Elliot Scott: Going the distance
Uninspired by activewear that wasn’t designed to go the distance, founder Elliot began imagining his ingenious creations while studying a biomedical science degree at university. Fast-forward four years and today, he’s worked hard to establish DistanceWear as a major player in the activewear game – and growing by the minute.
Led by performance design, DistanceWear benefits from Elliot’s experiences as a sprinter in his youth and each piece is committed to its specific function. From the 100% squat proof, four-way stretch fabric of the Reach range, to the high-rise fit and flattering seams of the Cosy collection, this innovative enterprise knows durable – yet chic – activewear is rather ironically going nowhere fast.
Also conscious of the huge impact fashion has on our environment and growing calls from consumers that businesses play their part, sustainability is at the very core of DistanceWear’s business model. Proudly partnered with eco-pioneers Pachama, the brand achieves carbon neutrality through participating in reforestation projects and proves that companies can thrive without taking their toll on the planet.
What year was your business founded? Do you have any story behind the naming of the brand?
I first started my activewear brand DistanceWear in 2017 when I was 19-years-old and studying at university. Being a keen athlete I dedicated most of my life to training as a sprinter, so I guess the name DistanceWear just resonated with me.
Why did you create this brand and what was your mission statement?
During my time at university, a lot of my peers looked to pubs and clubs for work, but I wanted to focus on something more fulfilling, with the opportunity for long term growth. I’ve never wanted to settle, and I had always envisaged working for myself – that’s just me.
As an athlete, I believed I recognised a gap in the fitness industry for something new. This quickly led to late night researching, learning and developing myself – a very different path to the Biomedical Science degree I was studying for at the time.
My mission and aims have developed and streamlined over the years, but one strong and important theme remains – and that’s a big emphasis on inclusivity and supporting everyone in and out of the gym with elegant, yet powerful activewear.
However, recently a new mission has become one of our most important – and one that, in my opinion, every business should share. I am of course referring to our ongoing and long-term fight against climate change and the impact that brands (especially the fast fashion ones) have on the environment. Earlier this year we became one of the first in the fitness fashion industry to provide Carbon Neutral Shipping, partnering with Pachama to offset the carbon emissions generated by shipping orders.
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, with online orders producing the same carbon footprint as the items we buy in shops. With online orders increasing in our new Covid-19 society, I have set out to combat the negative environmental consequences of online shopping by offsetting the carbon emitted when shipping our clothing to customers.
Here at DistanceWear we strive to mitigate our environmental footprint, and how in order to achieve carbon neutral shipping we work closely with rainforest alliance schemes in the Amazon, contributing to reforestation and restoration schemes to capture carbon in the rainforest.
If DistanceWear can do it – so many other brands can too. I truly hope similar climate-focused schemes are developed in the industry.
Today – where is the brand now, commercially, and what are your plans for 2021?
DistanceWear is thriving and last November was our best month to date, up nearly 1000% compared to the last! With Black Friday and the launch of our highest-quality product range ever, November really has set a strong momentum for the future – and it’s exciting. Already having hit our yearly goals, we’re excited for what 2021 has in store.
In 2021, I want to continue striving to make the best clothing we can, in more sizes, colours shapes and all while positioning our marketing strategy to help explode our growth this year.
What's your biggest high in the story of your brand to date? And your lowest low?
I’d have to say my highest high was the overwhelming support we had on our first launch of the year back in April. The Perfect Spring Seamless range exceeded my expectations massively, which was the perfect start to the year despite the ongoing pandemic and lockdown.
But there are always disappointing moments and I’m never satisfied, no matter how proud I am of what I have achieved.
What's the most heartwarming (and/or hilarious) feedback you've had from a client or customer?
Our new Reach range is actually so soft that we’ve had a number of hilarious comments and DM’s from our customers claiming that they are “rubbing their legs for fun” – not my words. But I think that certainly reflects how amazing the quality of our new Reach leggings are.
But honestly, I cherish every kind review we receive and they never cease to make me feel proud of how far DistanceWear has come.
What advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now, when you kicked-off your brand?
Don’t be afraid to gain experience in every role possible.
For example, I’ve had a varied range of marketing roles, which included working in larger commercial settings as well as freelancing. Ultimately this has all led to a deeper understanding of branding and marketing and without that I think DistanceWear would be stuck in 2019.
Did you have a mentor or inspirational icon? If so, who and why?
Not to be compared to Gymshark, but I believe their founder, Ben Francis, has done the unbelievable by taking his small Birmingham brand and reaching the heights they have. Also, his down to earth personality and amazingly unique approach to business have always been incredibly motivational for me.
What's your wellness tip for your working day?
I start every morning with a workout – and recently due to the COVID Pandemic, a home workout. This really gets my mind going and ready for the day ahead – that and lots of coffee.
Tell us who is in your little black wellness book that we need to know about?
That’s a tough one. There are tonnes of great creators on Instagram which I tend to follow for my own inspiration and especially for those varied workouts. The likes of Tom Trotter and Elliot Burton are among some of my go-tos.
Lastly, what’s the future of wellness? Where are we heading…
As someone who eats plant-based, I’d love to see an even bigger shift towards vegan diets. More education, more variety and more food! More people need to recognise the clear and evidence based benefits of leaving meat out of their meals, and I feel, well I hope, that this is part of the future.
The views expressed on these pages are the views of the cited experts only and do not necessarily represent the views of Wellness Edit. Please always get a second opinion where specific medical advice is required.
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