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01 Jul, 2022

Exploring the human connection to nature and movement with Natural Grace LDN

We speak to sustainable and premium activewear brand Natural Grace LDN about The Biophillia Hypothesis; humans innate tendency to seek connections with nature, and how this is the foundation for their clothing.


Today, our busy lifestyles mean more time than ever before we find ourselves stuck indoors and inactive. Whether we’re in cars or behind screens consuming artificial online lives, we’re becoming increasingly disconnected from nature and our natural state. This has seen a high-speed collision, where both human and natural well-being are suffering.

Lots of us know of trees’ power to soak up carbon from our atmosphere and boost our mental wellbeing, but less people know about the power of our oceans. Oceans are, in fact, one of the planet’s largest carbon sinks, generating every second breath we breathe.

When we’re near the ocean, the boost to our oxygen supply is likely to make us feel more energized. Negative ions in the ocean air can help calm the brain, with a pronounced anti- depressant effect and can help to alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

However, our oceans are under threat. Eight million tonnes of waste enter our oceans every day and by 2050, there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

How do you engage with this at Natural Grace?

Natural Grace is on a mission to remove the rubbish from our lives. The toxic things that make us feel like sh*t, from pollution to toxic images of female fitness. Reconnecting human health and natural health, to allow women and the world to breath and move more freely.

We truly believe movement is medicine. It’s not just good for your body, it’s good for the mind, allowing feel-good endorphins to course through your body. Natural Grace was founded by an ex-track athlete, so naturally we have some non-negotiables when it comes to sportswear. Our kit is compressive to enhance blood flow, sweatwick so you can push your boundaries and laser cut for breathability, because we want to enable women to workout with impact.

What is the process of creating your sustainable activewear?

Our high-performance sportswear is created out of recycled ocean plastic and ghost fishing nets. Since 2013, the NGO partner to the yarn producers used in the fabrics of our garments has collected 773 tonnes of fishing nets and marine waste from the oceans. That is the equivalent weight of 6 blue whales. This plastic is then spun into yarn and transformed into fabric in a mill in Italy, which is powered by 100% renewable energy and recycles 50% of water used in the process. This fabric is sent to a female founded family run factory in Portugal, where it is made into high performance sportswear and shipped to the UK in recycled packaging.

Producing garments from recycled fabrics emits 60% less carbon, requires 40% less energy and uses 90% less toxic chemicals than virgin materials. However, recycled certainly doesn’t mean less than and Natural Grace’s high standards ensure our sustainable sportswear is best for performance, comfort and quality (in fact, we like to think our sportswear is more luxurious than our non-sustainable counterparts, but we could be bias!).

How do you find joy in movement?

Historically my joy in movement had very much been competitive, as an ex track athlete I exercised to run faster and be that little bit better than the day before, but an accident saw me out of action for eight months and shifted my perspective profoundly. I'm still competitive with myself when I run but on the days I'm not running so fast or not really feeling it I no longer berate myself but I am simply grateful for the ability to move my body not only for the physical but the mental benefits it gives me. These are the three tips on how I stay motivated to move:

  1. Do something for yourself before working for anyone else: It's personal preference but I love to get moving first thing in the morning, it makes me feel like I've done something for myself before doing anything for anyone else. It's a time away from technology, where you can truly tune into yourself and switch off from your thoughts, concentrating on your basics from your breathing to putting one foot in front of the other.
  2. Do it for your mental wellbeing: Exercise of course does wonders for our physical health but it's when you realise the mental health benefits that it's a real game changer! For me, movement is a way to cope with stress, release feel good endorphins to boost my mood (I am a better person after exercise) and gives me energy for the day ahead, getting blood flowing to the parts of my brain needed for concentration. I know even on the days I don't want to get out of bed I will feel better after movement, otherwise I often feel sluggish and unproductive.
  3. Be grateful for what your body can do: Finally, we are surrounded by content that often makes us highly critical of our body's and take for granted our ability to move freely. Finding gratitude in our bodies ability to run, jump, flow, skip and HITT will give you a new joy in movement because our bodies are truly amazing in all they do for us and sometimes it's only when this is taken away from us that we realise this.

Run fast or slow, just run. Switch off, unplug and tune into nature.

Find out more about Natural Grace LDN and explore their range here.