestyle pieces. Think jumpsuits, dresses, laid-back woven trousers and more. Of course, there’s still plenty of choice for your sports drawer too, from sports bras to performance leggings.
Ultimately, whether you’re working out or going out, lounging or lunging, Asquith offers clothes that not only feel amazing against your skin, but are naturally breathable and very comfortable to wear too.
As this year marks its 20th anniversary, the brand is offering an impressive discount across its entire clothing collection, exclusive to readers of The Independent. As of today and right up until 5 July, you can save 20 per cent when you use the code “INDEPENDENT20”.
Not only that, but five per cent of all sales will be donated to The Eve Appeal – the leading UK national charity funding research and raising awareness into the five gynaecological cancers: womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal – which Asquith has a partnership with for the whole of 2022.
If you’re not sure where to start, fear not. I’ve spent the past few weeks testing a range of Asquith’s activewear that spans both its core collection and its new arrivals for SS22 to see just how comfortable they are. Let’s just say, I’m in love…
Let’s start with perhaps my new favourite loungewear piece, the harem pants. Not only are these supremely comfortable but they are incredibly practical. I’ve worn mine everywhere from yoga class to the supermarket and honestly, I might never wear jeans again. The relaxed fit on the leg gives me plenty of breathing room, even on warm days, but the cuffs and fold down waistband mean they won’t budge. They’re super soft, made with the brand’s bamboo fabric, and are also flattering. They’re too nice to be pyjama trousers in my opinion, but are the perfect choice for a lazy weekend.
As a proud member of the bigger-bust community, I’m always sceptical of bras without a band – they just don’t do anything for me in terms of support or coverage normally – but Asquith’s peace bra has blown that out of the water. Made with the brand’s patented Bambor fabric – that is a unique blend of organic cotton, bamboo and a small amount of elasthane (for additional stretch capabilities) – it feels amazing on the skin.
More than that though, it has some sort of imperceivable supportive band that sits under the bust which gently supported me throughout the day. I also loved the V-neck scoop on the bra and the bust seam detail which I felt accentuated my curves in all the right ways. There’s definitely some kind of wizadry in this bra, but I am here for it. Plus, if you order in the orchid colourway, five per cent of the proceeds will be donated to the Eve Appeal.
Alternatively, Asquith’s balance bra (£40, Asquithlondon.com) featured in our round-up of the best sports bras for bigger busts which our tester said was “ideal for low-impact activities, and still comfortable enough to wear on our Sunday stroll or while lounging about the house.”
Already a best seller, and of a similar ilk to the long harem pants, these are another great choice for chilled-out Sundays. What sets them apart though, aside from the pale pink colourway, is the ruched waistband and self-tie hem. On the surface these are seemingly small details, but practically speaking, there won’t be any unrolling or discomfort during exercise and the waistband is a truly flattering cut.
Over to a staple of Asquith’s core collection now and we can see why it’s become a favourite among those in the know. Though it’s fitted at the hip and has cuffs on the arms, the top has a nice relaxed fit and sits loosely around your arms and tummy. I was also really impressed with the length as it covered some of my other not so squat-proof leggings (which, I hasten to add are not from Asquith). This top is practical, yet flattering and stylish.
If you prefer short sleeves, we also love the bend it tee (£45, Asquithlondon.com). It may look like a standard T-shirt but it has a few flattering twists – including gathered ruching at the hips which accentuate curves and help it fit more loosely over the tummy.
Despite the Y2K resurgence of late, I will forever be a high-waisted girl (I’m sorry, but I will not go back to low waisted jeans for love nor money). So, when I saw that Asquith had brought out some high-waisted leggings – after many, many requests from other customers – you know I had to give them a go. And reader, these are the leggings I’ve been dreaming of.
Made with Bambor, these are like no sports leggings I have owned. They’re soft, yet still wick away sweat, and the waistband is *chefs kiss*. It’s properly high-waisted and came in just above my belly button. As it’s made up of three layers, it not only supports you throughout you work day and workout but also means they don’t roll down like so many other gym leggings do. It’s no wonder these are already a best seller. Thank you Asquith, my prayers have been answered and I would like a pair in every colour.
It’s officially summer now, and while I wish I could live in some of Asquith’s trousers forever, on those rare days when the sun does make an appearance it’s nice to wear a dress. I am notoriously picky when it comes to dresses though, but this option is flattering in every sense of the word. With a midi-length design it feels bang on trend and would look as good with trainers as it would with flip-flops or slightly heeled sandals.
The neckline and open back add a touch of glamour for nights out, while the side slits also make it a breathable option for beach days. I also appreciated the tie waist to accentuate my silhouette and the adjustable straps for extra customisation. Just like the rest of the range, this dress is made from bamboo viscose and elastane, it was super soft on skin.
Whether you think I’m old-fashioned or totally on trend, I personally don’t think anyone should be without a pair of flares – they’re flattering on everyone and are just as easy to dress up as they are down. And while Asquith’s pair may be designed with yogis in mind, I actually wear mine everywhere, and I really do mean everywhere – to yoga, to the cinema, even dressed up with a pair of heels and a body suit to wear to my cousin’s hen do.
They’re a truly transformative trouser that will take your from morning to night, no questions asked. And as they’re made with the Bambor fabric they have a really strong staying power to them – by that I mean they don’t go see-through like some pairs I’ve owned in the past – and they’re also comfortable and supportive around the tummy and thighs. These are a pair of pants I can truly live my best life in.
The verdict: Asquith
There’s so much more available on Asquith’s site that I didn’t get a chance to test – jumpsuits, shorts, cami tops, you name it – but just from what I did get to try, I feel confident enough to say you will not be disappointed. This is a brand that truly cares, both about its customers and the planet.
I felt confident and comfortable in every piece I tried – which is no small feat – and I also loved the knowledge that everything I was wearing was sustainably and ethically made, right down to the tags and plastic-free bags the clothes were posted in.
The clothes are not cheap, but you really do get what you pay for here, and when it comes down to comfort, confidence and choosing a brand that’s giving back, it really is a no-brainer.